The cultural conversation of the body has morphed into a confused and controversial debate. Many Christians have adopted the dangerous, gnostic belief that our physical bodies are inherently evil.
We need to rediscover God’s design for us as embodied creatures.
In his new book, Embodied: Living as Whole People in a Fractured World, Gregg R. Allison PhD, invites us to embrace the statement, “I am my body.”
In this episode, I talk to Dr. Allison about his book and why we need to understand the role of the body in discipleship.
- The Church has been negatively influenced by Gnosticism, which emphasizes the goodness of the soul or the spirit but denigrates the physical aspect of human nature.
- God created us as embodied beings. Our bodies play an important role in our relationship with God.
- We will spend our entire existence as embodied creatures. The only exception is a relatively short, abnormal period between our death and the resurrection in which we will long for our resurrected bodies. Our future is an embodied one.
- Our bodies are central to who we are. We are not only our bodies, but we are our bodies.
- Our bodies are not just another thing to steward like time or money. Our bodies belong in a different category, because we are our bodies.
- Our hearts may deceive us, but our bodies always tell the truth. We are either a male or we are a female.
- Whenever we can, we should preach and teach and disciple about embodiment. We should talk about not only spiritual disciplines, but also physical disciplines, exercise, nutrition, rest, and sleep.
- Jesus’ embodiment emphasizes the importance of and God’s design for our bodies.
- If you would like to improve your health, begin with a more accurate understanding of embodiment, and then work that theology out in practices like nutrition and exercise.
- Anything good — even our bodies — can become an idol if we’re not careful. Ask friends to warn you if they think you are making an idol of your body.
- Many pastors struggle to care for their bodies. They lead sedentary lives and overwork. We must see ministry as a whole-life marathon, not a sprint, and pace ourselves. Pastors should also invite people to speak into our lives.
- We must guard against contemporary views that measure personhood by what someone is able to contribute.
- God works in our lives in powerful ways during times of discipline and sifting.
- Authors write alone, but are powerfully shaped by the community of people around them.
“The foundation for our relationship with God is the fact that we are embodied. That’s the beginning point.”
“We will not be fully conformed to the image of Jesus until he returns and gives us our new glorified resurrected bodies. That is our future.”
“We are our bodies, and so we care for ourselves as embodied people.”
“We are sexed all the way down … My body always tells the truth.”
“Whenever we have the chance, we should preach and teach and disciple about embodiment. We should talk about not only spiritual disciplines, but also physical disciplines, exercise, nutrition, rest, sleep.”
“Jesus’ embodiment … screams about the importance of our embodiment.”
“Virtual relationships just don’t cut it. They’re not as they should be.”
“If you’re 35, 40 years old and you’re sprinting in Christian ministry, you will burn out after a couple of years.”
“A culture of death has settled, at least in the West, and it’s appalling.”
“I do believe obviously authors write, But I am learning that we are authors in community.”
Download a PDF transcript of this episode.