Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to Our Faith

Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to Our Faith

by Matthew Lee Anderson
     
 

Our bodies matter. Christians today sometimes forget this, dangerously ignoring the importance of their physical selves when it comes to technology, sexuality, worship, and even death. Anderson's book will help readers learn what the Bible says about our bodies and grow to appreciate the importance of embodiment in our spiritual lives. It will also explore

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Overview

Our bodies matter. Christians today sometimes forget this, dangerously ignoring the importance of their physical selves when it comes to technology, sexuality, worship, and even death. Anderson's book will help readers learn what the Bible says about our bodies and grow to appreciate the importance of embodiment in our spiritual lives. It will also explore generational differences when it comes to how we perceive and use our bodies. Just as Christ's body was crucial to our salvation, our own bodies are an important part of the complete Christian life.

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Kirkus Reviews

A blogger and Christian scholar investigates how spirituality manifests itself in our physical selves.

Some Christians speak of being prisoners in imperfect, earthly bodies from which they will escape through death, but Anderson's first book gently chides what he claims to be "Gnostic tendencies" and de-emphasis of the human body's importance in Christianity. Not written for the masses—the author assumes his audience knows evangelicalism—Anderson utilizes Paul's teachings to blend mountains of academic, theological and philosophical references with anecdotes. He makes many sound points, such as how the body of Christ—the church—should not turn services into either robotic liturgies or productions with smoke machines and carefully orchestrated schedules. Unfortunately, generalizing Christians leaves a hole in his argument wide enough for a plague of locusts, and it is unclear how Anderson's assertions about evangelical "Gnosticism" differ from what is being preached in thousands of pulpits each week.He is anti-abortion and anti-euthanasia; he is wary of yoga's increasing popularity; he urges deep reading of scripture, prayer and genuine fasting; and though he emphasizes love and acceptance of homosexuals, he notes that the lifestyle does not harmonize with scripture. The author also warns that evangelicals too often follow social trends, like tattoos, piercing or fitness crazes. Anderson's approach is not "hellfire and brimstone" but academic to the point of thumb twiddling. A tighter scope may have strengthened his thesis, but his gospel message rings through.

Not for the general reader, but good debate fuel for pastors, theologians and seminary students.

From the Publisher
“We evangelicals don’t think we care about the body, but we really, really do. And Matthew Anderson—one of the brightest lights in the evangelical world—helps us care, ponder, think and pray more wisely as we give our bodies as a living sacrifice to Christ.”
—Mark Galli, Senior Managing Editor, Christianity Today

“Matthew Lee Anderson is a serious student of God’s Word and God’s world . . . Anderson’s arguments deserve careful consideration. I suspect that many of us will think differently—and more biblically—about the body as a result of this very fine work.”
—Justin Taylor, Managing Editor, ESV Study Bible; Blogger, "Between Two Worlds"

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780764208560
Publisher:
Baker Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/01/2011
Pages:
255
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

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.

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