Gluttony and the Theology of Consumption

Proverbs 25:16
“If you have found honey, eat only enough for you,
lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.”

With the holiday season upon us, and because such comes with much indulgence regarding food and drink, I was hoping to offer some words of encouragement to the brethren in regards to gluttonous temptations. Well, the guys from did it for me.

(The above title is taken from the title of a recent podcast from on November 14, 2014. The topic was gluttony. I highly recommend listening to it.)

One of the guests on the program, Justin Davis, read a portion of CS Lewis’s second book from the series, “The Space Trilogy”, entitled “Perelandra”. Now, I have never read the series, but from what Justin shared, it is certainly worth checking out.

In setting up the excerpt from the book, Justin laid out the scene. He explained that the character “Ransom”, has now become spiritually more mature through his space journey, and now, he finds himself hungry:

“He comes across this gourd, in an Eden like garden. He eats it, and drinks it’s juice, and it’s the best thing that he has ever had. It’s just incredible. It is nothing like anything he had ever experienced back on earth, or could have even possibly imagined to exist. It’s the most beautiful experience up to this point in his life. He could never even begin to describe it, it’s just not possible. It is just that good. And so he finishes it. Then, this is what the author, CS Lewis describes:

‘As he let the empty gourd fall from his hand, and was about to pluck a second one, it came into his head that he was now no longer hungry or thirsty. And yet to repeat a pleasure so intense and almost so spiritual, it seemed an obvious thing to do. His reason, or what we commonly take to be a reason in our own world, was all in favor of tasting this miracle again. The childlike innocence of the fruits, the labors that he had undergone, the uncertainty of the future, all seemed to command the action. Yet, something seemed to oppose this reason. It is difficult to suppose that this opposition came from desire, for what desire would turn from so much deliciousness? But, for whatever cause, it appeared to him better to not taste again. Perhaps the experience has been so complete, that repetition would be a vulgarity. Like asking to hear the same symphony twice in a day.'”

CS Lewis captures the essence of where the line is drawn between blessing and gluttony.

May we (Christians) keep such in view this holiday season…

…and that Christ washes us of it when we don’t.

Godspeed, to the brethren!


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