Book Review and Giveaway: Love Thy Body

Love Thy Body
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Truth carries with it confrontation. Truth demands confrontation: loving confrontation, but confrontation nonetheless. If our reflex action is always accommodation regardless of the centrality of truth involved, there is something wrong.

Francis Schaeffer

Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions about Life and Sexuality is the latest book by bestselling author Nancy R. Pearcey. I’ve put off writing this review for nearly two weeks since its release date due to the fact that I fear I won’t be able to do it justice. There are a few cliches I could throw around: hard-hitting, relevant, informative, must-read–but to truly capture the essence of the book I’d be required to nearly quote the book verbatim.

When I heard Love Thy Body was available for review prior to release, I jumped at the chance. I’ve read two of Nancy R. Pearcey’s other titles, Total Truth and Finding Truth and was intrigued by both. She has a knack for explaining the complexities of worldviews and its ramifications in a personable and engaging way. Love Thy Body did not deviate from this expectation but rather enlightened it.

Firstly, it must be understood that neutrality is a myth. In order to rightly understand worldviews and their real-life implications, we must dispose of any nonsense that neutrality is a thing. It is as probable and logical as a round square. Greg Bahnsen wrote:

“Attempting to be neutral in one’s intellectual endeavors (whether research, argumentation, reasoning, or teaching) is tantamount to striving to erase the antithesis between the Christian and the unbeliever.

And again:

“Those who wish to gain dignity in the eyes of the world’s intellectuals by wearing the badge of “neutrality” only do so at the expense of refusing to be set apart by God’s truth.”

It is with this in mind that I now continue to delve into the message of Love Thy Body. There are two distinctive worldviews at play here that are diametrically opposed: that of the believing and the unbelieving. And it is this dichotomy that Nancy R. Pearcey explores as it relates to the issues of body and sexuality.

In the introduction, the author explores theologian Francis Schaeffer’s classic illustration of the two-story split between theology/morality and science. Rather than having a unified concept of truth, we are confronted with a compartmentalization that gives rise to both relativism and a fragmented and incohesive worldview with rather alarming implications in the real world.

It is illustrated as follows:

THEOLOGY, MORALITY
Private, Subjective, Relativistic
—————————————
SCIENCE
Public, Objective, Valid for Everyone

This is in fact what is known in the academic world as the fact/value split. Pearcey notes that she later realized this split was just the tip of the iceberg and in fact, all of modern philosophy is divided into two major streams: the Enlightenment which arose from the scientific revolution and emphasised empiricism, rationalism, materialism, and naturalism, and the Romantic movement which was a reaction against the Enlightenment. It focused on questions of justice, freedom, morals, and meaning in paradigms of idealism, Marxism, existentialism, and postmodernism.

These two traditions, modernism, and postmodernism, are at odds and the split has grown substantially. This chasm has created such a profound impact on the foundation of society. Nancy R. Pearcy states, “This dualism has created a fractured, fragmented view of the human being, in which the body is treated a separate from the authentic self.

And as we are all well aware, ideas have consequences. And the consequences of this fractured unbelieving worldview have led to societal rot.
There is no neutrality. Greg Bahnsen said, “When someone’s paradigm changes, the world itself changes with it. So “facts” are only facts *for a system* or paradigm.Love Thy Body explores the changes the unbelieving system has brought with it. And it is not good.

Chapter one explores the concept of the body and its disconnect from the total person. It is not enough to be human. One must have moral and legal standing as a person according to the dictates of the individual or society. Gone are the days when we viewed people as having intrinsic value and worth simply because they were human and made in the image of God. This modern dualism has led to an atrocious manner of dehumanization. And it is a primary cause of widespread acceptance of abortion.

If the fetus is merely an expendable biological organism how can it be considered wrong to simply be rid of it. We have placed so little value on human life and it has reaped unimaginable consequences. From the murder of millions of preborn children yearly to euthanasia, sexual immorality, transgenderism, and a host of other related ethical issues. This is not progression, but rather, regression. Dehumanization is in full swing and its fruit is rotten.

This first chapter in Love Thy Body is the heart of the book and special attention must be paid to it. The author carefully explains how we got to this point, what it means, and how we should move forward in dealing with this two-story dualism that has poisoned the waters of civilization.

Of important note is that this dualism has bled into modern day Christianity. We have a tendency to divide all of life into two stories as well: sacred and secular. The sacred we view as dealing with the spirit, soul, and church work and the secular as dealing with the body, intellect, and professional work. But this should not be.

Abraham Kuyper said, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!” This is imperative. Our faith must inform all things. We must strive to reclaim the crown rights of Jesus Christ over all areas of life. There is no division. There is no neutrality.

Obviously, the unbelievers do not live according to the dictates of neutrality and neither should we. We must not deceive ourselves but rather be made aware of the antithesis and with everything inside us, push against it. Nancy R. Pearcy’s book, Love Thy Body gives us one tool to aid us in this endeavor. She holds nothing back and gives us a greater awareness of the rotten fruit of an unbelieving worldview.

Is the secular position neutral? Is it unbiased and objective? Of course not. It rests on a highly contentious, two-level view of human nature that involves a crassly utilitarian view of the body (the lower story along with a subjective, arbitrary definition of the person (upper story). Nothing neutral about any of that.
And when the government mandates policies based on that worldview, it is imposing a secular ideology on an entire society.


Nancy R. Pearcey, Love Thy Body p.63

R.J. Rushdoony wrote that “Law is in any culture religious in origin,” and again, “…the source of law is the god of that society.” These are important concepts to keep in mind. That the antithesis between Christianity and the unbelieving world is a spiritual war must be understood. Don’t be caught on the sidelines.

In Love Thy Body, Nancy R. Pearcy writes, “When a society accepts the practice, it absorbs the worldview that justifies it.” Issues such as abortion, homosexuality, transgenderism, and the like are no exception. When someone ask how such supposedly private things will affect your life, remember this.

And when that worldview is absorbed, it has life-and-death consequences ultimately for everyone. Any cutoff point becomes arbitrary. The dehumanizing effects put us all at risk. When Christians argue for the truth of the biblical worldview, they are seeking to protect human rights and dignity for everyone.

Nancy R. Pearcey, Love Thy Body p. 94.

At the risk of running this review any longer, I must begin to summarize. Love Thy Body is an important work on dissecting the unbelieving worldview on issues of human life and sexuality. Pearcey forces the reader to view human life and sexuality through a biblical lens and what we discover is that the unbelieving worldview is bankrupt and built on a decaying foundation of dehumanization and abject hatred for the Creator.

We are also confronted with the biting truth that we have unknowingly absorbed many anti-Christian ideas and must begin the painful process of deconstructing them. But Pearcey delivers this bit of bad news with hope and encouragement.

I cannot say enough good things about this book and it is one I’ll be reading and rereading for years to come. It contains a wealth of material and as an added bonus, includes a study guide and is heavily footnoted for further research. You would do well to purchase a copy for yourself and a friend.

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The winner of the giveaway is Heather S. Congratulations!

I was provided a free copy of Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions About Life and Sexuality by Nancy R. Pearcey. All opinions are my own.

No purchase necessary. Open to US residents, void where prohibited.
Giveaway begins 01/13/18 and ends 01/20/18. One copy of
Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions about Life and Sexuality will be given away. Approximate retail value is $22.99. Book will be mailed to the winner directly from Amazon.com. Winner will be chosen randomly, by Rewards Fuel, within 24 hours of the close of the giveaway. The winner’s name will be listed on the giveaway post and notified via email within 48 hours of the close of the giveaway.
If the winner fails to respond by 01/23/18, then another winner will be chosen.

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Cheryl L. Stansberry

Cheryl L. Stansberry is a Christian speculative fiction writer and blogger with a desire to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ and make Him beautiful and glorious in the eyes of the people.

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