The brain, with its nearly eighty-six billion neurons, is the most complex structure in the universe. And it’s just three pounds.
Now if that doesn’t boggle your brain, stop and think about this:
Human brains are fast, have almost limitless memory, create very little heat, and require just hamburgers to power. In fact, the brain uses less energy than a refrigerator light bulb!
The human brain is not much to behold when you are holding it in your hands or view it with its dead-white color, floating in a jar of formaldehyde. But when that brain is in the skull of a human being, look out!
Alive, the brain becomes what we call a person, capable of deep emotions, amazing scientific discoveries, and tender poetry. That brain, now a person, does not just build cathedrals and compose love poetry, but it is consciously aware of what life feels like, of falling in love, of seeing red, and of hearing middle C played on a piano.
We understand much of life, and of meaning, perhaps because the brain we examine in our heads is no mere brain. Those who believe in God say human beings are a union of brain matter and spirit from God. Call us a biological accident and a freak if you want to, but you are pushing a boulder up a steep hill.
In the Christian worldview, it is believed that God communicates truth about humanity to human beings in the Bible. The revealed Word of God in the Bible describes a view of the human person that fits the biblical record of matter and spirit fused together to create a unified, living being, a person.
We believe that we survive the death of our brains, are resurrected with new bodies and brains, and have eternal value and purpose in God’s eternity. We lean on the authority of inspired Scripture and on the truth of the writings of such great minds as the apostle Paul, the church leaders Augustine and Aquinas, and so many more. It has been obvious for such a long time in our own experiences that something more is going on in our three pounds of brain.
The better we understand the brain, the better we understand ourselves and our exquisite design that reflects the wisdom of the Creator.
Thoughtful readers will find The Brain, the Mind, and the Person Within to be a fascinating, accessible survey of this unique part of the body and the profound theological and technological issues surrounding it.