Guest / Limited Access /

There is a Tex-Mex restaurant in Houston I have visited on three occasions. Each meal has begun with chile con queso. The cheese at this particular restaurant is the most delicious food I have ever tasted.

With every bite, I have been overcome with gratitude to God for creating taste buds, cows, and human ingenuity. And that gratitude has led to praise.

Some folks understand this. Some think I'm kidding. And others are skeptical that such a carnal thing as a Tex-Mex appetizer could provoke genuine worship.

We Christians have a long history of mixed and sometimes openly hostile attitudes toward sensual pleasure. Saint Augustine is the fourth-century poster boy for our dilemma, struggling in Book X of his Confessions to rein in each of his five senses. He attempts, for example, to "take food at mealtimes as though it were medicine" and to "fight against the pleasure in order not to be captivated by it."

Augustine is ever-vigilant that pleasure in created things never replace our desire for the Creator. His caution is well taken. But lately I've been discovering an emphatically propleasure voice in the writings of another Christian guide.

C. S. Lewis is known, of course, as a literary scholar, novelist, and apologist. He is also, consistently, a curator of pleasure. Where there is beauty to be received, music to be heard, laughter to be welcomed, and (especially) food to be eaten, Lewis attends, celebrates, scrutinizes, describes, and partakes.

In Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, Lewis argues that the pleasures derived from forest moss and sunlight, bird song, morning air, and the comfort of soft slippers are "shafts of [God's] glory as it strikes our sensibility." ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Wrestling with Angels
Carolyn Arends
Singer/songwriter and author Carolyn Arends has written and released 9 albums and penned 2 books, including Wrestling With Angels (Harvest House/ A list of her blogs can be found at Her bimonthly "Wrestling With Angels" column has appeared in Christianity Today since 2008.
Previous Wrestling with Angels Columns:
From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this IssueForgiving the Man Who Murdered My Mom
Subscriber Access Only Forgiving the Man Who Murdered My Mom
How knowing Jesus made all the difference.
RecommendedDo All Children Go to Heaven?
Do All Children Go to Heaven?
Reconciling original sin and death of the innocent.
TrendingSpeak Truth to Trump
Speak Truth to Trump
Evangelicals, of all people, should not be silent about Donald Trump's blatant immorality.
Editor's PickTen Reasons Why Theology Matters
Ten Reasons Why Theology Matters
Most Christians agree theology is important, but can't articulate why. These reasons can help.
Christianity Today
Worship con Queso
hide thisSeptember September

In the Magazine

September 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.