Cultivating a Garden in the Wasteland

Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions about Life and Sexuality by Nancy R. Pearcey

According to author Nancy Pearcey, “human life and sexuality have become the watershed moral issues of our age.” In this astute analysis of these moral issues, Pearcey – co-author with Chuck Colson of How Now Shall We Live? – looks beyond the latest media reports to the “real action” below the surface of things, namely, “the worldview that drives the secular ethic.” She goes on to explain that “in every decision we make, we are not just deciding what we want to do. We are expressing our view of the purpose of human life.”

Throughout her book, as Pearcey delves into the issues of abortion and infanticide, euthanasia, the hookup culture, homosexuality and transgenderism, she shows how each, according to her, are built on a secular two-level view of people – the biological, scientific fact of being human is split from one’s personhood, one’s moral and legal standing. 

Pearcey repeatedly points out that Scripture, as the revealed Word of God, offers hope to people who are searching for answers to questions about sexuality and life. She says, “In the wasteland we can cultivate a garden.” She celebrates the high view that Scripture has of the body, here and now as we live on earth, and, later, when Christ will return and make all things new, and give us resurrected bodies.

Pearcey cautions that as Christians grapple with social ills in regard to life and sexuality, “we must move beyond denunciations that can sound harsh, angry, or judgmental and instead work to show that the biblical ethic is based on a positive view of the body as part of the image of God. The goal is not to win a culture war or to impose our views on others but to love our neighbour, which means working for our neighbour’s good.” According to this reader’s estimation, Pearcey has achieved her goal. 

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