Skip to main content

Mere Orthodoxy exists to create media for Christian renewal. Support this mission today.

Welcoming Bodies into the Church: John Dyer on Earthen Vessels

November 3rd, 2011 | 1 min read

By Matthew Lee Anderson

John Dyer’s reflections about Chapter Four are up at his blog, and he closes with this:

Under the concept of freedom, Matt writes,

When cleanliness and bodily order become required for entrance into our communities—as they clearly are in most evangelical churches—then we have adopted a standard inhospitable to those whose bodies either might intrude at inopportune times (such as infants and the elderly) or who lack the grooming that an affluent society has transformed into a requirement. Babies crying are not a “distraction” from connecting with God— they are a tangible reminder of our embodied lives and that God himself once cried as a baby, too.

I’d love to share my opinions on this, but I’d be more interesting in hearing what you think? Does removing babies and the elder promote or deny (or both) freedom? Is such action in accordance with a Christian view of bodies and worship or is it tinged with consumerism and perfectionism?

Head over for the discussion in the comments.  There are already a number of good responses, and I really am curious to hear more.   My own response will come on Monday.

Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is an Associate Professor of Ethics and Theology in Baylor University's Honors College. He has a D.Phil. in Christian Ethics from Oxford University, and is a Perpetual Member of Biola University's Torrey Honors College. In 2005, he founded Mere Orthodoxy.