Endorsements for Matthew Lee Anderson’s new book Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to Our Faith (Bethany, 2011):

“What does Christianity have to say about the body? Much more than you might think. Matthew Lee Anderson—one of evangelicalism’s brightest young writers—is a serious student of God’s Word and God’s world, and in this book he patiently and insightfully explores a theology of the body from numerous angles. Rightly seeing the body as a gift from God for our good and his glory, Anderson insightfully shows us what a biblical worldview has to say about the body in relationship to community, pleasure, sex, sexuality, tattoos, death, prayer, and the church. Anderson’s arguments deserve careful consideration. I suspect that many of us will think differently—and more biblically—about the body as a result of this very fine work.”

Justin Taylor, Managing Editor, ESV Study Bible; blogger, “Between Two Worlds

“We evangelicals don’t think we care about the body, but we really, really do. And Matthew Anderson—one of the brightest lights in the evangelical world—helps us care, ponder, think and pray more wisely as we give our bodies as a living sacrifice to Christ.”

Mark Galli, Senior Managing Editor, Christianity Today

“I love to think. I love to be challenged. Mission accomplished in reading Earthen Vessels. In it, Matthew Anderson takes on prevailing cultural assumptions about the human body that have been uncritically adopted into the church of Jesus Christ. This book is for the church who is in the world. It is a truth-balm for a broken culture addicted to body image. Be challenged to forsake your “quasi-gnosticism” and embrace the divine dignity of your body so that you can worship well.”

Darrin Patrick, Lead Pastor at The Journey and author of Church Planter

“Matthew Lee Anderson makes an important contribution to the evangelical dialogue about the importance and role of the human body that is both scholarly and accessible. Too often evangelical discourse on this subject has been either defensive or simply followed cultural trends. Anderson is both robustly Christian and willing to listen when other traditions may have something to contribute. Christians will learn from this book that the body is important, but that we are not just computers made out of meat.”

John Mark Reynolds (Ph.D.), Director of the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola University

“Ours is a befuddling age. We’re “friends” with people we’ve never met, we read books that have nomaterial substance, and we store precious material in something rather ominously termed “the cloud.”Physicality is out; incorporeality is in. Earthen Vessels is a needed contribution in such a time. Thetext is at once an elegant meditation on the body, a fresh study of Scripture, and a celebration of thewestern tradition. Here is philosophical theology that will foster debate, critical thought, and praise of the Savior whose physical sacrifice won our salvation.”

Owen Strachan, Instructor of Christian Theology and Church History, Boyce College

“Earthen Vessels is a turning point in the evangelical conversation about the meaning of bodies. If you didn’t even know such a conversation was going on, you are lucky to have Matthew Anderson introducing you to it. If you’ve already been listening in and are as confused as the rest of us, you’ll appreciate the way this book sorts things out, settles accounts, debunks myths, digs for sources, raises neglected issues, and points out the way forward. On nearly every page you can find two virtues rarely combined: surprising new insights and good old common sense. Here is good counsel (solid, soulful, scriptural) about how to be humans, in bodies, under the gospel.”

Fred Sanders, Associate Professor of Theology, Torrey Honors Institute, Biola University

Tattoos, cremation, abortion, gay sex, yoga, online church: No subject is off limits in Matthew Anderson’s provocative book on the body. Anderson challenges us to deepen our understanding of what it means to be embodied. When it comes to body matters, the body matters. Though few will agree with all of Anderson’s diagnosis and prescription, all who read this book will be challenged to consider how our views of the body line up with (or depart from) Scripture and Christian theology. This is a highly ambitious project that deserves careful consideration.

Trevin Wax, author of Counterfeit Gospels and Holy Subversion

“As one of evangelicalism’s most insightful young intellectuals, Matthew Anderson is the ideal thinker for inspiring and developing a “theology of the body.” Earthen Vessels is a splendid theological analysis of the issues that we face in attempting to live as incarnational beings in a technocratic culture. It should be required reading for anyone who wants to think more clearly about the importance of embodiment and the Christian faith.”

Joe Carter, Web Editor, First Things

Nearly every strand of theology from postmodern to feminist to Catholic has a robust theology of the body—all except evangelicalism. Matt’s new book works toward remedying this problem by restarting the conversation about how Christians talk about this fleshly creation into which Jesus himself was incarnated.

John Dyer, Director of Web Development at Dallas Theological Seminary
and author of From the Garden to the City

You can read the first two chapters online.