Blame It on the Brain: Distinguishing Chemical Imbalances, Brain Disorders, and Disobedience

Blame It on the Brain: Distinguishing Chemical Imbalances, Brain Disorders, and Disobedience

Edward T. Welch / Jun 01, 2020

Blame It on the Brain Distinguishing Chemical Imbalances Brain Disorders and Disobedience Have you ever been surprised at how some people have accused their brain making it responsible for some of their bad behavior As human problems seem to get both deeper and widespread people are desp

  • Title: Blame It on the Brain: Distinguishing Chemical Imbalances, Brain Disorders, and Disobedience
  • Author: Edward T. Welch
  • ISBN: 9780875526027
  • Page: 451
  • Format: Paperback
  • Have you ever been surprised at how some people have accused their brain, making it responsible for some of their bad behavior As human problems seem to get both deeper and widespread, people are desperate for solutions and the quicker the better How wonderful it would be, many think, if the right pill or genetic alteration could solve our problems As Christians,Have you ever been surprised at how some people have accused their brain, making it responsible for some of their bad behavior As human problems seem to get both deeper and widespread, people are desperate for solutions and the quicker the better How wonderful it would be, many think, if the right pill or genetic alteration could solve our problems As Christians, we are not so naive, however We know that we cannot blindly accept everything we hear as God s truth Information we receive about brain functioning is viewed the same way we view any information, whether it is about finances, parenting, or the causes of our behavior we view it through the lens of Scripture And that requires us to be thoughtful, careful, and prayerful as we hear and assess the latest scientific discoveries.This means that the task before the reader in this book is twofold to introduce areas where the brain has received too little credit, and to highlight where the brain has received too much credit or blame.And such hope is encouraged by reports suggesting that we are on the verge of revolutionary brain treatments for problems that were once attributed to the soul.The theological structure presented in Part One is fairly straightforward we are created by God as a unity of at least two substances spirit and body Nothing new here This is a theological statement that has stood for centuries What is new, however, is the application of this theology to some modern question To help the reader think through these issues and questions, Part One of this book supplies the theological resources necessary for dialogue with the brain sciences Why theological resources rather than technological and scientific Because theology is the lens through which Christians interpret all research, and it is essential that our lens be clear and accurate Sadly, in relation to the brain sciences, our lenses have been particularly cloudy, and, as a result, they have not controlled our vision In fact, many people seem to take their biblical lenses off entirely when looking at brain research Therefore, Part One will clean and polish the reader s theological glasses.Outfitted with this theology and its manifold applications, Part Two will put it to work Part Two explores some modern diagnoses and experiences, all attributed to the brain, and considers them from a biblical perspective Welch thoughtfully challenges the reader to learn a way of thinking that will allows them to think biblically about specific problems as they are encountered This, in turn, helps to equip and enable the reader to minister biblically, with confidence, wisdom, and compassion.

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      451 Edward T. Welch
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      Published :2020-03-11T04:04:17+00:00

    About "Edward T. Welch"

      • Edward T. Welch

        Edward T Welch, M.Div Ph.D is a licensed psychologist and faculty member at the Christian Counseling Educational Foundation CCEF He has counseled for thirty years and is the best selling author of many books including When People Are Big and God Is Small Addictions A Banquet in the Grave Blame It on the Brain Depression A Stubborn Darkness Crossroads A Step by Step Guide Away from Addiction Running Scared Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest and When I Am Afraid A Step by Step Guide Away from Fear and Anxiety He and his wife Sheri have two daughters, two sons in law, and four grandchildren.


    1. Dr. Welch has a Ph.D. in psychology as well as theology degrees, and has been a counselor for years. His doctoral work was on brain physiology, so Blame it on the Brain is the fruit of 20 years of reflection on the subject. Welch wonders if the brain "has been given too much credit" (p. 12). Many have held the brain responsible for some bad behavior: "My disease did it!" (p. 13). While the observations of the rapidly expanding field of brain sciences can be very helpful, when interpreted through [...]

    2. Recent studies in neurology has resulted in many sins being "re-classified" as diseases, and sadly many Christians have not been able to synthesize scientific research of the brain and Scripture. We've been far too prone to make Scripture subservient to what Scientism says, than reason through scientific data scripturally. Welch threads this needle as if he was a card-carrying member of a babushka's quilting club.Especially in his treatment of psychiatric medications (i.e. antidepressants) an [...]

    3. While I appreciated what the aims of the book were, it smelled of Gnosticism and it needed quite a bit more Bible involved.The goal of the book is noble, and I appreciated its much needed corrective to the common understanding of the brain. It is a nice apologetic work for a fairly specific, but important area of the hard sciences. Welch's purpose in writing is to help Christians understand that contemporary brain science does not disprove Christianity. He argues that instead of the brain 'causi [...]

    4. Welch very helpfully explains three categories for understanding the role of the brain in behavior and addictions. Under the heading The Brain Did It, he discusses Alzheimers and dementia, and argues that definite changes have occurred in the makeup of the brain that alter ways of thinking and interacting. People with these conditions can still sin, but their brain is assuredly contributing to their problems, and this needs to be taken into account. Moving on to Maybe The Brain Did It, he discus [...]

    5. Este es uno de los libros sobre el funcionamiento de nuestro cerebro infuyendo la personalidad y las decisiones que mas he disfrutado ultimamente, las observacines que hace me han ayudado a entender mucho mas el comportamiento de aquellos que por enfermedad, traumatismo o mal funcionamiento neuronal confrontan cada dia dificiles decisiones, tambien me ha ayudado a distinguir como muchos de los comportamientos que llamamos ser simplemente neurolgicos son en realidad comportamiento pecaminosos mot [...]

    6. Very helpful introduction to mental disorders with a very balanced Christian critique. Welch addresses the philosophical assumptions, the actual clinical evidence, as well as the relevant Biblical material. This shouldn't be the pastor's last word on psychological issues, but it is a helpful start.

    7. Required Reading for Every PastorIn an age of confusion and questioning the sufficiency of Scripture, Welch comes along and gives clear guidance. This book is detailed but practical. It does not reject everything psychology says but submits it all to the authority of Scripture.

    8. I a really good book from one of the CCEF guys on thinking about sin and chemical imbalances. Excellent for pastors and even parents.

    9. Simply astounding! Dr. Welch, using both his rich knowledge of Scripture and his expertise in neuropsychology, provides us with an incredible understanding of the brain sciences—an understanding of what the brain does and doesn't do. Because we live in a culture where people constantly put their brains on trial ("My brain made me do it!") and jettison responsibility, this is a book we need to pick up.

    10. Very valuable counseling book! It definitely helped me understand the physical/spiritual aspects of struggles as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, ADD, homosexuality, and more. I will definitely refer to this resource as I progress in preaching, counseling, and discipleship. I am thankful for this excellent resource!

    11. Really, really good book that does a superb job at looking at the connections between the physical and spiritual aspects of a person, particularly in relationship to the brain, and in drawing careful yet practical biblical guidelines based on the nature of that relationship. Welch is a deeply empathetic person whose care for struggling individuals clearly shines forth in this group. The book is essentially divided into two parts: a shorter first part, where Welch goes into the mind-body connecti [...]

    12. I read this book a few years ago okay, well i guess i'm getting old. Now that I do the math, it's more like many years ago. Nonetheless, I remember it being helpful to me in creating some clarity around which psychological illnesses are more biologically based and which are more spiritually/ emotionally based. Of course, the relationship between the body, mind, emotions and spirit is a complex one, but this book cuts a nice middle ground. Basically, it addresses the question: Where is the line b [...]

    13. In our society, the blame game continues, only this time, it is carried out in a much more sophisticated field of study—the study of the brain. In this excellent book, Welch takes his background in neuropsychology (Ph.D.) and actually writes out of his many years of counseling and his doctoral work on the brain. Welch presents his concern that possibly the brain has been given too much credit for our bad behavior. He points out the problems inherent in “my brain disease did it” theology. H [...]

    14. This is an important, but slightly controversial book for anyone who works in counseling or is interesting in perspective on the overlap of clinical psychology and Biblical teaching. While I didn't agree with everything Welch had to say, I found many of his insights really challenging and refreshing. As someone who deals with a brain disorder myself, I couldn't help but see some truth in his conclusions about the unknown origins of many psychological disorders and the need for both patients and [...]

    15. Welch's Blame It on the Brain? is a good lay-level introduction to mind-body issues in a counseling context. The details he leaves to other resources (e.g for the theological debate about dualism vs. monism he refers readers to Cooper's Body, Soul, and Life Everlasting), but the framework he provides is very helpful. Welch's basic thesis is that the brain never causes people to sin. Brain injuries may remove the abilities of some to restrain the impulses of a sinful heart, but the brain is not f [...]

    16. Engaging read because of the simple way it is put. Reading this helps to clarify the principles/ biblical truths that we all kind of know, but that has grown fuzzy and rusty over time. Welch is great at making these blurred concepts become crystal clear, and shows us how to apply the bible into everyday lives, into the issues that we face in the world today, and how christians can likewise influence and contribute to society. These "psychological" (some of them) or physical disorders are what mo [...]

    17. Practical and pastoral insights into thinking about issues of the brain in ministry. Welch is pointed when it comes to sin and compassionate in dealing with suffering. I had to wonder if perhaps a new edition of this book is due out. It seems like a lot has happened in brain science and the way psychiatric issues are deal with in secular psychology since 1998. This wouldn't change the books main thesis, but might change some of the details.

    18. Pretty good and needed information on being able to discern whether or not an issue is sin-related, or just some bad gas in the brain. He assumes a substance dualist view of the mind-body problem throughout though, which ends up making his assessment for disobedience/sin seem a bit overly spiritualized.

    19. A great book that looks at some problems people like to blame on their brain. There are some legitimate brain issues (ie Alzheimer's) and some that are heart issues (ie Alcoholism). The author offers great steps to helping people work on their heart issues even if they are struggling with a brain issue. Also, he gives great insights into the science of the brain.

    20. Outstanding, simple, and biblical. For those that don't want to duped by the psychiatric professionals, this is great. I used it in conjunction with This the SermonAudio message:Nebuchadnezzar Loses His MindVoddie BauchamDaniel 4:4-37To listen to this sermon, click here:sermonaudio/jumptop

    21. This book covers brain physiology - and so since it was written in 1998 - it now contains some outdated material. Because of this, it was unable to consider the current day understanding of the disease model with regard to addictions. Still - good to see a Christian tackling this difficult topic - we just need an updated version that better reflects current day science and practice.

    22. I read this for a book report for my Abnormal Psychology class and I ended up really enjoying it. I learned a lot and the author did a really good job applying it to Christians today. I highly recommend this book to anyone in the psychology field and anyone going into ministry.

    23. Blame It on the Brain was very engaging and readable. Welch provides the reader with many helpful ways of thinking about how body and soul interact in a fallen world. This is very practical for pastors and laypeople seeking to help those in many kinds of trouble.

    24. Great book to bring the aspect of differentiating true physical problems and disobedience. The line is fuzzy because we never can see another's heart, but this book is a good balance to not jump to only seeing disobedience in people's behavior.

    25. This book was really good for me to read. It highlighted how much of a materialistic (the philosophy) view I have of soul/body interactions. "Blame It On the Brain" also gave me a much better view on how to deal with certain situations in pastoral care. Highly recommend this work.

    26. Disagreed with some of his conclusions. Don't think deterioration of the frontal lobe function in dementia "reveals" sin, unless he means the overarching fallen nature of manwhich is not what he meant.

    27. Very good, clear, and readable introduction to Christian counseling. I highly recommend it, as Welch explains with knowledge and gentleness the difference between heart and body problems, and how to handle delicate issues such as Alzheimer's, ADD, and homosexuality.

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