The 2014 Christianity Today Book Award Winner (Christian Living) Food is the source of endless angst and anxiety. We struggle with obesity and eating disorders. Reports of agricultural horror stories give us worries about whether our food is healthy, nutritious or justly produced. It's hard to know if our food is really good for us or for society. Our relationship with food is complicated to say the least. But God intended for us to delight in our food. Rachel Stone calls us to rediscover joyful eating by receiving food as God's good gift of provision and care for us. She shows us how God intends for us to relate to him and each other through food, and how our meals can become expressions of generosity, community and love of neighbor. Eating together can bring healing to those with eating disorders, and we can make wise choices for sustainable agriculture. Ultimately, redemptive eating is a sacramental act of culture making through which we gratefully herald the feast of the kingdom of God. Filled with practical insights and some tasty recipes, this book provides a Christian journey into the delight of eating. Come to the table, partake of the Bread of Lifeand eat with joy.
Rachel Marie Stone (M.A., Loyola University Chicago) is a regular writer for Christianity Today's blog. She has also written for such publications as and She enjoys gardening and meal-making with her husband and two sons. She is coeditor (with Timothy Stone and Julius Steinberg) of the forthcoming book
Norman Wirzba (Ph.D., Loyola University Chicago) is research professor of theology, ecology and rural life at Duke Divinity School. He holds memberships in the American Academy of Religion, the Society for Continental Philosophy and Theology and the International Association for Environmental Philosophy. Wirzba is the author of (Cambridge), (Cambridge) and (Oxford) as well as numerous reviews and articles, including "Agrarianism After Modernity: An Opening for Grace" in (Baylor).
Rachel Marie Stone is a woman after my own heart: a mom, a writer and a Christian who loves to feed the people she cares about. Eat with Joy is practical and inspiring, wise and full of love.
author of Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet, www.shaunaniequist.com
I'm not proud of this, but I didn't start taking my eating habits seriously--or seeing them as part of my spiritual life--until I reached mid-life. I wish I'd started when I was in my twenties (or before), and I wish I'd had Eat with Joy as my guide. The beautiful mealtime prayers alone are worth the price of the book. A treasure for soul and body.
-Brian D. McLaren,
author, speaker, blogger
Eat with Joy is a perfect title for this wide-ranging look at food and eating. I loved Stone's emphasis on communal meals and finding pleasure in the sensory experience of eating. My creativity--and appetite!--were stimulated by her stories about God's joyful presence in the growing, cooking and savoring of food, and the connections she made between food and justice were illuminating. The variety of beautiful table prayers at the end of each chapter reflect the heart of the book, encouraging the reader to see food as a gift from God to be enjoyed in God's presence and with the people we love.
-Lynne M. Baab,
author of Fasting, Sabbath Keeping and Joy Together: Spiritual Practices for your Congregation
In our multitasking, 24/7 world, many of us treat food as mere fuel for our bodies. By slowing down, eating healthier and learning to relish our food, we catch a glimpse of life as God intended: an everlasting communion with him. Those who seek an improved relationship with their daily bread will rejoice in Eat with Joy. Highly recommended!
author of Almost Amish: One Woman's Quest for a Slower, Simpler, More Sustainable Life
Christian faith and life have always been deeply and inextricably bound up with eating. But Christians have not always appreciated this. What a joy then to have the gift of this book by Rachel Marie Stone. In prose that is inviting, nonjudgmental and inspiring, Stone shows us that we can eat with joy, and in such eating extend God's love in the world. By combining stories, recipes, biblically based reflection and numerous practical tips, Stone helps us move more deeply into the mystery and the grace that eating is. Prepare to receive a blessing.
author of Food and Faith
This book is manna in the wilderness to any Christian who has ever had a conflicted relationship with food, thereby missing the unadulterated joy of eating. In a fresh and engaging voice, Rachel Marie Stone reminds us that when we savor delicious, nourishing food, we are actually tasting God.
author of Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray, and Still Loving My Neighbor
In the quest to deal at length in writing with a theology of the ordinary (work, rest, play, study, worship, sex) it turns out I left out a crucial subject--eating. Thankfully Rachel Marie Stone's splendid new book fills the void--in my stomach, mind and heart for an adequate and accurate theology of eating from a biblical point of view. I'm tempted to give the advice God gave Ezekiel--'eat this book.
-Dr. Ben Witherington III,
Amos Professor of NT for Doctoral Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary
When Irma Rombauer published The Joy of Cooking she couldn't have imagined we'd need to learn to eat with joy eighty years later. But we do. Stone offers the backstory of our current food woes and dilemmas along with hopeful and redemptive responses. And all the while she invites us toward a practical, joyful celebration of just, good food.
-Lisa Graham McMinn,
author of Walking Gently on the Earth and Dirt and the Good Life
This book is a remarkable spiritual and practical guide to God's most basic gift. Rachel Marie Stone takes eating to a devotional level, where food becomes a part of our healing, our relationship building and our gratitude toward God. My joy in eating is now increased as I can better realize the meaning and purpose of food, and the relationships built around it.
-Dr. Joel C. Hunter,
senior pastor of Northland, A Church Distributed
This book made me hungry! Hungry for all that is good and beautiful about the art of gathering with others around a table. As a drive-thru mom I have struggled daily with my own connection to food for decades. Rachel helped me understand the true joy and gift of community, culture and a healthy connection to my food. It gave me nourishment, comfort and a deep understanding of the power of my kitchen table to heal and restore. A truly great read!
pastoral staff at Christ Church of Oak Brook and author of Mom Connection and Green Mama
In this food-focused age, reading about food can be a lot like eating it: fraught with anxiety, confusion, excess and even emptiness. Rachel Marie Stone is here to restore what God intended from the first--real joy. You'll find much wisdom and celebration in its pages, including recipes and simple family-tested ways of living and eating more joyfully right now. Make ready the feast!
-Leslie Leyland Fields,
editor of The Spirit of Food
Eat with Joy is delicious! Generous, wise, well-reported and--yes--joyful, Rachel Marie Stone's book will open your hands so that you may receive the good gifts of God. She had me long before even mentioning saag paneer, Babette's Feast or the recipe for cinnamon rolls.
author of Love You More and MOMumental
Rachel stone calls us to rediscover joyful eating by receiving food as God's good gift of provision and care for us...Combining insightful reflections on food and faith with some tasty recipes, this will not be a book to miss!
-C. Christopher Smith,
Englewood Review of Books, Advent 2012
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