My young adult life has been a pendulum swinging erratically between the transcendent and the tangible. I have lived the Gnostic creed that the body is grotesque and competes with the spirit, and I have held my body hostage to the feminine ideal, obsessed with image.
It wasn’t until my senior year in college that my fragmented perspective of my faith and my body began to heal, and it was because for the first time I really encountered the Incarnation. That’s another story for another day. I’d like to say that the church community helped me navigate these extremes, but unfortunately it was something I felt left to figure out on my own.
Which is why I’m thrilled to see so many solid conversations taking place just this week about embodied faith. Please take a few minutes today, settle down with your coffee, and drink this in…And to those who hosted these conversations, bravo and thank you. Let’s keep it going.
God Has a Wonderful Plan for your Body: It includes sex, diet, and sports–but so much more. via Christianity Today. Matthew Lee Anderson gives an admirably balanced view of issues surrounding the body rooted in a practical theology of the Incarnation. He fairly explains how Christians have “sometimes been clumsy in our efforts to see how the Word should shape the flesh,” and how we can create a holistic understanding of our bodily existence that is more than just “to yoga, or not to yoga?”
While you’re at it, check out his new book: Earthen Vessels
The Secret Assault by Gary Thomas on Boundless.org. Gary Thomas makes a convicting point: if you cannot obey God in the small things, how will you obey Him in greater things? He paraphrases late 19th century teacher Henry Drummond, “Let a man disobey God in gluttony, laziness or unncleanness, and you have no certainty that he has any true principle for obeying God in anything else; for God’s will does not only run into the church and the prayer-meeting and the higher chambers of the soul, but into the common rooms at home down to the wardrobe and larder and cellar, and into the bodily frame down to blood and muscle and brain.”
Let’s be clear: gluttony does not a judgment of weight. It means excess and lack of control. It may take the form of obesity, or an uncontrollable coffee habit, of which I have been caught in the act.
The Immorality of Gluttony: Should Healthy Living be a Spiritual Discipline? on RELEVANTmagazine.com. Marcus Thompson returns the concept of community to food, advocating family dinners, setting a healthy example, and breaking bread as a church community, not only as a way to put a stop to the alarming trend of childhood obesity but as a spiritual practice as well.
What has helped you build a biblical understanding of our physical and spiritual selves? If you have any resources or links, I’d love your thoughts and recommendations!