“What God Has to Say about Our Bodies” – A Brief Review

What God Has to Say about Our Bodies: How the Gospel Is Good News for Our Physical Selves - Allberry, Sam; Tripp, Paul David (foreword by) - 9781433570155

Here’s another Christian resource on the human body: What God Has to Say about Our Bodies by Sam Allberry. This is a 200 page book aimed at general Christian readers. It’s a relatively easy read that has three main parts: 1) Created Bodies, 2) Broken Bodies, and 3) Redeemed Bodies. There’s a general index and a Scripture index in the back of the book. As a side, Allberry heavily leans on Tim Keller, Ray Ortlund, and C. S. Lewis in this book.

Here are some of the topics Allberry covers: the creation of man in God’s image, the body and gender, the body and our biological sex, the body and sin/shame, the body and death, and so on. Alberry also discusses the incarnation and how Jesus redeems sinners – body and soul. The last part of the book talks about our bodies being temples of the Spirit, stewardship of our bodies, our bodies as a living sacrifice, and the resurrection of the body.

This is a pretty good book that covers the above topics from a traditional Christian point of view. There’s probably nothing in this book that theologically conservative Christians would disagree with. Allberry does a nice job talking about the hot button issues like gender and sex – he is gracious in his explanation of these issues. It was also refreshing to be constantly pointed to Christ and reality that he loves us (body and soul!) and is redeeming even our bodies!

I should point out a few of my smaller critiques of the book. First, there’s nothing in the book that hasn’t been written about before. Several times when I was reading I thought about other good books I’ve read recently that said the same things. Second, Allberry never mentioned covenant. Certainly a major part of our human identity is the covenantal relationship we have with our Creator and Redeemer. Furthermore, although Allberry did talk about sex from a biblical perspective, he didn’t really talk about conception or childbearing, two very “bodily” biblical topics. The book didn’t discuss how the Bible views bodies of unbelievers nor did it touch upon eternal bodily punishment. I realize one can only do so much in a single book, but at least mentioning other biblical aspects of the body would’ve been helpful. In some ways the book left me wanting more info.

All in all, however, this is a good book worth getting and reading. There are other similar good books on the body, so if you’ve read those you probably don’t need to read this one. But if you haven’t read much on this topic, you should get this one: What God Has to Say about Our Bodies by Sam Allberry.

Shane Lems
Hammond, WI, 54015