Book Review: Every Body Matters

Posted on February 4, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized |

In his book Every Body Matters, Gary Thomas discusses the connection between physical health and spiritual health. He focuses on a description of “A Workman Approved by God” found in 2 Timothy 2:21: “he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.” Thomas talks about how we will be more ready and able to do what God has for us if we take care of our bodies and also about how the disciplines required in becoming physically fit can help us in our spiritual journey as well. Thomas draws in scripture, personal anecdotes, real life stories from others, and writings of physicians and Christians throughout history.

What I really liked about this book is that it approaches this issue with necessary boldness, but also with sensitivity. For example, Thomas concedes that there are sometimes circumstances beyond our control that affect our bodies and health. He also addresses the issue of different body types. Some people may work hard at dieting and exercise and still struggle, while others can eat whatever they want and not gain an ounce. What Thomas believes is important is the stewardship of our bodies. The lifestyle is more important than the end result.

Overall, I found this book to be convicting (in a way I needed) and inspiring. However, at times I felt it to be a little repetitive and sometimes going a little too far. For example, the last chapter is called “The Last Christian” in which Thomas says ” This is not a generation in which weak Christians will do well.” He gives the reader the challenge/question about whether they would still stand for God even if they were the last one doing so. In the midst of this chapter, he says, “How many times have we stood on the precipice of choosing between exercising or eating a plate of nachos…We can skip the exercise and indulge our stomachs, or we can grow in grace, strength, and spiritual vitality. Such common, seemingly trivial physical tests have huge spiritual implications.” This just seems out of place in this chapter. Yes, we need to take care of our bodies. And yes, we need to be faithful in little things if we are going to be faithful in the big things. But Thomas seems to making a big, big jump between choosing exercise over eating nachos and choosing to take a stand for Christ even if you are the last Christian on the planet.

*I received this book free of charge from Zondervan for the purpose of a review.

 

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