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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Good flesh

See your body as God does with love

Although Eastern religions have many spiritual practices centered on the body—yoga, tai chi, aikido, breathing exercises, walking meditation—Christianity, in theory, has the highest theology of the body among all religions.

But old attitudes that put the mind above the body and regard the flesh as prone to sin undermine our appreciation of our bodies.

Protestant theologian Sallie McFague in The Body of God (Augsburg Fortress, 1993) puts it this way: “The most prevalent spiritual disease of our time is not wanting to be here, not wanting to be in a physical body.”

The incarnation of Jesus proves that God loves human bodies and wants us to honor them. Jesus didn’t proclaim the immortality of the soul. He spoke of the resurrection of the body.

When Paul saw that some early Christians were regarding the body as a foe, he wrote: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God?” (1 Corinthians 6:15).


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