31 August 2011

Earthen Vessels, Book Review

Book description:

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. 

My review:

I will admit to a certain penchant in choosing books that inevitably will produce subjects for interesting conversations (albeit never at the dinner table! There is a rule in our house that religion and politics will not be argued upon at the dinner table, EVER) and this one was no exception.

I have always been a little confused about Paul's statement regarding our bodies being a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). I remember both pastor and youth counselor at the church we attended had different ideas on the subject!

In 'Earthen Vessels' Matthew Lee Anderson states: 'Our body is a temple, but the temple's beauty is not of our own making. As earthen vessels made from clay and dirt, our glory as humans is that we are free to give ourselves back in gratitude to the One who gave Himself  for us.'
He also reminds us of Jesus 'Sermon on the Mount': 'Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?'
Still I started this book with lots of questions...

Mr. Anderson's extensive theological research outside the Evangelical world, especially into Catholicism, will generate some deeply felt answers about our body's interaction with our faith. As a Roman Catholic married to a Protestant, I try to be as open minded as possible.
I must humbly state I am just a believer and in the learning stage! I have questions and I am always looking for answers. In fact, I often earned frowns in school and Catechism for saying 'why?' to most things!
But I found Earthen Vessels to be serious and informative, never shying away from difficult subjects, even more so because the author leaves us to ponder freely upon each in the end!

There is no doubt our faith is shaped by our culture. Having worked with youth for many years, my husband (Church of England) stated he wishes this book had been available to him then!
Chapters on abortion, gay sex and cremation, yoga and assuredly the online church were in fact the best we have read so far! The most heated conversation came about when we read the chapter on 'Tattoos'!

Matthew Lee Anderson deals equally with the Old and the New Testaments with passion and authority. His provocative style as I stated makes for interesting debates!
But it is his definite dream of 'seeing a generation of Christians passionately in love with Jesus, full of irrepressible joy, committed to serving neighbours and friends and thinking deeply and hard about the reality of God's goodness to us' that made this book so appealing!

An excellent read and another 5 stars!

I received this book free from BETHANY HOUSE as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

1 comment:

  1. I would love to read Earthen Vessels, it sounds refreshing indeed. I have come to appreciate that your reviews are heartfelt, so if you give 5 stars, it definately goes on my reading list!


I love to share dreams and always enjoy meeting kindred spirits!
Thank you for stopping by!