God-Wired is a collection of stories about young people and old people, rich people and poor people, famous people, and people of whom you have never heard and their magnificent brains. The experiences described in these stories have moved me from the life of a rebellious and cynical scientist who found God inconvenient and embarrassing to become a rebellious and optimistic scientist who finds God valuable and necessary.
These stories have caused me to seriously consider the Bible as not only the inspired word of God but consistently revealed in every neuroscience conference and scientific journal and textbook describing the structure and function of the human brain.
These stories also include methods by which you can implement the invitation of the Apostle Paul more than 2000 years ago:
“Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will know what God’s will is for you, his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”
God-Wired is based on this message from the Apostle Paul who was inspired by God to lead people to transformation, through the grace and redemption made possible by the life and death and resurrection of Jesus. Before God sent Jesus to offer you the opportunity to be transformed, He designed your mind to be renewed. The offer still stands, which is the focus of the Bible. Gods design of your brain and its ability to help your mind be ready for transformation is the focus of this blog.
In God-Wired I will share with you recent discoveries about your brains ability to renew your mind. The first lesson is this: Your brain is constantly trying to renew your mind, which poses a challenge to each if us; how to be responsible for our renewal. Its a responsibility that we cant avoid because our brain is constantly changing in response to what it experiences, which is sometimes controlled by us, and often influenced by those around us. This is a crucial part of Gods free will that we cant turn down because we cant stop our brains from developing.
How we accept the responsibility for the renewal of our minds through the development of our brains is an important focus of my practice as a psychologist and is the primary focus of God-Wired, where I have included several exercises I use with my clients to help guide their development that I now offer to you with humility and respect for the power that God has put within our grasp.
If you are a believer, I hope that God-Wired will help you become even more excited about Gods potential to use you to do His work and perhaps learn how to move closer to His good, pleasing, and perfect will for your life. As a faith-based neuroscientist, that has been my experience. Have you gone too long without awe and inspiration? Well, in God-Wired, you will find information about your brain that will amaze and inspire you. If you are like me, you will develop a new appreciation for how magnificently God has created you and you will be humbled by the intricacy and complexity of your brain. Although the magnificence of God is found throughout nature, I believe that His most amazing creation is your brain, helping you to understand these words and get excited about what you are learning, a brain that is developing as you read this, right now!
If you are a faith-seeker, considering a relationship with God, I hope that God-Wired engages your curiosity and inspires you to take the step of faith. Because you havent yet developed a relationship with God, perhaps the most amazing thing about reading God-Wired will be that learning how your brain works will help you understand how God wants you to live. This glimpse of the potential to renew your mind will lead you closer to God, as it has moved me and many others.
If you are a faith-skeptic, I hope that you will postpone judgment as I share my story and the stories of others who have been transformed through the renewal of our minds, facilitated by the science that I once thought required me to reject God, but I now realize was crucial to my faith journey. I believe that an open mind that is curious and always asking questions inevitably moves towards a relationship with God. That has been my own experience, beginning my career 40 years ago as a God-rejecting scientist-in-training moving casually through life, and given the opportunity to step into the lives of people with severe disabilities who had reason to seriously question and be angry with God, but often found God necessary as their minds were renewed to meet their new circumstances.
Why do I say God-Wired? Because I believe that God is the Architect of your brain, with approximately one trillion cells packed into 3 pounds of matter. In that space, God has organized 100 billion neurons, with 10,000 connections each, to be the foundation of your mind, your personality, and your abilities, with millions being added every day. What is even more amazing, in relationship with each other my brain is wiring your brain and your brain is wiring my brain, every moment we interact. We are doing life together in a very fundamental way, and we should be intentional about how we carry that off.
Although all of the information in God-Wired is available in the scientific literature and is taught in graduate schools, I believe that this is the first place its been made available from a Christian perspective, helping to bridge an unnecessary gap in modern society. God-Wired includes the latest from the fields of neuroscience and psychology that is bringing about a revolution in how to help people transform their lives. Important scientific studies are referenced and you will find additional resources in God-Wired that can help deepen your understanding and appreciation.
One final thought; this blog-thread is an opportunity that I have to pay back to my patients and colleagues and teachers and family some of the most important lessons I have learned that go beyond what they have individually taught. The confluence of knowledge and experience that is found in every life should be offered to others in the hope that they may benefit.