by Nancy R. Pearcey
2018 / 335 pages
Nancy Pearcey's Love Thy Body is such a really good read that I would like to put it as on option on my Grade 11 and 12 English classes's reading lists (more on that reading level later).
Pearcey's point is that much of our culture's (post-)modern morality results from a debased view of the body. Many people today live as if their actual physical body is not relevant to their personhood. This separation of personhood and body leads to problems in the following areas:
- Because unborn children (and some born children) lack a specific level of cognitive functioning, many activists believe that even if they are human, they do not have the full rights of personhood - leading to abortion and even infanticide.
- The same type of dismissal of the personhood of the elderly due to a lower level of cognitive functioning leads to the advocacy of euthanasia.
- Treating the body as nothing more than a "wet machine" (a conclusion from evolutionary thinking) leads to the hookup culture, in which people (especially the young) use sex for nothing more than personal pleasure, missing the truth that sex is designed by God for both procreation and bonding between husband and wife.
- The same dismissal of the body's "designedness" leads both to confusion about both sexual orientation and gender.
- the greater respect and love shown to women, children, and other vulnerable groups as Christianity transformed the ancient world, and
- the restoration of personal wholeness as people, both Christians and converts to Christian faith learn to understand the full meaning of the bodies God has given us, even when our feelings and our bodies don't seem to match.
Finally, Pearcey shows how we, as God's people, can help heal the modern disruption of the unity of body and person by showing the beauty of living life as God's children in both body and soul, and demonstrating our love for both body and soul with healing and hospitality for those wounded by the lies of our culture.
One caution: Because Pearcey deals with our society's response to the body, as well as the Biblical corrective to our culture's rejection of the body, the book deals with descriptions of, in particular, sexuality in the text and the notes that require mature reading to process, which is why I am planning to offer it as a reading choice only to Grade 11 and 12. However, for discerning readers willing to put in the extra effort or wanting to read the book alongside others, Pearcey's study guide and extensive notes will bolster the impact of the book in strengthening our understanding and the will to act out of that understanding.
If you believe that Pearcey will help you understand how a Christian worldview helps us to avoid and heal the personal and societal destruction that occurs that when you do not Love Thy Body, you can find it here, and here in Canada.