Recently, I read an informative book called The Secret Body by Daniel M. Davis. One chapter especially interested me―“The Multi-colored Brain.”
He depicted the study of the brain in this way: “The scale of the problem―to understand the human brain―and its importance are second to none in all biology and perhaps all science.” He described the amazing complexity of the brain like this:
A human brain is made up of 86 billion neurons, and each has multitudes of long, thin strands protruding from its main cell body: dendrites for receiving signals and an axon for sending them out. Altogether the 86 billion neurons are connected by around 100 trillion synapses, each allowing messages to move from one cell to another . . . . A complete wiring diagram of the human brain needs about as much data as all the digital content held in the world today.
This comment was particularly noteworthy:
Inside your head is the most complicated object we know of in the universe . . . A small object responsible for all art and culture, the creation of money and bombs, everything humankind has ever done to the planet and the extinction of countless other species―not to mention our personal feelings, memories, dreams and relationships. And perhaps most mysteriously, our sense of self and the experience of making choices.
Clearly, we need to care for and nurture this most precious asset! Our brains are critically important as creatures made in God’s image. And certainly, with respect to our mandate as vice-regents (Gen 1:26‒28), we must bring this “most complicated object” to God. He owns it and we are responsible for its use and development. We are stewards of our brains.
God created a world for intelligent creatures. He made sentient beings with intellectual desire, imagination, and an aspiration for wisdom. Serving God is inconceivable without utilizing the cognitive abilities God gave us.
The Bible shows that we are built for intellectual curiosity. God wants us to ask questions—and to find the answers in revelation. Indeed, God created the whole world as a school in which every experience is an invitation to think and learn. Every aspect of creation, the natural world, ourselves, and our relations is revelatory. All true facts speak to us about God.
God, the great teacher, created human beings as his pupils—in his image with high-capacity brains. Demonstrating our love for God with our minds and then using our growing understanding to bless others are essential. Cogent and pious thinking is a critical aspect of serving God. This involves a process of diligent study, moving from ignorance and illusion to understanding and wisdom.
The Scriptures reveal that mankind is homo adorans (worshiping creatures), created in God’s image, designed to love and serve. We are also thinkers, homo sapiens (thoughtful and self-conscious), homo discens (learners with intellectual curiosity), homo quaerens (questioners, those who wonder), homo imaginans (those who imagine and create), and homo faber (those who build and organize).
All of these wonderful capacities require a brain. As Christians, we must develop our immense intellectual potential―each and every one us, regardless of intellectual capacity and academic achievement. We are all stewards of whatever cognitive potential and educational level we possess.
Let’s bring our beautiful brains to God!