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To state the obvious, we have seen profound changes in our culture as the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) movement has won widespread acceptance and has increasingly been accommodated in law and educational policy.

At a more individual level, we all breathe the air of a culture that says our sexuality and gender identity is at once central to our very selves and at the same time permanently fluid. That is profoundly unsettling and the effects of that culture are all around us.

So what does a biblical and pastoral response look like to that culture; its champions, and its casualties? That's the question Primer issue 03 is trying to answer.

We begin by reflecting on the cultural changes we have seen:
• Ed Shaw helps us grapple with why those changes have come about and how we can speak most persuasively into the contemporary scene.
• Next, we've done something different with our regular "something old" feature. Normally we reprint a classic Christian text and annotate it to learn from our theological heritage. This time, though we thought it would be helpful to reprint a secular text that has proved incredible influential in today's culture. And so we have Peter Sanlon introducing us to Michel Foucault and annotating his argument that happiness can only to be found in the immediate experience of pleasure, casting off society's oppressive expectations.

Then we turn to the Bible:
• Alastair Roberts gives us a deep and rich discussion of Genesis 1-2, showing how our creation as male and female is deeply woven into what it means to be human. Towards the end he probes the implications for both the same-sex marriage debate and the transgender movement.
• Although very little has been written on trangenderism, there have been a host of recent books on homosexuality and so we asked Sam Allberry to fill us in on what's out there, how the Bible is being handled, and what are the major ongoing points of debate that we need to know about and wrestle with.
• Because very little has been written about transgenderism we asked Rob Smith to fill out for us a pastoral response, covering more of the biblical data and applying the gospel to the kinds of pastoral situations we face.

The final two articles help us explore some of the medical and public policy issues around the LGBTQ movement:
• Peter Saunders from the Christian Medical Fellowship helps us reflect ethically on some FAQ's around Gender Dysphoria and sex reassignment surgery.
• Sharon James from the Christian Institute helps us get up to speed on the current legal situation and what is currently being advocated and taught in schools. She finishes with some invaluable advice on how the church can help young people to navigate these issues.

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