Every year Americans celebrate Thanksgiving as a secular, not a Christian, holiday. But gratitude is baked into the very foundation of Christianity, and even of Creation itself. On this episode, Matt, Derek, and Alastair unpack the role of gratitude in theology and in Christian practice. One could even say Christianity is gratitude. And at the end, they enjoy an awkward moment of traditional sharing.

Mere Fidelity is sponsored by Lexham Press, and features the Lexham Press Book of the Month.

For the month of November, our listeners will get a 25% discount on their purchase of The Logic of the Body: Retrieving Theological Psychology, by Matthew LaPine. In The Logic of the Body, Matthew LaPine argues that Protestants must retrieve theological psychology in order to properly understand the emotional life of the human person.

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Timestamps:

Awkward Thanksgiving Dinner Practices [2:23]

Gratitude as Obligation [3:24]

The Christian Life is Gratitude; Karl Barth Cribs Heidelberg [5:22]

Power Dynamics in a Gift Economy [7:45]

The Circle of Gratitude of Creation [9:41]

Avatars of Barth and Bavinck [14:06]

We receive so we can give.[14:52]

Gratitude: An Intellectual History by Peter Leithart [16:32]

Is it appropriate to thank anyone other than God? [17:14]

Honor and Shame and Gratitude [21:18]

Propagation of Gratitude in Paul’s Ministry [25:02]

The Harm of Ingratitude [26:13]

The structure of Deuteronomy connects the 10 Commandments to gratitutde. [28:55]

Unattachment enables gratitude. Ingratitude diminishes the ability to do good. [31:22]

Ingratitude corrupts human relationships.. [33:00]

Continual Practice of Thanksgiving in the New Testament and in Our Life [36:09]

What are the Mere Fi guys thankful for? [38:16]


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Finally, as always, follow DerekAndrew, and Alastair for more tweet-sized brilliance. Thanks to Timothy Crouch for keeping us organized. Thanks to Tim Motte for his sound editing. And thanks to The Joy Eternal for lending us their music, which everybody should download out of gratitude for their kindness.

Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.