When it comes to thinking about our bodies, confusion reigns. In our secular age, there has been a loss of the body’s goodness, purpose, and end. Many people, driven by shame and idolatry, abuse their body through self-harm or self-improvement. How can we renew our understanding and see our bodies the way God does?
In Wonderfully Made, John Kleinig forms a properly biblical theology of our bodies. Through his keen sensitivity to Scripture’s witness, Kleinig explains why bodies matter. While sin has corrupted our bodies and how we think of them, God’s creation is still good. Thus, our bodies are good gifts. The Son took on a body to redeem our bodies. Kleinig addresses issues like shame, chastity, desire, gender dysphoria, and more, by integrating them into the biblical vision of creation.
Readers of Wonderfully Made will not only be equipped to engage in current issues; they will gain a robust theology of the body and better appreciation of God’s very good creation.
This adventure in searching the Scriptures will enrich the reader’s ability to enjoy God’s giving us our corporality and to find in it rich grounds for thanksgiving and praise.
–Robert Kolb, emeritus professor of systematic theology, Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis
Wonderfully Made is a tremendous and accessible guide for Protestants who are beginning to turn (at last!) our attention toward what it means to live in the flesh that God gave us
–Matthew Lee Anderson, assistant professor, Baylor University and Founder of Mere Orthodoxy
This book will surely take its place among the growing library of works that treat this fascinating subject. I cannot recommend it too highly!
–Gregg R. Allison, professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“That is why the body is so important. It has been designed to be a temple of the Holy Spirit rather than an amusement park. Like the human mind, it is meant to live in harmony with God and his Holy Spirit. It was created for eternal life with God, not merely temporal life on earth. No matter how damaged it may actually be, every human body is designed for perfection in eternity.” (Page 4)
“The whole human being as a soul, a living person, with a human body and a human mind, was designed by the living God to reveal himself—however partially and imperfectly—in the person’s life on earth. The body of each person was made for theophany, for God’s human manifestation on earth, the visible disclosure of his glory in human terms.” (Page 29)
“The human body was made to bridge two realms: the invisible, eternal realm of God and the visible, temporal realm of his creation. Created as they were in God’s image, all human bodies were meant to be holy even as God is holy. Thus, human bodies do not just belong to this world, but also to the eternal world of God. They are meant to reflect the triune God bodily in their life and behavior, all in keeping with their own unique characteristics and according to their unique calling.” (Pages 14–15)
“Their soul is their life-breath. Thus, the word for soul is also the word for human life (for example, Mark 8:35–36). A human soul is an animate, living person. People do not just have souls; they are souls.” (Page 8)
“It could be said that Scripture speaks about embodied minds and mindful bodies.” (Page 7)
John W. Kleinig (PhD, University of Cambridge) is a retired lecturer at Australian Lutheran College and an ordained pastor in the Lutheran Church of Australia. He is author of numerous books, including Grace upon Grace: Spirituality for Today and commentaries on Hebrews and Leviticus.
Harold L Senkbeil