On Christopher’s Table: Gluttony and Bruschetta

I facilitate a small group conversation on David K. Naugle’s fine book, Reordered Love, Reordered Lives: Learning the Deep Meaning of Happiness. Tonight we’re reflecting on the third chapter, “Disordered Lives: Seven (and Even More) Ways to Die.” One question will guide us:

Identify the seven deadly sins and explain how each is an expression of disordered love. How might you use this list of chief sins in a practical way to evaluate the inclinations of your heart and the tendencies of your behavior?

To aid our digestion of ideas, I’m preparing a dish of antipasti that includes this recipe from Bobby Flay: Black Pepper-Basil Farmer’s Cheese Bruschetta with Tomato. Watch the video if you’re a visual learner. Speaking of Chef Flay, not too long I cooked up this entree for my family: Spanish Spice Rubbed Chicken Breasts with Parsley-Mint Sauce. They salivated, and so will you.

Of course it would be reasonable for you to conclude that I’m vulnerable to the deadly sin of gluttony, not so much the gluttony of excess – I’m lean and mean – but rather the gluttony of delicacy, as defined by Naugle:

We can think too much and be too concerned about food and drink, and look forward to our meals with too much anticipation – what shall we eat, and when, and where, and how? Based on a list from Thomas Aquinas, we can commit this more refined version of gluttony by eating too early and often, too eagerly and greedily, too expensively and elegantly, and too fastidiously and fussily. In a Screwtape letter, C.S. Lewis asks, “But what do quantities matter provided we can use a human belly and palate to produce querulousness, impatience, uncharitableness, and self-concern?” Gluttonies of excess or delicacy seem especially insidious in a world where there is so much need and thousands die daily from malnutrition (p. 75).

Lord, have mercy upon this fussy foodie!

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4 thoughts on “On Christopher’s Table: Gluttony and Bruschetta

    • If you’re convicted about the gluttony of delicacy in your life, as I am, how then we do we curb this vice?

      • Well, I know that it is a sin because one is looking for joy and satisfaction in something other than Christ. How to curb this vice? Well, I would first turn to prayer: to thank God for exposing the sin and convicting the sinner, and to pray for sanctification. Then, of course, the sinner should meditate on Scriptures day and night, contemplating their sin and their Savior.
        There must be specific things that can be done to curb the vice. One I can think of is fasting. The person that suffers from gluttony of delicacy could do day fasts every week from certain sources of the sin, and then maybe weekly fasts, and then maybe longer. What that would look like for me: to not drink coffee a day or two or more a week, to try a week fast from coffee every month or so. And then maybe longer fasts, perhaps for lent.

      • Fasting seems like the most fitting practice to curb the vice of gluttony because it reveals the depth of dependence on food and drink rather than God. Do you plan on fasting from coffee for a week or month? Would it help to prepare the same coffee at home using the same methods instead of drinking it at coffee house, where it is far more expensive?

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