Matthew Lee Anderson challenges the unexamined and reactionary in his surprising new book Earthen Vessels. Not knowing what to expect of the latest blogger-turned-author (an ever growing breed) in his debut work, I found myself tearing through this book in a matter of days. How interesting can a Christian's book about the body be? As it turns out, very.
As already hinted at, Anderson artfully covers a spectrum of modern day implications for a deeper understanding of the human form. As one who resisted against all odds, I found the chapter on tattoos particularly interesting (definition of irony: in pursuit of individualism, rebellion, and self-expression, tattoos and their host bodies are now markers of conformity and consumerism). Homosexuality too got its own chapter, and the insights here alone make the book worthwhile:
...as long as those with same-sex orientations treat the fulfillment of their sexual desires as a necessary part of their identity, the most sensitive traditional responses to same-sex attraction and acts will inevitably be reduced to bigotry. (p. 146)All in all, Earthen Vessels is solid and enjoyable, and Anderson has made a definite contribution to an important conversation that has long been overdue in evangelical circles. Two thumbs up!
*I tried to come up with a punch line for this question but never succeeded. If you have any zingers, I'm all ears!
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Recommended for: Theologians, pastors, counselors
This book was a free review copy provided by Bethany House.