- The 2014 Christianity Today Book Award Winner (Christian Living)
Food is the source of endless angst and anxiety. We struggle with obesity and eating disorders. Reports of agricultural horror stories give us worries about whether our food is healthy, nutritious or justly produced. It's hard to know if our food is really good for us or for society. Our relationship with food is complicated to say the least.
But God intended for us to delight in our food. Rachel Stone calls us to rediscover joyful eating by receiving food as God's good gift of provision and care for us. She shows us how God intends for us to relate to him and each other through food, and how our meals can become expressions of generosity, community and love of neighbor. Eating together can bring healing to those with eating disorders, and we can make wise choices for sustainable agriculture. Ultimately, redemptive eating is a sacramental act of culture making through which we gratefully herald the feast of the kingdom of God.
Filled with practical insights and some tasty recipes, this book provides a Christian journey into the delight of eating. Come to the table, partake of the Bread of Lifeand eat with joy.
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About the Author
Rachel Stone is a regular writer for Christianity Today's Her.meneutics blog. She has also written for such publications as Christianity Today, Books Culture, Catapult, Relevant, Flourish and The Huffington Post. She enjoys gardening and meal-making with her husband and two sons.
Norman Wirzba (Ph.D., Loyola University Chicago) is research professor of theology, ecology and rural life at Duke Divinity School. He holds memberships in the American Academy of Religion, the Society for Continental Philosophy and Theology and the International Association for Environmental Philosophy.
Wirzba is the author of Food and Faith (Cambridge), Living the Sabbath (Cambridge) and The Paradise of God (Oxford) as well as numerous reviews and articles, including "Agrarianism After Modernity: An Opening for Grace" in After Modernity? Secularity, Globalization, and the Re-Enchantment of the World (Baylor).
Table of Contents
Foreword by Norman Wirzba
Introduction: Conflicted Eating: Our Complicated Relationship with Food
1. Joyful Eating: God's Intent for How We Relate to Food
2. Generous Eating: Serving the Needy, Loving Our Neighbors
3. Communal Eating: How Meals Bring Us Together
4. Restorative Eating: How Eating Together Heals
5. Sustainable Eating: Wise Choices in Stewarding the Land
6. Creative Eating: Food Preparation as Culture Making
7. Redemptive Eating: Putting Best Practices Together in the Real World
For Further Reading
Group Discussion Guide
Name and Subject Index
About the Author
What People are Saying About This
"This book made me hungry! Hungry for all that is good and beautiful about the art of gathering with others around a table. As a drive-thru mom I have struggled daily with my own connection to food for decades. Rachel helped me understand the true joy and gift of community, culture and a healthy connection to my food. It gave me nourishment, comfort and a deep understanding of the power of my kitchen table to heal and restore. A truly great read!"
"Rachel Marie Stone is a woman after my own heart: a mom, a writer and a Christian who loves to feed the people she cares about. Eat with Joy is practical and inspiring, wise and full of love."
"Christian faith and life have always been deeply and inextricably bound up with eating. But Christians have not always appreciated this. What a joy then to have the gift of this book by Rachel Marie Stone. In prose that is inviting, nonjudgmental and inspiring, Stone shows us that we can eat with joy, and in such eating extend God's love in the world. By combining stories, recipes, biblically based reflection and numerous practical tips, Stone helps us move more deeply into the mystery and the grace that eating is. Prepare to receive a blessing."
"This book is a remarkable spiritual and practical guide to God's most basic gift. Rachel Marie Stone takes eating to a devotional level, where food becomes a part of our healing, our relationship building and our gratitude toward God. My joy in eating is now increased as I can better realize the meaning and purpose of food, and the relationships built around it."
"In the quest to deal at length in writing with a theology of the ordinary (work, rest, play, study, worship, sex) it turns out I left out a crucial subjecteating. Thankfully Rachel Marie Stone's splendid new book fills the voidin my stomach, mind and heart for an adequate and accurate theology of eating from a biblical point of view. I'm tempted to give the advice God gave Ezekiel'eat this book.'"
"I'm not proud of this, but I didn't start taking my eating habits seriouslyor seeing them as part of my spiritual lifeuntil I reached mid-life. I wish I'd started when I was in my twenties (or before), and I wish I'd had Eat with Joy as my guide. The beautiful mealtime prayers alone are worth the price of the book. A treasure for soul and body."
"In this food-focused age, reading about food can be a lot like eating it: fraught with anxiety, confusion, excess and even emptiness. Rachel Marie Stone is here to restore what God intended from the firstreal joy. You'll find much wisdom and celebration in its pages, including recipes and simple family-tested ways of living and eating more joyfully right now. Make ready the feast!"
"Eat with Joy is delicious! Generous, wise, well-reported andyesjoyful, Rachel Marie Stone's book will open your hands so that you may receive the good gifts of God. She had me long before even mentioning saag paneer, Babette's Feast or the recipe for cinnamon rolls."
"Eat with Joy is a perfect title for this wide-ranging look at food and eating. I loved Stone's emphasis on communal meals and finding pleasure in the sensory experience of eating. My creativityand appetite!were stimulated by her stories about God's joyful presence in the growing, cooking and savoring of food, and the connections she made between food and justice were illuminating. The variety of beautiful table prayers at the end of each chapter reflect the heart of the book, encouraging the reader to see food as a gift from God to be enjoyed in God's presence and with the people we love."
"This book is manna in the wilderness to any Christian who has ever had a conflicted relationship with food, thereby missing the unadulterated joy of eating. In a fresh and engaging voice, Rachel Marie Stone reminds us that when we savor delicious, nourishing food, we are actually tasting God."
"In our multitasking, 24/7 world, many of us treat food as mere fuel for our bodies. By slowing down, eating healthier and learning to relish our food, we catch a glimpse of life as God intended: an everlasting communion with him. Those who seek an improved relationship with their daily bread will rejoice in Eat with Joy. Highly recommended!"
"When Irma Rombauer published The Joy of Cooking she couldn't have imagined we'd need to learn to eat with joy eighty years later. But we do. Stone offers the backstory of our current food woes and dilemmas along with hopeful and redemptive responses. And all the while she invites us toward a practical, joyful celebration of just, good food."