Toward An Adventist Theology Of Health – XII - The Theological Shift

As Roy Porter reminds us in his book "Flesh in the Age of Reason,"[1] the success of modern medicine lies in the fact that it has made the body predictable. Therefore, at the base, there is a strong process of bodily objectification. This has, on the one hand, has taken away its mystery and, on the other hand, made it governable through the introduction of refined mechanisms of measurement, experimentation and control of vital processes. The resulting paradox is a body that is hyper-performing but remains dominated. Or to put it differently, we have a body that, in order to hide the fact that it is controlled, presents itself as aesthetically beautiful and medically fit.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

It is to be noted that in 1 Cor. 6: 19 the pronoun “you” which is used twice, is both times in the plural. The temple of the Holy Spirit is not the body of an individual, but the Christian community which is the body of Christ. As such, Christian communities are what make Christ present in the fallen world. In Paul’s vocabulary the body is what objectifies a person’s life in society. It is what makes social relationships possible.

Thank you Hanz for a very insightful column. Working now, as I do, within the halls of a hospital as a clinical ethicist with an Adventist theological orientation, I find your thoughts to be very helpful.

God is not the author of Adventist confusion. His Holy Spirit will not make a temple of any unwilling vessel, not even an Adventist vessel. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit is not sent to this evil world to turn us to each other, but instead He is sent to turn us to Christ and a new Kingdom. Those who are eternally turned to Christ are His church and His body, and those who instead turn to saving their own bodies and to saving society, will serve the “common good” and its magnificent tower of confusion which is being erected. They will shortly become the body and church of the “common good.”

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