Jump directly to the Content

Study the Brain Without Losing Your Soul

Can brain science teach us about discipleship?

A mechanism for cooling the blood—that's what the philosopher Aristotle believed the brain was. Others in the ancient world were even further off the mark. The Egyptians saw the heart as the seat of intelligence. The brain, they believed, was mere "cranial stuffing."

Well, we're not in ancient Athens or Egypt anymore. The brain is still the least understood organ in the human body, but we know a lot more than our ancient counterparts. And we're about to learn a lot more. Neuroscience is in its infancy (imaging devices like fMRIs are barely two decades old) but our knowledge of the brain is increasing exponentially. What Copernicus's heliocentric model did for our understanding of the universe, neuroscience promises to do for our view of the self.

And, some say, our experience of God.

How should Christian leaders respond? Is this new knowledge of our most vital organ friend or foe?

First, some cautions.

Beware the hype. Hardly a day goes by without ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Book Corner: Spiritual Formation for Small Groups
Book Corner: Spiritual Formation for Small Groups
A workbook that unites theology and spiritual formation.
From the Magazine
Having Polio Was a Privilege, Not a Punishment
Having Polio Was a Privilege, Not a Punishment
How a passage in John’s gospel transformed my perspective on God and suffering.
Editor's Pick
5 Ways Collaborative Sermon Writing Can Help Pastors
5 Ways Collaborative Sermon Writing Can Help Pastors
How a cross-cultural experiment with a half-dozen church leaders offered me a fresh perspective.
close