LOVE THY BODY, ANSWERING THE HARD QUESTIONS ABOUT LIFE AND SEXUALITY, by Nancy R. Pearcey, Baker Books/Baker Publishing Group

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Are transgender people discovering their authentic self? Is the hookup culture really liberating? Does abortion lead to equality for women? Does homosexuality contradict our biological sex?

In Love Thy Body, bestselling and award-winning author Nancy Pearcey takes on the hard questions about life and sexuality. A two-time winner of the ECPA Gold Medallion Award, Pearcey has been hailed by The Economist as “America’s preeminent evangelical Protestant female intellectual.”
In Love Thy Body she offers a respectful but riveting exposE of the secular worldview that lies behind trendy slogans and political talking points. A former agnostic, Pearcey is a sensitive guide to the secular ideas that shape current debates. She empowers readers to intelligently and compassionately engage today’s most controversial moral and social challenges.

In a surprise shattering of stereotypes, Pearcey demonstrates that while secularism promises much, in reality it delivers little. She turns the tables on stereotypes that portray Christianity as harsh and bigoted, and invites a fresh look at its holistic, life-affirming principles: it is a worldview that matches the real world and fits with human experience.

All along, Pearcey keeps readers entranced with gripping stories of real people wrestling with hard questions in their own lives–sharing their pain, their struggles, and their triumphs.

Out January 2nd, 2018

 

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“Nancy Randolph Pearcey is the Francis A. Schaeffer Scholar at the World Journalism Institute, where she teaches a worldview course based on the study guide edition of Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity. In 2005, Total Truth won the ECPA Gold Medallion Award in the Christianity & Society category, in addition to an Award of Merit in the Christianity Today book awards.

A former agnostic, Pearcey studied violin in Heidelberg, Germany, in the early 1970s and then traveled to Switzerland to study Christian worldview under Francis Schaeffer at L’Abri Fellowship. After graduating from Iowa State University with a Distributed Studies degree (philosophy, German, music), she earned a master’s degree in Biblical Studies from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, then pursued further graduate work in the history of philosophy at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto (with emphases on ancient and Reformational philosophy).

Pearcey is currently a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, where the focus of her work is on the cultural and philosophical implications of the evolution controversy. A frequent public lecturer, Pearcey has spoken to actors and screenwriters in Hollywood; students and faculty at universities such as Dartmouth, Stanford, USC, and Princeton; scientists at national labs such as Sandia and Los Alamos; staffers at Congress and the White House; and various activist and church groups around the country, including the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. She has appeared on NPR, and a lecture based on Total Truth was broadcast by C-SPAN.

She began writing in 1977 for the nationally distributed Bible-Science Newsletter, where for 13 years she wrote pioneering in-depth monthly articles on issues related to science and Christian worldview. In 1991 she became the founding editor of “BreakPoint,” a national daily radio commentary program, and continued as the program’s executive editor for nearly nine years, heading up a team of writers. Under her leadership, the program grew into an influential organ for teaching a Christian worldview perspective on current events, with an estimated weekly audience of five million. She was also policy director and senior fellow of the Wilberforce Forum, and for five years coauthored a monthly column in Christianity Today.

Pearcey has served as a visiting scholar at Biola University’s Torrey Honors Institute, managing editor of the science journal Origins & Design, an editorial board member for Salem Communications Network, and a commentator on Public Square Radio. Her articles have appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including the Washington Times, Human Events, First Things, Books & Culture, World, Pro Rege, Human Life Review, American Enterprise, The World & I, Homeschool Enrichment, Christianity Today, and the Regent University Law Review.

Pearcey has authored or contributed to several works, including The Soul of Science, which treats the history of science and Christianity, and the bestselling, award-winning How Now Shall We Live? She was invited to contribute the Foreword in The Right Questions, as well as chapters in Mere Creation, Of Pandas and People, Pro-Life Feminism, Genetic Ethics, Signs of Intelligence, Reading God’s World, Uncommon Dissent, and a Phillip Johnson Festschrift titled Darwin’s Nemesis.

Pearcey resides in Northern Virginia, where she and her husband are homeschooling the second of their two sons.”

MY THOUGHTS:

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

Wow!

What a nightmare… I seldom like to give my own religious thoughts about any writings since I believe everyone is entitled to their own and who am I to judge another when I’m certainly not perfect.  I just wish others would practice this way of life.  Let’s begin with what I could find as the better part of the book…

Pearcey’s ability to take culture and its issues and dissect them profoundly and intrinsically is fascinating and interesting.  I find that she does tend to talk “over” people’s heads though and is a bit on the preachy side/self-righteous too, but the issues are real and her take on some of them realistic enough to pay attention. I would even suggest you pay attention to the unrealistic parts of this book too.  Sometimes, the power behind words and their meanings can be deadly with horrific consequences and why they should be called out for what they truly are, when possible.

This book covers many controversial issues of today’s society like: abortion, euthanasia, the hook up, sexuality, transgenderism, homosexuality, marriage and parenthood. I’ll address a few in my review.

The  author approaches these topics by laying out the current position many either implicitly or explicitly take on social issues in a somewhat accurate portrayal of what is shown by others today, and, she also covers them from her own personal standpoint too.  It’s these that have me the most concerned.

She describes a life, human rights and way of living that makes this world unsafe, not enjoyed and incredibly damaged. She tackles the world view as a dehumanizing force that must be addressed in the only way possible–through love, love for God, love for self and love for others.  We must stop putting our own selves first. This concept is thought provoking and worthy of a read by Christians and non-Christians alike. I was intrigued by the fact that she was not afraid to take on some of the bigger issues.

In the first chapter, the author brings to light the obsessive compulsion we have with demeaning the body that is powered remotely by the brain set on ‘function’ only.

Without holding back, the author then tackles the issues surrounding abortion from a Christian point of view, an eye-opening part of the book for me.

She then moves on to assisted suicide and euthanasia.  This section greatly bothered me since I revel from the perspective that life is precious and unique to each person, so when I began reading it, I was nervous with where the author was going. The point of money being the fundamental reason for ending a life is certainly not where I stand and I feel it shouldn’t be where anyone should.  Instead of killing when there is no value left (although I’m not sure who has the authority to say when this actually is), why not promote ways to fix those problems by resolving the plaguing ailments?  We are an intelligent species, yet instead of encouraging the use of this said intelligence to cure and resolve, we choose to take the easier route especially one where money is involved. The scary part of all this is that voluntary euthanasia may not remain so voluntary if the almighty dollar wins out. So are we forgetting about our humanity?

The next chapter is about premarital sex and not getting married or having kids and how these decisions are killing the United States and even the world.  The whole relationship factor out of necessity is brought to light and I can’t help but wonder why the world has allowed money to affect this too.  It’s hard to raise children when both parents have to work in order to pay the bills, yet, we are encouraged to have children, to procreate for the survival of our species… yet, the burden of raising  children is not getting any easier, so many opt out of “never.”  It’s great to say this problem should be fixed out of love… but love does not pay the bills and encourage survival, thanks to society. There’s a breakdown in what relationships are nowadays, most are out of convenience until the need to ‘share costs’ passes, then divorce comes easy. Others, have no respect, nor demand it out of fear of being alone. Then, there’s the ‘settling’ factor… being with someone, just to say you are.  The long marriages of old seem lost to time and the relationships built on trust, respect, love and honor are gone.

The next chapter discusses homosexuality. Considered still a “sin” by the author, there is a suggestion to “help them” by showing that Christianity leads them to embracing a Biblically ethical view of sexuality and marriage, or if this isn’t enough, she simply suggests, stay celibate.  This reeks of thoughts that homosexuality is and should be considered, an illness… Then there’s the comparison of homosexuality in ancient Roman times to what it is now being the same but far worse back then. This is redundant and really not necessary to the book, but the author uses this comparison to sort of poo poo the fact that “at least it (being homosexuality) is not as bad as it was…” Bad meaning what? Rampant like a disease or plague? Something although more civil, still in need of a cure? Hmmm…

Moving on…

If not labelling homosexuality as a disease needing a cure, the author then tackles transgenderism, one she claims to be controversial and heartbreaking an issue and also one that can be “helped” by Christians embracing those in conflict about their gender and encourage them to accept the gender they were born with.  No surgery, just acceptance. This whole chapter caused me to shake my head in bewilderment.  Compliance has been something many generations both female and male have had forced upon them, with ‘being different’ is dictated as bad.  As a mother of a special needs child, this chapter is the most infuriating. I always tell my daughter to embrace the fact that she’s different from all the rest; it’s wonderful and exciting to be this way rather than boring and the same as everyone else.  It’s those who are different that make the best leaders, the ones who push society forward not backward.

I think this author should focus on acceptance of differences and the world needs to treat each other as unique and wonderful just as they are.

The next chapter seems a contradiction to the previous two.  In this one, with the exception of the other two issues, she reflects on how people lose sight of their value, their individuality, live, personhood… hmmm, but only as long as you’re not gay or transgender… hate to see what she thinks about special needs…

She then discusses family and how people lose their rights to government and social norms… well, isn’t that a contradiction in a nutshell.  What I see from the author’s writing, is that as long as the family fits the “normal” slot of society, without sexual issues, or intellectual complexities, then family should join together through love… so I have to ask, what the Hell is her concept of love?  She goes on to say that family is joined together by biological bonds… what about those with adopted children, where’s there is this so-called missing component of biology?  She also adds that family shouldn’t just be held together by pieces of paper… but what about her first chapters where she discusses marriage and relationships, not to mention sex.  Very strange…

In conclusion, I did not like this book.  It was preachy, contradictive and if this is what Christianity is about, the way she lays it out, then no wonder our world is such a mess.  To me, the concept of god for Christians is suppose to be based on a loving, caring and forgiving entity, one of understanding and accepting of faults and tribulations. The way the author describes a Christian life… doesn’t include these, but comes across judgmental and arrogant and self-righteous.

I can see this book creating a lot of hate and prejudice, so well done with that author!

I gave this book:

Gold-star-half

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