Sam Allberry, What God Has to Say about Our Bodies (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2021), 201 pp.
Anthropology has become a hot topic in recent days. Nancy Pearcey gifted the church with her book, Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions About Life and Sexuality. Gregg R. Allison made a solid contribution with his book, Embodied: Living as Whole People in a Fractured WorldReenchanting Humanity: A Theology of Mankind – Owen Strachan. And Owen Strachan presented the most comprehensive treatment in his important book, Reenchanting Humanity: A Theology of Mankind. Sam Allberry joins the anthropological parade with his work, What God Has to Say about Our Bodies.
Allberry makes his case in three sections – created bodies, broken bodies, and redeemed bodies.
The author begins by noting that God’s creatures are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14). Allberry adds, “We could not begin to measure the value of our body, however, it looks and however we feel about it.” The stress here is on the inherent dignity and worth of the body. Surely, this is a much-needed reminder for followers of Christ, especially those who rightly emphasize the depravity of mankind.
Allbery reminds readers that God created males and females. This basic reality is largely forgotten in our culture and is even being recklessly cast aside by progressive thinkers. Males and females are image-bearers, created with a distinct purpose, namely – to glorify God.
Allbery maintains his allegiance to the authority of Scripture by holding that God’s image-bearers have dignity and worth before God. Yet, they have been subjected to futility. Sin has introduced shame and brokenness. As such, each creature is brought into this world with a posture of defiance before God. “The greatest evidence of our bodily brokenness,” writes Alberry “is simultaneously ubiquitous and forced out of our minds so that we tend not to notice its significance – our bodies die” (Gen. 2:16-17; Heb. 9:27).
The author focuses his attention on some of the glorious aspects of the body by reminding readers that their bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19-20). The body, therefore, must be presented to God as a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1-2). The themes here are unfortunately neglected by many evangelicals as they downplay the body and refuse to properly nourish it and use it in a way the glorifies the Lord.
The book ends on a triumphant note as the author directs the attention of the reader to the promise of a glorified body. The author notes, “The resurrection of Jesus makes our own resurrection as his people a certainty.” Our future, then, is one that is filled with great hope as we long for the day when we will receive a glorified body.
Allberry’s work is greatly needed in our day when secular voices overemphasize the body and when local churches downplay the body. What God Has to Say About Our Bodies strikes the biblical balance by turning our attention to sacred Scripture.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.