“I am very easy of belief when the Creed pleases me.”—Charlotte Bronte
“We carry a terrible wound: alienation from our embodied life. Your flesh shall become a great poem.”—Walt Whitman
Almost everyone is acutely aware of how the incessant clamorings of their body defeat their intentions to “be spiritual.” The Apostle Paul explains that, “The flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.” (Gal. 5:17) And Jesus’s words, “The spirit is willing but the body is weak”, are generally accepted as a final verdict on what human life must be like until we escape the body through death.
On the other hand, if the body is simply beyond redemption, then ordinary life is too. Many Christians seem prepared to accept this — at least in practice. But then “spiritual formation” really becomes impossible. That would be a defeat of major proportions for Christ’s cause, and could never be reconciled with the call to godly living that both permeates the Bible from end to end and resonates with the deep-seated human need to live as one ought. —Dallas Willard, The Human Body and Spiritual Growth