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Posted September 1, 2011
Interesting in parts
This book takes a look at our bodies and how they relate to issues like the world, tattoos, sex, homosexuality, death and worship. It is a pretty high level read and the first few chapters are pretty philosophical, so I didn't get a lot from those chapters. As the book went along, I think it began to get more interesting, or maybe I was just more interested in the topics.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The main thing that I took away from this book, which I think was the lead sentence in the conclusion of each chapter, is that our bodies are not our own. They belong to Christ. I found the last few chapters the most interesting when it explores our bodies and worship, and the church body and worship. He wrote about technological advancements and what I'd call e-Worship using the internet and streaming sermons. I think he raises an interesting point that while I think that they can beneficial, there is something to be said for gathering as a church community together that adds an element that can't be found on your own.
I enjoyed portions of this book, but I wouldn't recommend it if you are looking for light reading. I didn't understand some of the first few chapters, but that might be my own limited understanding of philosophy. I agree with his epilogue that it may have raised more questions than it answers, but that might not be all bad if he's trying to start conversations as it seems he is.
I received this book from Bethany House Publishers book review program. It is my own opinion.
Posted August 30, 2011
Great Basis for Discussing the Issues
Expectations are funny things. The other reviews I've read seemed disappointed with the book because it didn't go deep enough for them. I was hoping for a book that raised the issues and pointed the reader in the right direction. I wasn't disappointed. Matthew Lee Anderson caused me to think. And that's a good thing. My only disappointment was that I ordered it on Nook so I can't just pass along a copy to someone else to read. I just ordered 4 copies of the paperback, 1 for each of my adult children and 1 for my wife. When she's finished we'll be passing it along to others.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 24, 2011
Earthen Vessels- just okay
Earthen Vessels is about realizing that your actual physical body is an important part of worship to God. I don't exactly agree with all of the statements that the book makes, but the author does give a good platform for discussion. This book discusses such topics as tattoos, pleasure, and homosexuality. Some of the other topics didn't seem to have much to do with the body at all. I really didn't care too much for this style of writing because it was a bit boring, and just seemed to graze the surface instead of going deep. I can't highly recommend it, but it does have some good qualities.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I received this book free from the publisher to write an honest, unbiased review.
Posted August 4, 2011
Weak and disappointing read
"Earthen Vessels" starts as a promising book. The author is interested in reminding us that our identity depends on God and not on the consumption-oriented society that we live in today. He also points out that humans, as social beings, constantly offer his body as a living sacrifice; he illustrated this point with parents taking care of a newborn, often losing sleep. He also makes a clear difference of what is culturally accepted but not biblical.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
However, it all becomes really disappointing and contradictory. The good concepts introduced in the first part of the book are gone; the author even proposes that, as long as the heart is in the right place, the action should be accepted. This after pointing out the very true fact that Christians are at "risk of letting ideologies that oppose our Christian witness shape us more than Scripture" (p.104), in such a way that practices become the norm and "eventually we quit caring" (p.106). This just makes me wonder if the author is trying to justify shortcomings rather than being apologetic. For instance, one of his examples about our relation with our bodies is how our fingers would allow us to play the piano or not; he states that even a disciplined person won't be able to reach a determined goal if their body is just not made for that activity. Although this might be true for most of us, I wonder what people who have gone through impairing accidents or physically or mentally challenged athletes have to say about that. I strongly disagree with this kind of generalization the author constantly includes in his arguments. If anything, God gets more glory from this kind of weakening impairments.
The overall feeling is that there is no direction at all; moreover, there is no aim and conclusions are never offered, as if there were no purpose to reach. It is a slow, lukewarm book in which the author displays his own knowledge and familiarity with humanistic teachings. Also, I strongly disliked the way in which he tries to include jokes, which turn out to me more cocky and disrespectful than funny; the latter, along with events that are used with the intent of illustrating a point, turn out to be highly distracting, taking meaning away from the text.
Unfortunately, the scope that this book could have had is not reached; because of its structure and lack of depth, it reminds me of a term paper by a very good student who knows a lot about the topic, but is unable to arrive to any conclusion. I do recognize there are some areas that can lead into a good debate - and a good learning experience, but do not expect to have questions answered nor issued clarified; on the other hand, get ready for misleading information. It could be interesting to have this book, just because of the numerous references included, although poorly used throughout the exposition of the text.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. This did not bias my opinion on the book or the author.
Posted July 28, 2011
What we do to our bodies effects The Body
What we do to our bodies effects the Body of Christ. Earthen Vessels by Matthew Lee Anderson was written to followers of Christ to reveal the often ignored importance of our fleshly body and how our care of it relates to the Church. It tackles these areas:Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
?our bodies are not our own
?evangelical responses to modern movements
?how the physical body relates to the Body
?consumerism and individualism ~ the Body's ignoring of those being used for profit (abortion, sexual trafficking)
?allowing the world to shape the Body ~ media, diet crazy society, internet culture, and how Jesus views our body
?what tattoos mean to the Body
?sex in the Body ~ God's gift of and the world's distortion of sex
?how homosexuality has effected the Body
?to be or not to be or for me to live is Christ
?being shaped by grace and gratitude
?the body and the Church
The author addresses many cultural issues the Body of Christ struggles to answer. Some of these present day situations are not found specifically in Scripture. He shares both sides of each argument and what the Bible states. He also recommends that the Church find definite answers now to cultural issues that may become law or the norm should the Lord tarry. He cites this example: How will the Church respond to a gay couple who have an adopted child, have been residing together for many years, and accept the Lord? Do they continue to raise this child with the only parents he or she have known? I know the answer may sound simple, but it will be a hard and difficult stand to make in the body of Christ. "Prepare now", is his suggestion.
Although I wish the author had taken a stronger stance on some issues, over all, it is a great book. It is very informative and thought-provoking. You will close this book with a greater understanding of our society and how we reached the state we are presently in.
Matthew Anderson blogs at Mere Orthodoxy and Evangel. He graduated from Biola University's Torrey Honors Institute in 2004 and spent a year studying at Oxford University. Matthew works at The Journey, a large interdenominational church where he conducts research and develops curriculum. He and his wife live in St. Louis, Missouri.
Thank you to Matthew Lee Anderson and Bethany House Publishers for the opportunity to receive this book in exchange for my honest review
Posted July 26, 2011
A book that isn't so much about bodies.
I can't remember a book that I've picked up that completely missed the point of what I thought it was about. On the front cover it says "Why our bodies matter to our faith". I don't remember the author explaining anywhere in the book what I didn't already know. The topics included cover sexuality, tattoos, the body of the church, and death. All of these topics hold great potential to explore how they connect us to our faith.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
When I began reading I believed that the author was setting up a little background so I could understand the book when he finally went in depth. The author never grazed over anything deep though. I believed the book would help me understand the scientific ways that are body showcases our beliefs. The guy annoyed me with some of the points he made. For instance he said that feminists read the Bible from a woman's perspective. Don't all people read writings in a way that they can relate it to their perspective? Also, aren't male and females from different cultures that determine what we receive from messages such as the Bible? I know what Anderson means by this, but he could somehow shape his point on this to better express what he is saying. I have a feeling that if I was around Anderson for a long period of time, and discussed the topics of tattoos, or masturbating, that me and him would get into an argument. It would be a lot of fun though.
One point that I do like is how Anderson acknowledges the sacrifice a woman's body makes during the process of pregnancy. A lot of men I've been around will try to relate the toils of pregnancy to something they go through, which I believe doesn't respect what the woman goes through carrying a child.
The book is an interesting read, but if you're expecting to be enlightened about how the body works then you'll be disappointed. The book at times read more as a lecture than informative. If you're looking for something that might fuel the debate in you, then this might be the book though.
This complimentary copy was provided by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a review.
Posted July 26, 2011
This book is very well written and highly intellectual. It dives deep into the theology of the body, quoting both from Scripture and theologians. It discusses the mortality of the body, why homosexuality is not meant to be, why caring for the body is important, and the importance of how Jesus came to earth in a body like ours. With all of this, my only criticism is that the book can read like a textbook at times with highly philosophical language that does not flow very easily to the modern reader. I have no doubt in my mind that the author is very smart (grammar is impeccable), but suffice to say, this book is not a page-turner.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 13, 2011
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Posted November 13, 2011
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