One of the world's leading evangelical theologians has described the 'confusion' over gender identity as 'a modern and now internet-fuelled, form of the ancient philosophy of Gnosticism'.
NT Wright made the comments in a letter to the Times newspaper this morning, in response to a number of recent articles and pieces of correspondence.
Wright, who was the Bishop of Durham and now teaches at the University of St Andrews, is regarded as one of the world's leading New Testament scholars.
'The Gnostic, one who "knows", has discovered the secret of "who I really am", behind the deceptive outward appearance,' he wrote. 'This involves denying the goodness, or even the ultimate reality, of the natural world. Nature, however, tends to strike back, with the likely victims in this case being vulnerable and impressionable youngsters who, as confused adults, will pay the price for their elders' fashionable fantasies.'
Wright is a historian of the classical world and his recent work has often railed against the influence of Gnostic thinking in today's world, suggesting orthodox Christianity has much higher view of he body.
The Times itself carried a recent interview with Maria Miller, the Conservative MP and chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee. The piece drew widespread attention because of some of the difficulties with a suggested change to the law which would make a person's self-definition of their gender easier. Miller was responding to Government proposals which would see the legal process of changing gender become easier.