Brain Science, Biblical Truth, and Learning to Thrive

Brain Science, Biblical Truth, and Learning to Thrive

Ben Bennett of Josh McDowell Ministry

Kirk Hadden | May 6, 2020 | Creativity Theology Video Wayfinding web

In This Video & Article

  • How Ben got free from anxiety, depression, and addiction
  • How to rewire your brain for healthy behavior
  • What an 80-year study out of Harvard says about happiness
  • Why we need more than traditional apologetics to reach people with the Gospel

Introducing Resolution Movement!

It’s a privilege and honor for us (Jason and Kirk), along with the rest of the ArtSpeak team, to present Ben Bennett of Resolution, a new initiative from Josh McDowell Ministry. 

We’ve been working with Ben to launch a fresh brand, website, and podcast, and we love watching it connect with people.

Josh and Ben have done the hard work of researching both neuroscience and the Scriptures to find ways to help people get free! In Ben’s words, they want “young people to thrive in life with Jesus and others.”

Enjoy our whole conversation with Ben in the video above. Read below to catch some of what we took away from our conversation.

How the Movement Started

Resolution features the shared wisdom of Josh McDowell and Ben Bennett. Both men have had to work through major challenges in their own lives—many of the same issues they’re helping young people face today.

In Ben’s case, he started looking for answers while dealing with anxiety, depression, porn use, and painful family relationships. As a Christian, he wanted to get free, but he wasn’t finding the answers he needed from the Church. 

But for Ben, the answers came through studying the Bible, going to therapy, and, in his words, “nerding out on the brain and how it works.”

Here’s what he discovered.

Hope for Change: Evidence from Neuroscience

Ben said, “Our brains aren't forever fixed. They can change and rewire. And as we make decisions, have thoughts, and repeat behaviors, the neurons in our brain are firing together. And as we keep making the same decisions, we say that the neurons that fire together, wire together.”

This is how habits develop. When we respond to our stress in an unhealthy way over and over again, we create a fixed neurological pathway that makes change difficult. But, there’s good news from Romans 12:2: “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds.” 

Ben says, “It's kind of like muscle memory when you're learning how to walk. It's really difficult at first. But then, over time, it's second nature.”

What Science Says About How to Thrive

When it comes to living a healthy and happy life, there’s a pretty amazing eighty-year study out of Harvard that gives some more insight which resonates with a deeply Christian worldview.

Much of our happiness is rooted in deep and meaningful relationships. Ben talks about three relationships, in particular, we need to keep healthy: 

  • God—maintain a profoundly loving relationship with our Father
  • Ourselves—know who you are and that God made you in His image
  • One another—experience what it means to be fully known and loved

Ben said, “So in our day and age in our life, I think that 90, maybe 95% of thriving comes from a healthy relationship with God, with self, and with others. And I think that's how we find true satisfaction. Our purpose flows from that.”

The Question about God People Are Asking Today

Josh McDowell is well-known for his books on apologetics like Evidence that Demands a Verdict. But Josh and Ben discovered traditional apologetics don’t always connect young people today with the truth of the Bible.

Ben said, “We found so many people are no longer asking, Is Christianity true? Or, How do I get to heaven? They're asking, Is Christianity good? How does Jesus change life here and now? And Jesus had a lot to say about all of that. The Kingdom is here and now, and eternal life with Jesus is not just after you die. It starts in a relationship with Him.”

This led to what Ben and Josh are calling a “wholeness apologetic,” a model they built after meeting with brain scientists and therapists, doing research, and studying the Scriptures.

It also came from really looking at the difficulties of Josh’s and Ben’s own lives, and how they found healing personally.

Ben said, “I've done a lot of trauma therapy, and that's been so helpful. But to boil it down, it's understanding what I'm actually looking for can be found in God and in relationships with other people.”

Not just resources, but principles.

There’s a lot of other great stuff in our interview, but we love how Josh and Ben have a heart for teaching principles rather than just providing resources. That way, churches and individuals can take what they learn from Resolution and apply it — or teach it — immediately.

You can catch up with Resolution (and check out their fresh branding and web design) by going to resolutionmovement.org. Also, follow Ben on Instagram or listen to the new podcast right here

Are you a difference-maker? A church, a ministry, or a movement that wants to help people? We should talk. Fill out the form below, and we’ll be in touch.