The question of whether or not we should take fitness seriously is a modern question. For much of human history, the manual labor required by life kept people naturally fit without the need for additional exercise. But humans in the 21st century can be incredibly sedentary.

In this discussion, Biola professor Erik Thoennes and TGC Council member and pastor Jeremy Treat discuss the dualism that sometimes leads Christians to believe their bodies don’t matter. We are both body and soul, and when we steward our bodies well, we can often extend the years we will be physically able to serve God and others. On the other hand, a preoccupation with fitness can become an idol. We need to ask ourselves hard questions, such as “Is my identity in my appearance or in Christ?” and “Am I focusing more on the outer man than the inner?”

“We need to realize that there’s a holistic view biblically of human beings as body and soul,” Thoennes says. “And so we need to care for our bodies and our souls and also realize that those two work together. That often the health of your body has an effect on your soul.”

Listen to this episode of The Gospel Coalition Podcast or watch a video.