Michael Scott Lowery. God’s Weigh to Your Ideal Body Weight: Your Body Should Glorify God. Bloomington: Westbow Press (a division of Thomas Nelson), 2013. See here to buy the book.
In God’s Weigh to Your Ideal Body Weight, Michael Scott
Lowery talks about how Christians can arrive at their ideal body weight.
While Lowery does not believe that this is essential to salvation, he
does view it as an important part of Christian discipleship. I
Corinthians 6:19-20 says that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit,
that Christians are not their own but were bought with a price, and
that Christians should therefore glorify God with their bodies.
According to Lowery, Christians in good health can be happier, more
energetic disciples than Christians in poor health. Lowery also thinks
that Christians in good health can attract non-believers to
What, according to Lowery, is God’s “weigh” to arriving at one’s
ideal body weight? Lowery does not recommend getting up at 5 a.m. to go
to the gym, for he regards the time when he was obsessed with exercise
and physical fitness to be a waste of time, which proved to be
deleterious to his health. Lowery also is not for people starving
themselves, for Lowery maintains that people should eat when they are
What Lowery does support, however, are spiritual, personal, and
dietary changes. Pray and read the Bible every day, for that can give
you peace of mind (so that you don’t eat to cope) and spiritual
direction, as well as ensure that you are dieting for the right reasons
(i.e., to glorify God, not out of vanity or trying to look good for
purposes of seduction). Instead of working at a job that you hate, find
God’s calling on your life. Avoid processed sugars, processed flours,
and hydrogenated oils. Take cod-liver oil (a source of Omega 3) each day
and eat fruits and vegetables. Obey the dietary instructions of
Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, eating the meats that God allows (i.e.,
beef, cod), while avoiding the meats that God prohibits (i.e., pork).
Eat Ezekiel 4:9 bread. Do not drink water with dinner, but be hydrated
throughout the day. Lowery believes that his method not only can make
people healthier but also can reduce their craving for food that drives
them to overeat. Lowery usually offers a scientific explanation for his
method, as he explains why his approach works better for the human body.
Lowery is practically absolutist about his approach. He not only
regards eating processed sugar as unhealthy; he believes that processed
sugars are poison and that eating them is a sin. Lowery also seems to
regard being overweight as a sin. Lowery does not believe that he has
been perfect, however, for he is open about his flaws, where he has
struggled, and what he has learned.
I am rather ambivalent about some of Lowery’s biblical
interpretations. Lowery clearly regards Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14
as laws relating to physical health, and that has been disputed by a
number of biblical scholars, who believe that the laws relate to purity
or setting Israel apart from other nations; ancient Jewish interpreters
tended to look for spiritual or moral reasons that God allowed
Israelites to eat some animals but not others (i.e., unclean animals are
carnivorous, and God does not want us to be trying to oppress our
fellow human beings). Deuteronomy 14:3 does call the unclean animals
abominable, as Lowery repeatedly notes, so that tells me that
Deuteronomy 14 is not arbitrary in saying which animals are unclean.
Yet, Deuteronomy 14:21 allows Israelites to give animals that die of
themselves to resident aliens or foreigners, even though the Israelites
are not allowed to eat them themselves. If this law were about physical
health, why would God allow the Israelites to give an animal dying of
itself to a foreigner? Is God less concerned about the physical health
of the foreigner? I doubt that even Lowery would say that, for Lowery
treats the dietary laws as universal!
Lowery also seems to resort to conspiratorial thinking in talking
about Mark 7:19. The KJV for Mark 7:19 talks about the bodily purgation
of meats, whereas the NIV says that Jesus was declaring all foods to be
clean. For Lowery, the NIV is adding to Scripture. Actually, the NIV is
following manuscripts that treat the verb as nominative.
On Ezekiel 4:9 bread, yes, it is probably healthy and can address
people’s desire for carbohydrates. But God was not giving Ezekiel that
recipe to give him tips on how to have a healthy diet: God’s point was
that Israel would have to eat bread like that in the time of her
Overall, this is a good book to read. I doubt that I will be as
absolutist as Lowery in my dietary habits, but I should try to make
better dietary choices more often than I do.
I received a complimentary review copy of this book through BookLook Bloggers, in exchange for an honest review.
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