Marvin Olasky

But by the mid-1990s a new ideological sheriff had come to town: neuroscience. The Society for Neuroscience jumped from 1,000 members in 1970 to 26,000 in 1996, the year Tom Wolfe published an essay that would become famous, "Sorry, But Your Soul Just Died." The idea he reported was the essence of materialism: The thoughts that concerned Christians as well as Freudians were merely the product of brainwaves that could be pharmaceutically adjusted. The brain is a piece of machinery, and neurosensory experts have the reset button.

The battle of various theories may seem?...?well, theoretical, but they become concrete when it comes to helping depressed individuals. Depression over the centuries has often led to spiritual breakthrough, as God turns our wondering about what's wrong into a search for what's right. One example: Martin Luther, depressed about issues of salvation, broke through to an understanding of how the just shall live by faith. One question: What if a pharmaceutical adjustment provides the temporary fix so that the individual doesn't get the benefits of depression?

And yet, what if some people are so sunk into clinical depression-so closed in on themselves-that they are unable to think. This doesn't mean God can't break through-He always can-but what if neuroscience can help bring a prone person to a place where he can sit up?

Octavious Bishop has to sort all this out. It's a hard task, with pressures on the one hand to be unnecessarily separationist, and on the other hand to accommodate Scripture to current scientific theory.

Pray for graduate students at secular universities.

Marvin Olasky

Marvin Olasky is editor-in-chief of the national news magazine World. For additional commentary by Marvin Olasky, visit
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