Ode to Food

Ok, so I spoke with my blog consultant the other day and asked what he thought Square Pegs could use more of. He suggested some posts in which I air my half-baked ideas about whatever. I’m not entirely convinced that’s what the world needs, but I’m going to give it a go.

Starting today, I’m going to begin a series of posts on food. Before you jump to conclusions, this isn’t going to be a foods-I-like sort of thing. Rather, I hope over a few posts to develop something akin to a “Theology of Food.”

Here at the outset, let me go ahead and state the obvious. The Bible doesn’t really have lots to say about this subject. Unless of course you read the Jewish Scriptures (or Old Testament for us patronizing Christians) which might lead you to believe that God is obsessed with food. What you can eat. What you can’t. When you can. When you can’t. You get the idea. God seemed to care about what people did and didn’t eat… to say the least.

Then Jesus comes onto the scene and appears to sweep away all that gastronomic preoccupation with one statement…

Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.) Mark 7:18-19

Ok, so there it is. The whole food thing doesn’t matter anymore. Eat whatever you like, whenever you like. End of story. God doesn’t care.

And yet, I’ll be writing from a deeply held conviction that our (when I say “our,” I’ll be speaking from the point of view of a North American) relationship with food is depraved. Or to say it another way, how we “do” food is fundamentally flawed. Despite that belief, most of what I’ll be outlining here is theology by inference and not so much explicitly stated.

I’m about done for today, but let me finish laying my cards on the table.

  • I have a food problem. I don’t worship food, but I may think about it more often than I should. I have strong opinions about the sorts of foods a person should and shouldn’t eat. Which means that I probably have a judgmental spirit when it comes to eating. That is wrong. I hope to steer clear of “foodie-ness.”
  • I work with students (middle and high school – and some college) and can say that I’m repeatedly appalled at what passes for food for these guys and gals. They have absolutely no idea what constitutes “real” food and what doesn’t. Apparently, a plate of chips is deemed an acceptable meal. So bear in mind, my reflections may be colored by years of youth ministry cynicism.
  • “How” and “what” we eat is not the gospel. I believe there are gospel issues and wisdom issues. How we do food falls into the latter category. While I think “gospel” should create a longing for wisdom living, it is important not to confuse the two.

Alright folks, prepare to be enlightened.

5 Replies to “Ode to Food”

  1. I’m sitting in Whole Foods, and reading this blog. I feel like I’m in a Denzel Washington movie. I’m quite obsessed with food myself, just let me know if you need a good documentary reference 🙂

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