By Marissa Postell Sullivan
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — We are living in a cultural moment where the definition of “woman” eludes the keenest of thinkers and brightest of scientists.
In her debut trade book, “To Be a Woman: The Confusion Over Female Identity and How Christians Can Respond” releasing June 6, 2023, author and women’s ministry director Katie J. McCoy PhD addresses a topic that is seemingly everywhere in the news—gender identity.
“A generation of young women and girls have been swept away by the current of gender ideology, and we are only beginning to see its effects,” McCoy says. “Behind the headlines, social media campaigns and political agendas are vulnerable, confused and often hurting adolescents searching for what it means to be a woman.”
In “To Be a Woman,” McCoy covers every angle, from social, philosophical, relational, biological, to theological, utilizing her extensive research, powerful illustrations and solid biblical truths to shed light on the views of gender in today’s society.
As McCoy helps readers sift through the confusion over female identity, she focuses on five spheres that shape and form our view—how, why, where, what and who. At every point, McCoy says, the answers to these questions influence the formation of female identity. And she understands believers need these answers as they engage in ministry moving forward.
McCoy begins the book with a story about a girl named Heather who not only disliked being a woman, but she disliked being Heather. Heather looked to the church for care but didn’t find the wholistic ministry she desperately needed. And McCoy said Heather’s experience is like many others.
“Only when we confront dominant cultural beliefs with the whole-person vision for humanity in God’s image can we hope to turn the tide,” McCoy says.
In the case of gender identity, knowledge is power, and in her book, McCoy hopes to equip anyone from parents to family to teachers to student ministry volunteers with ways to respond in a Christlike manner to loved ones struggling with gender identity. From the beginning chapter to the glossary and the extensive recommended reading list at the end, McCoy acts as a guide to readers wondering how to think, respond and react to the people around them. Through this work, McCoy seeks to thoroughly educate readers about common myths and misunderstandings as well as how Scripture and science speak to the gender debate.
Addressing “mothers and ministers,” McCoy says, “I pray you find [this book] increases the boldness of your witness, the depth of your compassion and the confidence of your conviction in what it means to be a woman.”
Clarifying the relationship between biological sex and gender and explaining the truth about gender transitioning, McCoy crafted “To Be a Woman” to be an accessible resource for anyone seeking to understand this complex topic.
Marissa Postell Sullivan is a writer for Lifeway Christian Resources.
About Katie McCoy
Katie McCoy holds a PhD in Systematic Theology and is a former seminary professor. McCoy teaches and writes on the intersection of theology, culture and women’s issues, and has co-authored a work on the doctrine of humanity as part of the Theology for the People of God series (B&H Academic). Included among her research is discovering the pattern of justice for women in Old Testament laws. You can find McCoy online at blondeorthodoxy.com.
About B&H Publishing Group
B&H Publishing Group, an imprint of Lifeway Christian Resources, is a team that believes Every Word Matters®. We seek to provide intentional, biblical content that positively impacts the hearts and minds of people, cultivating lifelong relationships with Jesus Christ. We publish (print and digital) in the trade, church and academic markets, as well as the CSB translation.
About Lifeway Christian Resources
In operation since 1891, Lifeway Christian Resources is one of the leading providers of Christian resources, including Bibles, books, Bible studies, Christian music and movies, Vacation Bible School and church supplies, as well as camps and events for all ages. Lifeway is the world’s largest provider of Spanish Bibles. Based in Middle Tennessee, Lifeway operates as a self-supporting nonprofit. For more information, visit Lifeway.com.