The God-Shaped Brain
What you believe about God actually changes your brain.
Brain research in neuroscience has found that our thoughts and beliefs affect our physical, mental, and spiritual health. Mind and body are interrelated, and we are designed for healthy relationships of love and trust. When we understand God as good and loving, we flourish. Unfortunately, many of us have distorted images of God and mostly think of him in fearful, punitive ways. This leads us into unhealthy patterns of self-defeating behaviors and toxic relationships. But our lives can change when God renews our minds with a truer picture of him.
Psychiatrist Tim Jennings unveils how our brains and bodies thrive when we have a healthy understanding of who God is. He dispels common misconceptions about God and shows how different God concepts affect the brain differently. Our brains can adapt, change, and rewire with redeemed thinking that frees us from unnecessary pain and suffering. Discover how neuroscience and Scripture come together to bring healing and transformation to our lives.
This expanded edition now includes a study guide for individual reflection or group discussion, with questions for learning from Scripture, science and nature, and experience.
"Paying attention to the findings of neuroscience is tantamount to paying attention to God's creation. And doing that leads us—with the proper guide—to God's story and his intentions for us. Tim Jennings is that proper guide. An experienced healer with a palpable spirit of humility, he takes the reader past the trite, superficial motifs of easy spirituality that clutter our emotional landscapes and grounds you first in the nature of the God of Scripture. He then further explores that in which God grounded the first humans—the body, and namely, the brain. With compelling stories of challenge and transformation, Dr. Jennings deftly weaves together a deeply thoughtful theology of the living Word with the complex nature of the organ that our heart calls home. Read this book to know God more fully. Read this book to know your brain more fully. And see how knowing God will change your brain—and your life—in ways you never thought possible."
"With amazing clarity, Dr. Jennings cuts through the many divergent God constructs to expose the powerful impact these differing views have upon our brains and bodies. Not everything taught about God is healthy—read this book and learn how your belief about God is changing you."
"What makes this book truly remarkable is the artful way Dr. Jennings combines the latest understanding in brain physiology with practical and compelling real-life stories. Although this book is easy to understand for the layperson, the implications Dr. Jennings makes about the design of the human brain, how it can be damaged and how it can be healed are profound. I don't know of another book that so beautifully describes how our minds can be restored back to the way God originally designed them to be."
"Dr. Tim Jennings has asked the troublesome questions about God's character and answered them in a simple and compelling way that clears away the lies about him so that you find yourself falling deeper in love with him. It's a must-read for every inquiring mind. Once you understand the physiology of the brain and how it responds to love versus selfishness, as explained by Dr. Jennings, you will realize that the choice for love is the only one that will renew the mind and result in good mental health."
"It has been said that our thoughts reflect who we are (Proverbs 23:7). Dr. Jennings challenges us with a synthesis of neurobiology and theology that elaborates on this concept."
"If you are ready to take your relationship with God to the next level, if you are ready to move closer to the source of all truth, if you are ready for an evidence-based approach to knowing God, this book is for you. Dr. Jennings's patient cases and illustrations make complex ideas simple and easy to understand as he powerfully documents, through brain science, how our beliefs about God change us."
Diagram of Brain
Section I: God, The Brain, and What Went Wrong
1. God is Love
2. The Human Brain and Broken Love
3. The Infection of Fear
4. Freedom to Love
Section II: The Battle Between The Conflicting Views about God
5. Love Strikes Back
6. Engaging the Battle
7. Love Stands Firm
8. Changing Our View of God
9. The Power of Truth
10. The Truth About Sin
11. Enlarging Our View of God
12. The Judgment of God
13. In the Brain of Christ
Section III: Embracing the Goodness of God
15. When Good Prevails
16 When Love Burns Free.
17. Buddha, Jesus and Preparing Your Brain for Eternity
Addendum: Putting It All Together: Simple Steps to a Healthier Brain