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Holy Rewired:Science, the Gospel, and the Journey Towards Wholeness

June 1st, 2010 → 12:32 pm @ David Phillips // No Comments

Introducing Holy Rewired: Science, the Gospel, and the Journey Towards Wholeness!

This is a book about the journey towards wholeness from a life of unhealthy, addictive, and sinful behavior. In it the author examines how findings from emerging disciplines like neurobiology and behavioral science enrich and even validate the scriptures regarding the reason for unhealthy, addictive and sinful behavior.

Holy Rewired describes how changing our behavior is not simply a matter of being more disciplined about prayer and Bible reading or adding additional spiritual activities like fasting. Behavioral change requires accessing the deepest parts of our emotional lives. Engaging and dealing with our emotions leads to increasing emotional health, which in turn leads to behavioral change. Emotional health allows us to change our thinking about ourselves, our actions, and our relationship to others. It offers the freedom to regain a healthy understanding of who we are in Christ and in our relationship with God the Father. In this context, we can make progress in our journey toward wholeness.

In order to effectively change our behavior, we must also remember who we are as created by the Father. The ultimate impact of sin has been to destroy our sense of identity. We have lost the sense of being created in the image of God and being created for perfect relationship with our Creator. Because we are broken eikons (the Greek word for man being created in the image of God), we are searching to discover who and whose we are. Unhealthy behavior is an expression of that searching and longing that is within all of us. However, without the reshaping skill of the Potter, the cracked pots cannot be made whole and thus continue to struggle finding themselves in a world ignorant of the hope that brings wholeness.

Unfortunately, the institutional church has frequently dismissed the issues of unhealthy behavior as simply sin or a lack of self-discipline. The antidote for dealing with the behavioral dysfunction, according to those who emphasize spiritual disciplines, is to do more things that are spiritual: pray more, read the Bible more, spend more time in church. This prescription is limited in addressing the real cause of destructive behavior. It does not address the impact of other people’s destructive behavior upon us. The unhealthy behavior of others can negatively impact our own behavior. The negative impact is often, perhaps even always, the source of the unhealthy and destructive behaviors a person exhibits.

In addition, the spiritual prescription does not take into account multiple memory storage areas with which our minds are created. The emotional memory holds traumatic experiences, which cause us to react out of pain when we sense we are in a similar situation. These experiences, part of our emotional memory, are rarely readily accessible in our cognitive memory. These memories must be probed, remembered, and released.

Drawing on recent research from emerging sciences such as neuroplasticity, emotional intelligence, and family systems theory, behavioral change is a result of our journey towards emotional health and wholeness. It requires us to unlearn and put aside the practices and effects of self-destructive behavior and fully embrace our identity as people created in the image of God for relationship with him.

Endorsements:

In this encouraging study of spiritual whole-making, the key to a whole-souled life is to be wholly souled in biblical truth and integrity. – Leonard Sweet, Drew University, George Fox University, sermons.com

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