‘Holy Rewired,’ book review

Holy Rewired Cover David Phillips Dr. David Phillips has been a friend for several years. In the SBC blogosphere of yore, he usually went by the name “Tech Support” since he was the only one in our little group that understood the technology behind “Edit Post” and “Publish.” He saved my bacon many times along the way and gave me my first actual domain name to make my blog’s url more memorable. It was a welcome relief not needing to say “dot blogspot” every time.

In addition to being an accomplished techie, David recently earned the Doctor of Ministry in Leadership in the Emerging Culture degree from George Fox University. One result of those long hours of study, besides the degree, is his new book Holy Rewired: Science, the Gospel and the Journey Toward Wholeness released in May 2010 by Missional Press (also my publisher).

Holy Rewired is an exploration of science and scripture, neurology and theology, emotion and redemption. There is much that hearkened back to biology, anatomy and chemistry classes long forgotten. Phillips does a great job of taking material that could easily bog down in endless explanations of neurons, electrons, protons (and Klingons?), rendering it easily accessible. His step by step walk through of memory, emotion, plasticity and rewiring of the brain was as informative as much as a year’s subscription to Science.

Working through the book one might think that Phillip’s conclusion would be a hodgepodge of Freud, Skinner, Erickson and Mary Shelley, but that person would be wrong. Rather than opting for a naturalistic explanation for human behavior and need, he rightly lets science speak where it can then turns to God for the fuller truths of human existence; we cannot experience lasting change without the gospel of Jesus Christ. He writes:

Because of the Fall, humanity does not truly know who it is, and before any behavior can change in the deepest levels of life, a person has to replace [his or her] rebellious and prideful identity (p. 107).


…Jesus talked of the process as becoming a little child. He used these phrases to remind the disciples that entering into the kingdom requires a new birth, becoming young, having a faith that is child-like in its simplicity and devoted trust. It is a new way of living…Through [the] re-birthing process, we not only are God’s child, positionally, but we become his child relationally (pg. 118, 119).

I recommend Holy Rewired for those who deal with past issues which distort a biblical view of self, those who are dealing with sinful or harmful habits in the present and those who minister to people so involved. I also think it has a very relevant place in the work of recovery groups as it hits at the core of the addicts struggle: Who am I in Christ? or Who can I become in Christ?

Holy Rewired can be purchased at Amazon.com through the link below. You pay the same low price and I get a small commission. For an autographed copy, you may order through David’s website.

Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.