Wednesday, March 9, 2011

God on the Brain

I walked into class last week and there on the conference table sat an actual human brain.  Fully intact. Inside a glass jar filled with a slightly yellow liquid preservative. Good thing this class is right before lunch and not right after it.

We have about a dozen students in the class - four of which couldn't bring themselves to look at it closely. I was intrigued. Despite that I usually pass out at the sight of anything that belongs inside the body.

In case you are like me in that sense, or just ate lunch, brace yourself for the photo.

Did you get the willies looking at it?

Me too a little.

My colleague had brought the jar to class as a point of reference while we discussed the ways the the human brain appears hardwired towards religious belief. If I weren't a communication scholar, I might want to be a neuroscientist. Except that would mean I'd probably have to work with rats. That would present a problem.

Your brain is a fascinating work of God! It's roughly 3 lbs. of tofu-like material. It's mostly salt water and some fats and proteins. But it contains over a trillion different cells, with about a 100 billion neurons! They all fire with electricity. Doesn't that amaze you? I always seem to forget that I am an electrical being.

The human brain's capacity and complexity astound me. Somehow, inside this 3 lb mass of grey matter that fits inside a jar as easily as it fits inside our head, somehow inside this mass of cells and salt water, is a way that you and I can connect with God. And with His Word.  And be transformed by that process.

Romans 12:1-2 says:.

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

I stared at the organ in the jar off and on throughout class and thought, this is arguably the single greatest creation on God's green earth. Something about it makes us in God's image. And some things we can do with it  - like prayer, reading, thinking and internalizing scripture - make us remade, further made, into His image.

What are you doing these days to use that electric tofu in your head to connect with God and conform to His will?

Inquiring minds want to know.


  1. Oh stomach did flips seeing that picture!!! ugh!

    You have impressed my brain -- now when I "daily renew my mind" I will think of you and that brain!!


  2. Wow, that is amazing. God has impressed me to pray for people who are sick, or whatever they need. This shows me how I'm able to do this, because God is putting things into my brain to help others. To God be the glory.

  3. I just finished Radical by David Platt if that doesn't stir your brain to God...

  4. Considering the latest journey I am on, this really helps me want to try to figure out what happened. God knows and I know that He knows best. Therefore, I do not have to know why things happened. I have to trust that God knows what He is doing and has my best interests at heart.

  5. Electric tofu...that sums up why I am a solid carnivore! Seriously though, I have been seeking God diligently right now, as I feel like I am on the edge of a cool journey. I want to make sure I am headed the right direction, as I have a habit of making really good time, but not always in the direction I should be going. He has also provided me amazing opportunities to share the magnitude, if even possible, of how big He wants to be in our lives. A God for everyday, not just Sundays or hard times.


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