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Melanie Dobson: Health as a Virtue

The question at issue is how we care for our bodies and our health as part of faithful Christian living. Habits of health do not mean yo-yo dieting or extreme fitness programs. Rather, they have a lasting quality and are formed by repetitive action.

God is very much involved in the habit-forming process through his grace because the focus of the pursuit of health is flourishing with God.

Nevertheless, sustaining habits of health doesn’t depend solely on the individual who pursues health; rather God is very much involved in the habit-forming process through his grace because the focus of the pursuit of health is flourishing with God. Soul health and physical health are interdependent. Furthermore, emotional health is also included in the notion of the virtuous life. Indeed, for humans to be holistically well all aspects must be tended to. Dobson’s work brings to light the real struggle that individuals face who are not living a fully healthy life. The author demonstrates how the pursuit of healthy living is a godly pursuit that can lead individuals to a more resilient ministry and life of flourishing, where they live as healthfully as they can, sometimes in spite of their circumstances, and find grace to keep working toward the virtuous life.

Reviewed by Michelle Vondey


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Category: Living the Faith, Summer 2017

About the Author: Michelle Vondey, Ph.D. (Regent University) and M.Div. (Church of God Theological Seminary), has more than twenty years’ experience working in non-profit organizations. Her interests are focused mainly on developing followers in their roles in organizations. She teaches courses in leadership, critical reasoning, and Christian discipleship. 2012 dissertation LinkedIn

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