Foreword to ‘The New Reformation Catechism on Human Sexuality’ by Rosaria Butterfield

**Copies will soon be made available to purchase from Reformation Heritage Books

“I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own, but belong to my faithful savior Jesus Christ.” So begins the The Heidelberg Catechism. Written by Zacharius Ursinus and published in 1563, the Heidelberg Catechism quickly became a manual for Christian living and religious instruction during the Reformation. A catechism focused on helping Christians lay hold of the deepest truths in the best ways was dearly needed during the tumultuous time of the Reformation.

Today’s revolution in theology is not over the doctrine of justification by faith alone, but over sexual identity. Our post-Freudian world maintains without any substantial pushback that sexual identity is the most important truth about a person. Organized under the banner of LGBTQ+, authentic personhood depends on placing yourself under one of these letters or joyfully and without reservation applauding people who do. The American Medical Association tells us that mental health depend on practicing what you desire, and enthusiastically supporting others who do what feels right in their own eyes is a suicide-prevention strategy. The biblical creation mandate seems a quaint ancient narrative with no binding force when in the United States today there are hundreds of pediatric gender clinics and Testosterone is administered to adolescents from Planned Parenthood on a first visit and without parental consent or a therapist’s note.

In contrast to the world’s anthropology, a biblical anthropology understands that after Adam’s transgression (Genesis 3), we, his posterity, have a sin nature that compels each person to love something that God hates. If nothing checks our will, our sinful desires will plunge us headfirst into all manner of spiritual, moral, and sometimes physical danger. No one is exempt from original sin and its consequence. Neither good nor malicious intentions can rewrite God’s call for men and women. Scripture is clear that we are responsible for our inborn as well as our actual sins (Psalm 5:5, Romans 1:18, Deuteronomy 27:15, Hebrews 9:27). Taking responsibility for our own sin is hard and necessary, but because of the way that the world, the flesh, and the devil conspire, it is difficult to know where to start.

And this is where Pastor Christopher Gordon’s The New Reformation Catechism offers to the church such a timely and pastoral guide. I have no doubt that this means of discipleship will give glory to God and be used of the Lord to liberate many who are held captive by sexual sin. Twenty-three years ago, when I was in a lesbian relationship and at the same time reading the Bible, I would have greatly benefitted from The New Reformation Catechism on Human Sexuality. I know that I am not alone in needing this book.

May God bless you richly as you grow in Christian liberty. May this book help you hold fast to the truth and better understand how the full counsel of God speaks to the godly priority of human sexuality.

Rosaria Butterfield


  1. Now I am really amazed that I found this gift at 2am…

    Incredibly important work.

  2. Chris,
    First, thank you for both posting and responding to my comment.

    Second, like I wrote, my schedule is precluding me from the reading the book. But I will wait to see what others say.

  3. I have three concerns or questions about the contents of the book. I am asking because I am not sure that I will have the time to read it because of my current schedule and workload despite being retired.

    First, isn’t the title of the upcoming book a bit presumptuous? How is it that a catechism, which is label that ascribes a certain authority to the book, can be written and determined by one author?

    Second, will the book address the issue of how Christians should respond to sexual orientation and gender identity issues in society? For example, does it take a stand on whether Christians can support full equality to those in the LGBT community in society while rightfully rejecting unbiblical behaviors and thinking in those who would claim to be followers of Christ?

    Finally, does Chris Gordon’s book provide a fuller context for the issues involved with sexual orientation and gender identity than what we see from a Western Civilization perspective? For example, does Chris Gordon discuss how some Native American tribes recognized up to 5 gender identities? Does he mention that some researchers believe that there might be biological factors that come into play when it comes to gender identity? Does he mention how homosexual behavior is practiced in anywhere from a few hundred to well over 1,000 species of animals and and that such behavior produces positive benefits for those animals in those species?

    Now I mention these last two items because they point to the possibility that nature is giving some people internal messages regarding gender identity and sexual orientation which are different from the messages we see nature giving based on what we can observe.

    That is not to say that people are not also receiving a message from the design of nature. But it is to say that for some people, perhaps that one’s gender identity and/or sexual orientation is a far more complex issue than it is for others. And that if we want to more effectively preach Biblical moral standards regarding gender identity and sexual orientation, we need to see how complicated these issues can be for some people.

    • Pastors regularly wrote catechisms in the 15th-16th centuries. This is not an official, ecclesiastical document. This one has passed through the eyes of many, many pastors and scholars. You should probably, on the judgment of charity, reserve this type of judgment until you’ve read the preface and document itself. When they’re available, you can read and find answers to your questions. Best, cjg

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