For months I have pondered the idea of holistic spirituality. I still don't have many answers, but maybe have come to a few conclusions. For too long the church has treated the soul as entirely different than body or mind, and I think this has been a detriment to those attempting to follow Christ with their lives. In Matthew 22 Jesus quotes the Hebrew scriptures in commanding us to 'love God with our heart, soul, strength, AND mind." Sadly, the church has neglected much of this command, choosing to focus solely on the soul (pun intended).
I have especially noticed this in the lack of concern many pastors show for their own bodies. I don't mean to throw my fellow friends and colleagues under the bus, but at the same time I think it has become a concern worth noting. I fully understand that some people have biological issues with weight gain that are beyond their control (and I sympathize with them), but there are also a lot of pastors I know that simply do nothing to care for themselves physically. They sit all day in office chairs preparing sermons or sending emails, while only emerging from their roost to have lunch, coffee, or dessert with a congregant or colleague. No wonder they struggle with weight.
I guess my only comments on this problem in American Christianity is that I want to be pastored by someone who fully understands the relation between body, mind, and soul. I want to be mentored by someone who spends equal time in Bible study, the counselor's sofa, and the gym. How can you take care of my soul when you can't take care of your own body? May we be people who nurture all of ourselves, not just those areas that are convenient and don't cost much.
A pastor in Pennsylvania recently blogged on this issue. Here is the link if you are interested.