It’s hard to wrap our minds around the idea of baby Jesus – fully God and yet with all the limitations inherent to human infancy. Fuller Seminary professor Justin Barrett guest writes our newsletter today, drawing on knowledge from psychology, cognitive science, and evolution to point to the beauty of this dependence and vulnerability.
Psychology & Neuroscience
You largely trust your own mind, right? It is a source of reliable knowledge, except, maybe for those moments you can’t remember where you left your keys. Well, psychology tells a very different story. There are dozens of biases that impact how reasonably, or accurately, or unselfishly our minds function.
In recent decades, many interesting studies have examined how religion and faith help us deal with stress, loss, and trauma. Events as different as 9/11, near-death experiences, and caring for someone with cancer have been studied.
How do these attachments affect our relationship with God? Scholars have determined that our history of human attachments—good ones and bad ones—can impact our relationship with God.
Our faith can give us the power for change, but so does our God-given neurobiology. Scientists call it neuroplasticity. Our brains are malleable, and as our neurons and synapses rewire, we change. New neurons can even form. This happens throughout our lives, though at a slower rate as adults. Any repeated brain activity rewires us, and once rewired, our mental and physical experience of the world can be transformed.