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Neuroscience of Memory and Salvation (Soteriology)

Scientists watch glowing molecules morph into memories in real time

Memory-forming molecules traveling around the brain to form new memories.


Came upon this site about the latest research on how memory forms in the brain.

This relates to some articles I wrote about pertaining to cognitive neuroscience and theology.  (The summaries on Peterson and Rev. Choong in particular.)

The key point to understand is that when memory forms, or when new memories form in your brain or when you learn something new (like I hope you’re doing now), there’s a physical change that’s occurring in your brain – i.e. your brain changes.

As Nobel Prize laureate and neurscientist Dr. Eric Kandel of Columbia University says in the “Nova Science Now” clip,

“So long-term memory actually involves an anatomical change in the brain. So, as I like to say, if you remember anything about this conversation tomorrow, it’s because you will have a slightly different head than you had today.

In relation to theology, when a person converts or becomes a believer, it is a mistake to say that only the person’s “soul” or “spirit” got saved.  We almost always never include the body.

Any serious talk about salvation must involve change in the physical body as well.

One can even speculate whether or not common notions of dualism that persists heavily in Christian thought can be sustained in light of recent advances in neuroscience.  In other words, common notions of there being a separate immaterial soul that is separate from the material body may nor longer be sustainable in light of recent scientific discoveries.

This is how science can inform and affect theology and the church today.

Therefore, we can conclude that when a person experiences God and his grace, he or she not only experiences a spiritual transformation but ever more so a physical transformation as well as the brain produces new memories and undergoes a physical change (and renewal?) in the brain.

Brings new light to the Scripture verse:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

– Romans 12: 2




1 Comment

  1. orthodoxchristian2 says:

    How interesting to think that the Eastern Orthodox belief in salvation of both soul and body are completely in line with what is being said in his article! It is a major part of Theosis and deification, as well as the prayers of the Orthodox Church. When you learn more about Orthodox spirituality and theology, you will find that is really like no other, and cannot be compared to the Catholic Church or any other in it’s unique stance of Christianity. There is simply no religious system in the West that can match it in similarities. The closest would be the Catholic of course, but even then, their idea of sin, redemption, etc, is completely different. Also, one learns how deep Eastern Orthodox theology is, too! It is certainly not rudimentary Christianity! It is a whole complex, mystic system, and I adore it! And indeed, we are renewed every day, and all Orthodox believe that salvation is a continual thing, and not something that happens in just one moment in time.

    How are you my friend? I finished all the writing in my post, but need to insert pictures into it, and a follower of mine suggested I separate it into separate bite size pieces, so that it is not wearisome for the reader to read. Like maybe separating one long post into 3 parts, for example? Would take less loading time, too! What is your opinion on it?

    I hope you are good, and have a good day!

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