Changing your Mind: The Bible, the Brain, and Spiritual Growth

By Victor Copan

An innovative investigation into how an understanding of modern brain science can aid the Christian pursuit of spiritual growth and transformation.

ISBN: 9780718894665


Changing your Mind takes you on a journey that unpacks and demystifies what spiritual growth is and how it unfolds. The aim is to set you on your own path toward genuine, personal spiritual transformation. The book provides all the tools you need – biblical, scientific, and practical – so that you can develop your own pathway for spiritual growth.

What is unique about Victor Copan’s approach to spiritual growth is that he explores recent findings of brain research as well as scientific research on habit formation and brings them into conversation with the process of spiritual formation. Research on the brain and on habit formation has uncovered significant insights about the process and dynamics of human transformation that can be fruitfully incorporated into our own pursuit of spiritual transformation. Tapping into this research allows us to work in concert with how God designed humans to function – body, soul, and spirit.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 310

Trade Information LPOD

About the Author

Victor Copan is chair of the Ministry Leadership Studies Department as well as Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida. He is the author of Saint Paul as Spiritual Director (2001).


List of Tables and Figures

1. Spirituality: What It Is and What It Isn’t

Part 1: Biblical Foundations of Spiritual Formation
2. The Biblical Backdrop of Spiritual Formation
3. The Goal of Spiritual Formation, Part 1: Overview
4. An Aside: But Can We Really Become Like Christ?
5. The Goal of Spiritual Formation, Part 2: Getting Specific
6. The Dynamics of Spiritual Formation
7. The Process of Spiritual Formation

Part 2: Brain Research, the Bible, and Spiritual Formation
8. Insights for Spiritual Formation from Brain Research
9. The Bible and Neuroscience: Friends or Foes?

Part 3: Changing From the Inside Out
10. The Dimensions of Human Life: An Overview
11. Our Heart (Will and Spirit)
12. Our Thoughts
13. Our Feelings
14. Our Bodies
15. Our Relationships

Part 4: Developing Our Own Spiritual Formation Plan
16. Spiritual Formation is Habit-Forming
17. Putting It All Together: Laying Out a Process for Spiritual Growth

A Closing Word

Appendix: Sample Action Steps for the Personal Spiritual Growth Plan

Name/Subject Index
Scripture Index


Endorsements and Reviews

Here’s a lovely book that makes it plain that no one has to stay stuck. No one has to say, ‘That’s me, like it or lump it.’ Copan’s blend of biblical theology and neurological science gives hope that God has hardwired us for transformation. Changing Your Mind is a path to becoming more like Jesus.
Adele Calhoun, author of The Spiritual Disciplines Handbook and co-pastor, Redeemer Community Church, Massachusetts

For thoughtful Christians, discoveries in neuroscience and psychology, at times, pose profound questions. Victor Copan demonstrates convincingly how our understanding of spirituality may be mutually enriched through inputs from the distinctive domains of Scripture, psychology, and neuroscience. A must-read for all eager to grow in their daily Christian walk and to have a secure base for the hope that is in them.
Malcolm Jeeves, former editor-in-chief, Neuropsychologia; past president, the Royal Society of Edinburgh

What makes Changing your Mind exceptional is that Copan not only explores scientific research on habit formation but also engages with the advances made in brain research since the ‘nineties. This interface, then, between spirituality, psychology, and neuro-science marks out Copan’s book as a must-read for spiritual directors as well as anyone who seeks to develop their spiritual life. … So many books on spiritual development can be so dense that it is difficult to see the wood for the trees. Changing your Mind looks at the subject holistically and is a model of clarity.
Luke Penkett, in The Heythrop Journal, Vol 58, Issue 5

What a joy to read a Christian book that takes seriously the brain and how our thinking and attitudes are reflected in our brains. … there is a great deal of intensely practical help to be found between its covers … I cannot recommend this book too highly. It calls for being read and re-read and studied with a Bible in hand.
D. Gareth Jones, in Theological Book Review, Vol 28, No 2