Loving one another as sisters and brothers in Jesus

Many Christian women and men carry heavy burdens. Much teaching on gender relations, roles, and rules binds the conscience beyond what Scripture actually teaches. Gender has become a battleground for power. But God created men and women not to compete for glory but to cooperate for his glory.

In Jesus and Gender, Elyse Fitzpatrick and Eric Schumacher paint a new vision for gender―Christ's gentle and lowly heart. The centrality of the gospel has been lost in gender debates. Our ultimate example is Jesus, our humble king, who used his power to serve others. So we must rethink our identities, roles, and relationships around him. Christ transformed enemies into family. Men and women are allies in God's mission.

Drawing from Scripture and experience, Fitzpatrick and Schumacher show how Jesus's example speaks to all areas of our lives as men and women, including vocation, marriage, parenting, friendships, and relating to each other as sisters and brothers in Christ. Real--life testimonies from a variety of Christians―including Christine Caine, Justin Holcomb, Karen Swallow Prior, and others―show a variety of men and women freed to pursue their gifts for God's glory.

Fitzpatrick and Schumacher's perspective untangles what God has said about gender from what he hasn't. By coming to Jesus, women and men can find rest.

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Paul Tripp

This wonderful, thoroughly biblical, gospel-saturated book is an invitation to a journey to allow what it means to be in Christ, to deconstruct and reconstruct how you think, desire, decide, speak, and act in one inescapable area of your life as a child of God—that is gender. I found Jesus and Gender to be deeply convicting and encouraging at the same time. I experienced the pain of having some of my walls torn down and experienced the joy of restorative mercy. So, I invite you to humbly open your heart and read with willingness and joy. Your Savior is in the house and still doing his deconstructing, reconstructing work. May this wonderful book be for you a tool of restorative grace in his infinitely capable hands.

Paul Tripppastor, event speaker, and a best-selling and award-winning author
(from the foreword to the book)

If you only ever read one book about God’s intention for female and male relationships, read this one. In Jesus and Gender, Elyse and Eric masterfully move the conversation forward by going back to the often overlooked ‘key aspect of our faith, as it relates to gender, … the incarnation.’ It is impossible to overstate the significance of this book in terms of bringing freedom to both men and women, naming and dismantling dangerous and damaging beliefs, impacting future generations, and helping to prepare and mobilize the church for her mission and witness.
Christine Caine founder of A21 and Propel Women
Jesus, a single man who lived in close community with women as well as men, affirmed that ‘in the beginning, God made them male and female.’ In the future, history itself will give way to eternity in the form of a new heaven, a new earth, and a bride (the church) beautifully dressed for her husband (Jesus). Whether we are married, divorced, widowed, or single, our deepest understanding of personhood, truth, beauty, goodness, theology, and God will depend on the degree to which we let ourselves be influenced by these realities. Elyse and Eric have done a masterful job to help us along that path.
Scott Sauls senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church; author of Jesus Outside the Lines and Beautiful People Don't Just Happen
What does it mean to be created in God’s image? How does this influence our relationships as spouses, parents, children, church leaders, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and more? Elyse and Eric answer these questions by exploring how Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection relate to issues about who we are as men and women. This book overflows with theological understanding, deep comfort, and wise insights.
Justin S. Holcomb and Lindsey A. Holcomb authors of God Made All of Me, God Made Me in His Image, Is It My Fault?, and Rid of My Disgrace
Powerful. Enlightening. Inspiring. And hopeful. Those are words that describe how I felt reading Jesus and Gender by Elyse and Eric. This is a ‘right now’ moment book. They teach us by exploring the depths of Scripture to be Christic instead of complementarian or egalitarian. This book is a gift to all siblings in Christ.
Derwin L. Gray co-founder and lead pastor of Transformation Church; author of How to Heal Our Racial Divide
I'm deeply thankful for Jesus and Gender because in it Elyse and Eric steadfastly refuse to allow anything or anyone but Jesus dictate what it means to be a Christian man or woman. What better standard could I want as a husband, a father of daughters, and as a pastor? I love how these pages reflect the dignity and wholeness Jesus gave to women and men alike, and how Elyse and Eric don't shy away from difficult or painful areas of life (just like Jesus). This is a refreshing read, especially for someone who is burned out on gender roles debates and is looking for a meaningful way to uphold and celebrate God's image in all our brothers and sisters.
Barnabas Piper pastor and author
In Jesus and Gender, Elyse and Eric help us understand what Scripture really says about how women and men ought to relate to one another—not as temptations to be avoided, subjects to be ruled, or objects to be used, but as sisters and brothers, allies and friends. I was challenged and convicted as I considered how we’ve added to the word of God by creating stricter rules around those relationships than God ever did. I was encouraged and emboldened to recognize the freedom women and men have in Christ to love each other deeply as family and to support one another as we stand shoulder to shoulder on mission together. Jesus and Gender is a welcome addition to the conversation formerly known as ‘biblical manhood and womanhood,’ and I can easily imagine this book becoming a go-to reference for a new generation of Christic women and men.
Lucy Crabtree disability advocate
Jesus and Gender is a marvelous, maddening book that will challenge your assumptions and help you love Jesus more. Through deep yet accessible analysis, Fitzpatrick and Schumacher confront narrowly gendered interpretations of Scripture that distort the beauty of our brotherhood and sisterhood in Christ. Their refreshing perspective offers new language to embrace what men and women have in common while honoring the distinctives that make us unique.
Joanna Meyer Denver Institute for Faith and Work; founder of the Women and Vocation Initiative
There’s a lot to love about Jesus and Gender—first, because authors Elyse Fitzpatrick and Eric Schumacher restore Jesus to his rightful place of prominence in the discussion of what it means to be male or female. That alone revolutionizes this discussion and opens up an expansive horizon for how Jesus transforms human relationships in ways that enable all of us to flourish. Second, because both authors are lifelong learners—willing to ask uncomfortable questions, to challenge long-held, previously proclaimed beliefs about male/female relationships, and to make whatever changes Scripture requires. And third, because they practice what they preach. They model the kind of male/female partnership to which Jesus calls us all. Two distinct voices blend into one strong message that, if heeded, will bless and distinguish the body of Christ as a place of uncommon oneness.
Carolyn Custis James author of Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women and Malestrom: Manhood Swept into the Currents of a Changing World
Jesus and Gender provides new insights and clarity to Christic masculinity and feminity and what our relationship with one another should look like. Rather than the battle of the sexes, like Christ who emptied himself to save us and give us life abundantly, each of us should use our power to love and build up one another to flourish just as brothers and sisters. Anything less is not God’s intention. The authors highlight that both sexes were created in God’s image and to view one gender as flawed, defective, or inferior would be questioning what God had created as good. Both Adam and Eve were told to be fruitful, multiply, and rule. In the New Testament, Christ himself did not differentiate or discriminate in his treatment of women who were very much part of his ministry. Even Paul repeatedly addresses in his letters, to both sons and daughters as heirs of God’s promises, who are to teach and to encourage one another. There is no hierarchy here. As the authors point out, the triune God lived harmoniously; we are to do the same.
Hyepin Im president, CEO, and founder of Faith and Community Empowerment
As a committed complementarian, I commend this book, Jesus and Gender. This book and its authors demonstrate a courage that is rare on these sensitive matters as well as a gracious clarity that is needed to address where some from within my tribe have drifted into extreme, unbiblical, and even harmful practices. These practices have often suppressed the gifts of women in the church and have limited the capacity for women to thrive as I’m convinced God intends in the local church. This book is a balanced and biblical work that affirms the equal value of both men and women and yet still leaves room for brothers and sisters to graciously agree to disagree. I wasn't sure that this kind of balanced approach was even achievable in a single book. I am now convinced.
Brian Croft executive director, Practical Shepherding

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About the Authors

Elyse Fitzpatrick is a nationally sought-after speaker and author. She holds a certificate in biblical counseling and has an MA in biblical counseling from Trinity Theological Seminary. She has authored 23 books and lives in California with her husband, Phil.

Eric Schumacher is a pastor, songwriter, and author. He earned an MDiv in Biblical and Theological Studies from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Eric and his wife, Jenny, have five children and live in Iowa.

Worthy: The Podcast

A weekly Christian podcast that celebrates the value of women in the church, home, and society. Our guests come from a variety of perspectives. We won’t always agree on everything, but we do agree that God is glorious, the Bible is true, women are valuable, and respectful conversation on this topic is essential in our day.

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