If Psalm 139 were published as a contemporary book, it might look a lot like Rob Moll’s What Your Body Knows About God: How We Are Designed to Connect, Serve and Thrive (InterVarsity Press). Channeling the psalmist’s wonder at having been “woven together in the depths of the earth,” Moll, a CT editor at large, wonders at the marvel of humanity: its dynamic blend of body, mind, soul, and spirit. Christians don’t worship God, serve their neighbors, and connect with other people merely because of external rules; such impulses are inscribed in our DNA.
“Spirit and flesh, it turns out, are intimately intertwined,” writes Moll. “And understanding how things work—how our bodies are designed to commune with God—can enhance our faith and give us a fuller picture of God’s work in the world and in our lives.”
It’s not easy to live as embodied creatures today (to say nothing of previous eras). All too often, human bodies are treated (by others, and even ourselves) as commodities or instruments of sexual satisfaction. They are bought and sold, mutilated by others, and hit with self-inflicted harms. Yet Moll reminds us how high a privilege it is to dwell in flesh. “Our bodies, the Bible says, are the temples of God—the place where God lives.”
Embracing the Body
Over hundreds of years and across various cultures, Christians have carried on a rich conversation about the body: its nature, its value, and its purpose. Moll strikes an excellent balance between invoking the best of that tradition and making it fresh for today’s readers. What Your Body Knows About God draws from Christian history, cutting-edge research in neuroscience ...1
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