If you are of sufficient age, you remember when Caitlyn Jenner was Bruce Jenner, one of the greatest Olympic Athletes in modern history. He won the gold medal in the Decathlon in the 1976 Olympics. If you are a little younger you might remember when Eliot Page was the Ellen Page, who starred in the film Juno. Were you to search the internet, however, you might not find much about Ellen. That person has been, as they say, “memory holed” and should you dare refer to Elliot as Ellen or Caitlyn as Bruce you may be accused of “dead naming” and, in some places, that can get you hauled before the local civil rights commission and a hefty fine. So you if you are wondering, “how did this come to pass?” you are not alone and you are not insane. Caitlyn and Elliot are symptoms of what Carl Trueman quite properly calls The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution.
I receive a lot of books in the mail. Some are worth reading. Some are not my cup of tea but only a few are important. This is one of those. It is not an easy book but it is a good book because it explains brilliantly what happened and why. Carl is the author of several other books and he writes regularly in First Things magazine and is the co-host of the Mortification of Spin podcast. He is also Visiting Professor in Historical Theology at Westminster Seminary California and his full-time job is as Professor of Biblical and Religious Studies at Grove City College and he joins us in this episode to talk about his important new book.
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