What God Has to Say About Our Bodies

by Sam Allberry

Our Bodies


Bodies. Yours. Mine. God’s. Hmm…should we even talk about them? Talking about our bodies somehow has this ability to create a sense of discomfort. Do you feel a bit uncomfortable, even now? Our bodies. Perhaps we should to change the subject.

Nope! We’re gonna barge right on through, and may I suggest that you may be glad we did?

Sam Allberry did us all a favor when he decided to broach the subject. He has some very good things to say.

In today’s world, issues regarding gender identity and biological sex rock our world, often unsettling we Christians. And so we might be tempted to keep on avoiding that topic altogether—let’s find something else to read about, hmm?

Besides, for Christians, isn’t the soul/spirit the thing? Isn’t the inner life the one on which to focus?

What God Has to Say About Our Bodies

Sam Allberry’s latest book, What God Has to Say about Our Bodies, presents a brief summary of how scripture treats these bodies God so purposely designed and created.

I was intrigued, surprised, and at times touched by Allberry’s handling of the many various issues he discusses.

Our human bodies can endure profound physical pain; we suffer abuse, we carry shame, we wish things were different with these bodies of ours.

Allberry skillfully acknowledges these realities, even while lifting our sights toward the future glory these bodies will one day experience, at last.

The book is divided into three sections. In each section Allberry depicts our God as involved and active in the lives of his creation, in these humans He has made. He makes it clear that our physical bodies are a beautiful, purposeful part of the plan. He wanted us to have bodies. They are important!

The book is divided in this way:

Part I: Created Bodies

Part II: Broken Bodies

Part III: Redeemed Bodies

In Part I we witness God the Creator bending low to this earth to create the man, then the woman, each magnificent, each one as He intended. Here Allberry discusses identity, and how inextricably linked our souls are with the bodies we have been given.

I found this portion of the book the most surprising. I had never seen how important our bodies were in God’s creative plan. He wanted us to have these physical bodies; they are in fact the perfect place in which our souls can reside. In fact, he states, under the section, “Is My Body Me?” the following:

“In the Bible, our body is not an accessory to who we are, it is part of who we are. We can’t properly understand who we are apart from our body. Your body is not other than you. It is not just a receptacle for you. It is you. In the Bible, it’s not just that you have a body; you are a body”

(Allberry, 41).

Part I covers not only this basic understanding, but also discusses identity, gender, and biological sex. The treatment of transgenderism is brief, albeit compassionate and insightful. Allberry explains God’s intention in making men and women the unique creatures that they are. He offers a biblical understanding regarding the binary sexes, and while asserting the Genesis account as God’s norm, discusses the issue of gender dysphoria with care and respect.

With a continuing sense of deep understanding, Allberry discusses in Part II our brokenness—our affliction, our suffering, and our pain. He takes a dive into shame and its effects. But he doesn’t leave us there.

No, he ends this section with the heartening, humbling realization that Christ himself, the Word, became flesh. God himself, in the form of his Son, became a living body.

“Jesus’ incarnation was the biggest compliment the human body has ever been paid…He made one for Himself…After his death he was raised bodily.

And after his resurrection he returned to his Father in heaven, also bodily. When he ascended into heaven he didn’t ditch his humanity…it was permanent.

There is now a human body sitting at the right hand of God the Father at the very center of heaven”

(Allberry, 48).

Christ’s body was broken. He, within his body broken for us, understands the struggles we face within the body. He is a high priest who understands, one

“Who is not unable to sympathize with our weaknesses.”

Hebrews 4:15

Certainly the high point of the book is Part III, where Allberry discusses our redeemed bodies. In these three final chapters, he discusses the infilling of the Holy Spirit, whereby the Spirit of Christ resides with us and within us.

Next, Allberry lays out the meaning of the Romans 12 passage where we are called to be living sacrifices, here on earth, within the body. This discussion alone is worth the price of the book.

Finally Allberry considers the body and the resurrection to come. I would have liked a little more in-depth treatment of this topic.

In all honesty, after the Forward and the first chapter whetting my appetite, I had been eagerly devouring the book, just narrowly holding in check a keen excitement to get to the final chapter. Allberry does an adequate job of explaining our resurrected bodies, but just.

However, the final quote by C.S. Lewis is fitting, and left me at the very last, satisfied after all. I won’t spoil it for you and share it here. But I encourage you to pick up a copy.