why do we have bodies?

i have a question that i’d like to discuss.

i’m not looking for “the right” answer, as there isn’t one.

you can use bible verses if you like — there are some that are very relevent to the discussion, but i don’t think we can come up with “this is what the bible says about it” on this issue.

however, some very important things will likely come out in this discussion, that will illuminate (perhaps even to ourselves for the first time?) some of the underlying assumptions we make about this life, this universe, and the god who made it.

the question is, “why do we have bodies?”

i’ll start the conversation by posting some writing:

The life of the body, like life in general, is both a means to an end and an end in itself.

To regard the body exclusively as a means to an end is idealistic but not Christian; for a means is discarded as soon as the end is achieved. It is from this point of view that the body is conceived as the prison from which the immortal soul is released forever by death.

According to the Christian doctrine, the body possesses a higher dignity. Man is a bodily being, and remains so in eternity as well. Bodiliness and human life belong inseparably together. And thus the bodiliness which is willed by God to be the form of existence of man is entitled to be called an end in itself.

This does not exclude the fact that the body at the same time continues to be subordinated to a higher purpose. But what is important is that as one of the rights of bodily life its preservation is not only a means to an end but also an end in itself. It is in the joys of the body that it becomes apparent that the body is an end in itself within the natural life. If the body were only a means to an end man would have no right to bodily joys….But if the body is rightly to be regarded as an end in itself, then there is a right to bodily joys…

Within the natural life the joys of the body are reminders of the eternal joy which has been promised to men by God.

–Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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