Am I My Body?
This week the blog is subsidized by Baker Books and is adapted through Gregg R. Allison’s new book Put: Living as Whole People in a Fractured World.
“I was my body. ” Do you agree or argue with this statement? I am not asking regarding your assessment of the statement “I are only my figure. ” That can not be true—so you’d better not agree! —because we exist because disembodied people within heaven between our own death and revival. But my concentrate is on our earthly embodiment, so I frame the statement to highlight being put.
Put differently as a question: “Am I who also I am principally within virtue of the fact that I had the body I have? ” (Justin E. H. Smith, Embodiment: A History ). I respond positively. What about a person? Put as another declaration: “Without this body I do not can be found, and I am myself as my body” (the Russian philosopher Vladimir Iljine). I agree. What about you?
This position contradicts the popular legislation set forth by George MacDonald that “You don’t have a spirit. You are a spirit. You have a body” ( Annals of the Quiet Neighborhood ). This view seems to reflect the influence of Gnostic thought, which privileges the immaterial facet of human nature—the soul or spirit—over the particular material aspect—the body. Rejecting such impact, which is driven simply by philosophy rather than Scripture, I affirm towards the contrary, “I are my body. ”
If you concur, an implication to become drawn is to end viewing your body as an instrument, an object to be used and stewarded. When my wife and I were over the staff of Cru, one of our normal topics in discipling Christians was stewardship, which the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines as “the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to your care. ” Concepts that were included below this subject were the stewardship in our time (schedule), our own treasures (money), our talents (abilities and gifts), and our body. It was this last item that always seemed like it belonged in the different category than the other topics. For instance , our money plus possessions are shut off from us, but our body isn’t beyond us. We have a different relationship to our body than we perform to our abilities and gifts. We place our skills to operate. We lend our insights to counsel others. But , as I propose, we are our bodies.
Still today I usually hear people talk about body stewardship. It appears in statements such as, “I exercise in order to keep my body functioning in peak performance” or even “I eat only certain foods in order to energy my body properly. ” These expressions, whilst valid in one sense, can appear to respect our body as a simple instrument to power, a machine in order to tune up, a tool to maintain sharp.
But is this the proper way to view our body? That is definitely common to do so. But the fact that God designed and created us to be his put image-bearers weighs from this view. As Frederica Mathewes-Green offers, “The initial impression that people stand critically aside from our bodies was our own first mistake. We have been not merely passengers operating around in skin-tight racecars; we are our bodies. They embody us” (“The Subject Had been Noses”).
“I am my body. ”
Agree or disagree?
To consider this further, make sure you consider reading Gregg R. Allison’s brand new book Embodied: Living as Whole People in a Fractured Planet