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Every Body Matters: Strengthening Your Body to Strengthen Your Soul Paperback – November 7, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gary Thomas is writer-in-residence (and serves on the teaching team) at Second Baptist Church, Houston, Texas and author of 18 books that have sold over a million copies worldwide and have been translated into a dozen languages. He and his wife Lisa have been married for 30 years.

 

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; 1 edition (November 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310290813
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310290810
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you are on the edge, wondering if you should buy this book-- read this.

Gary Thomas, in Every Body Matters has something for everybody: whether you are a fitness guru, or regrettably sedentary. He reveals how the physical is connected with the spiritual, emotional, and mental. I honestly went into this book, thinking that I would not get anything out of it (because I am a fitness nut), but I learned some extremely valuable principles. Although I am a healthy, active, 17 year old, I found out new principles that I can hold on to for the rest of my life.

Here is a brief outline of what I picked up from the book, by chapter:

1. "...true grace doesn't kill effort; it motivates and empowers it."

2. The whole man: "..soul and body, mind and heart." "...people whose souls reside in bodies that can hinder or help this [spiritual] pursuit."

3."Your strength will equal your days." "A weak belief produces weak commitment." "Being unhealthy is being selfish. Being healthy is being loving."

4. In this chapter Thomas explains some of the spiritual benefits of being fit: Fitness has spiritual, emotional, and physical benefits.

5. Here, Thomas explains some of the ways food marketers and producers, trick us into unhealthy habits.

6. In this chapter Thomas tackles the big question of, "Is being overweight a sin?" And explains the subtle dangers of gluttony and sloth.

7. The concept of 'trading food for your years' is introduced.

8. "... the lazy man loses this world and the other, without doing any good to himself or others."

9. "Those who avoid suffering by sinning, sin themselves into worse suffering."

10. "...taking the gospel to the body."

11.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Both being Medical Doctors - one a Primary Care Physician and one a Foot and Ankle Surgeon - my wife and I were very interested in the subject matter of the book. Gary's research was complete, and his sensitivity and thoughtfulness on a delicate but much too avoided topic was suburb. In a culture where 1 in 3 children is overweight or obese, an American dies every 14 minutes from a drug overdose (71% of which are from prescription medications) and there are 18.8 million Americans diagnosed with an often avoidable diagnosis of Diabetes Mellitus II (and another 79 million estimated to be prediabetic according to the ADA), the subject matter of the book is timely and applicable.

We were puzzled by another review stating that they were bothered by Gary's apparent theological vagueness. As a graduate of Wheaton College (the Harvard of Christian Schools, as we are known) who has studied under great minds such as Gary M. Burdge (Primary Translator for the New Living Translation's Gospel of John and Author of three books in Zondervan's Ancient Context, Ancient Faith series), John Walton (Primary Translator for the New Living Translation's Book of Isaiah and one of the world's leading authorities on Genesis and Prophetic Literature) and Mark A. Noll (Author of Scandal of the Evangelical Mind and the Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame) I can say with conviction that Gary's presentation in this book is directly in line with mainstream christian thought, and the theological underpinnings are strong.

Both of us being who were are (as Physicians and as Christians), were are always interested in taking "book" knowledge and applying it on the "front lines" of the battle.
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Format: Paperback
Pastors address the sins of pornography, lust, greed, and other issues from the pulpit, but they never address the sin of overeating--a sin that many pastors suffer from themselves.
Gary Thomas addresses this issue, reminding us that we need to watch our weight and get into shape for reasons other than our physical health.

A person who is physically fit has the stamina necessary to go out and further the work for God's kingdom. Mr. Thomas maintains that you'll have increased sensitivity to God's voice, renewed energy for God's work, a greater joy for living, and a fortified soul better able and more willing to serve and love others.

I am not in the best physical condition, and this book has motivated me to get out and try to do something about that--for the kingdom, as well as for me. I encourage every believer who struggles with food or the unwillingness to exercise to read this book. It's written in a nonjudgmental way, but will remind us that we are created for a purpose and we can better serve this purpose if we are physically fit. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book making it ideal for small groups.
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Format: Paperback
Gary Thomas has been one of my favorite writers for several years now, and his latest doesn't disappoint. His theme throughout is that we need to stay physically active, not for any selfish reasons but to be "..more holy and useful to our Master, and better prepared to do any good work." (2 Timothy 2:21)

One of the best parts of the book is how Thomas directly or indirectly mentions that exact purpose for our staying in shape in just about every chapter. Chapter 8, THE SILENT MURDERER, on laziness, is perhaps the best in the entire book.

He points out that eating right and getting enough exercise is really a matter of discipleship and obedience. One of the best points he makes is that hunger needs to be listened to, but not always obeyed. (pg.57)

And, as Thomas is fond of doing, he introduces us once again to some of the ancients who offer us wisdom for the 21st century: John Climacus from the 7th century, Johannes Tauler from the 14th century, and Lorenzo Scupoli from the 16th.

Another great resource from a gold medallion writer!
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