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God on the Brain: What Cognitive Science Does (and Does Not) Tell Us about Faith, Human Nature, and the Divine (Sickler)

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Advances in modern science have dramatically increased our understanding of the human brain.

While this progress has helped improve many lives, it has also raised many philosophical and theological questions. Researchers are increasingly presenting the brain as comprising the totality of a person. But is this a fair assessment?

Bradley Sickler offers a timely theological, scientific, and philosophical analysis of cognitive science, arguing that the brain is more complex than what can be explained by science alone. Navigating questions about the brain, religion, and science, Sickler guides readers to confidently affirm that the Christian worldview offers the most compelling vision of the true nature of humanity.


Read Chapter One


Table of Contents: 

1. The Nature of Humans
2. Science and Christianity (1): The Conflict Thesis
3. Science and Christianity (2): Strangers or Friends?
4. Evolutionary Explanations for Belief in God
5. Is Everything Just Brain States?
6. Doing Away with the Soul
7. Mind-Body Interaction and Simplicity
8. The Question of Freedom
9. Reason, Science, and Morality
10. Reformed Epistemology and the Naturalness of Belief



Bradley L. Sickler (PhD, Purdue University) is associate professor of philosophy and the program director for the master of arts in theological studies program at the University of Northwestern, St. Paul, Minnesota.



“A number of philosophers and scientists argue that humans are nothing more than their physical bodies, yet God on the Brain shows why this view lacks grounding. Compelling, eloquent, and accessible, this book upholds the case for a traditional view of humans as both physical and spiritual. I highly recommend Sickler’s volume to all who are interested in the intersection of neuroscience and philosophy with the Christian faith.” - Sharon Dirckx, Senior Tutor, Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics; author, Am I Just My Brain?

“In a world where our very humanity is called into question and redefined, Brad Sickler offers truth and hope in a well-reasoned manner. God on the Brain takes the Bible and religious experience seriously and views science as a partner rather than an adversary. Sickler offers a theologically reliable way forward through the dangers of materialism, naturalism, and many other ‘-isms’ that try to steer us away from living a fully Christian life. If the church takes Sickler’s work seriously, we will be extremely well prepared to love God with our entire being in a much deeper and more profound way. Highly recommended!” - J. Scott Duvall, J. C. and Mae Fuller Chair of Biblical Studies and Professor of New Testament, Ouachita Baptist University

“Brad Sickler covers a lot of ground in this short yet punchy book. He writes wonderfully and elegantly distills complex discussions. Readers coming at these questions for the first time will find his insights richly illuminating and their minds stretched in helpful ways. This book is a delight to read. You’ll end up more informed, a good deal wiser, and ever more confident in the biblical story!” - Hans Madueme, Associate Professor of Theological Studies, Covenant College

“This is a really great book! Brad Sickler is able to explain complex ideas in a readable, enjoyable style. Pulling from several academic disciplines, this book is full of new, refreshing, and insightful ideas. Sickler’s treatment of the relationship between science and religion is alone worth the price of the book. I highly recommend this treasure of learning.” - J. P. Moreland, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University