Spiritual Brain Surgery with Dr. Lee Warren

Welcome to Spiritual Brain Surgery!

Here's an overview of where we're going with Spiritual Brain Surgery, and why we're here.
Scriptures: 2 Timothy 1:6-8, Romans 12:1, Matthew 22:37, Psalm 111:2, Mark 12:30-31

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What is Spiritual Brain Surgery with Dr. Lee Warren?

When life gets hard, does what we think we believe hold us up, or does it crumble under the weight of doubt? I'm your host, Dr. Lee Warren- I'm a brain surgeon, author, and a person who's seen some stuff and wondered where God is in all this mess. This is The Spiritual Brain Surgery podcast, where we'll take a hard look at what we believe, why we believe it, and the neuroscience behind how our minds and our brains can smash together with faith to help us become healthier, feel better, and be happier so we can find the hope to withstand anything life throws at us. You've got questions, and we're going to do the hard work to find the answers, but you can't change your life until you change your mind, and it's gonna take some spiritual-brain surgery to get it done. So let's get after it.

Good morning, my friend. I hope you're doing well. I'm Dr. Lee Warren,

and I am here with you on the very first episode of the Spiritual Brain Surgery

Podcast. I'm so grateful to have you listening.

We are starting a brand new thing. I've been podcasting since 2014,

always just the Dr. Lee Warren Podcast, or actually right at the very first.

I called it You Start Today with Dr. Lee Warren.

And we're branching off. We're going to break spiritual brain surgery into its

very own podcast. And today is the first episode.

On Tuesday, you'll get the first full-length episode with Elisa Childers and

Tim Barnett to talk about their incredible new book, The Deconstruction of Christianity.

But today, I just want to give you a high-level overview of what we're here

for and what we're about.

I've spent a lot of time in my life thinking about what I believe and investigating what I believe.

And I think it's a valuable practice to take a hard look at the things that

we think we know, the things that we think we believe,

be prepared to give a defense of them, to have a good idea of the moving parts

of our belief system, whether that's spiritual for you or not,

understanding that you operate under a worldview,

because everybody does, and understanding that you operate under a belief system,

things that you think you know and things that you think you believe will help

you to be prepared when life gets hard, because it always does,

to be able to know where you're going to land and how those things that you

think you know and the things that you think you believe hold up under pressure,

because there's going to be pressure.

And so we're going to take a look at those kinds of things. I'm going to give

you a few scriptures that are kind of our foundational scriptures for spiritual brain surgery.

We will be bringing back all of the Tuesdays with Tata episodes as archived

material for the paid subscribers.

If you are a paid subscriber to my work, then you'll have access to all of that

through the Substack app very soon.

And if you're not, consider joining us. There's multiple ways to support this

work, one of which is to pray for us, share, like, subscribe.

It's really important with a brand new podcast to subscribe wherever you listen

to the podcast and make sure that you are out there punching that subscribe

button so that the algorithms of these podcast providers know that there are people listening.

That'll help other people find the show. The more you like it,

review it, rate it, follow it, subscribe to it, the more it'll help other people find it.

And we're going to do some work that will change the arc of people's eternal

destinies and improve their abundance and resilience while we're here in this life.

That's the mission here, okay? We're trying to pull the dual nature of our spiritual walk.

Number one is make sure we know where we're going, that we get there,

that our Christian hope is based on something true and real.

And number two, believe what Jesus said in John 10.10, that the thief comes

to steal and kill and destroy, but he came that we might have abundance in our lives now.

So that's what we're after. So spiritual brains are just going to be a high

level and a deep, granular look at the things we believe,

the things we think we know, the worldview that we have, and we're going to

do some hopefully incredible and also pretty fun work to help ourselves become

healthier and feel better and be happier by changing our minds about the things

that we believe and understanding them. So we're going to get after that in just a second.

We have had a little debate over the intro. Now, it sounds like a...

It wasn't really a contest of how we're going to have the intro,

but we did have a request for listener feedback, and the people have spoken.

There's some people that liked the softer, quieter music, but the people have

resoundingly spoken that the new intro that Lisa and I wrote together is the winner.

And, you know, if you're not into upbeat music, just hit that fast-forward button

twice and get one minute into this, and you'll be past the intro music.

So everybody else, ready for some spiritual brain surgery. Let's get after it.

When life gets hard, does what we think we believe hold us up,

or does it crumble under the weight of doubt? I'm your host, Dr. Lee Warren.

I'm a brain surgeon, author, and a person who's seen some stuff and wondered

where God is in all this mess.

This is the Spiritual Brain Surgery Podcast, where we'll take a hard look at

what we believe, why we believe it, and the neuroscience behind how our minds

and our brains can smash together with faith to help us become healthier,

feel better, and be happier.

So we can find the hope to withstand anything life throws at us.

You've got questions, and we're going to do the hard work to find the answers.

But you can't change your life until you change your mind, and it's going to

take some spiritual brain surgery to get it done. So let's get after it.


Let's get after it. But, hey, in 1865, a physicist named James Clerk Maxwell

wrote a bunch of equations that turned out to be the unifying equations that

united the understanding of electricity and magnetism.

And what does it have to do with spiritual brain surgery?

Not directly anything, but I just want to give you an idea. you.

Maxwell wrote those equations that later on became the inspiration for Einstein's

general and special theories of relativity that really were some of the founding

ideas behind quantum physics and cosmology and the understanding of gravity

and time and space and how the universe is physically constructed.

And Maxwell was the guy that inspired Einstein.

In fact, there's a famous letter that Einstein wrote when someone asked him,

hey, do you stand on the shoulders of Newton?

Because Isaac Isaac Newton was the original guy that came up with the equations

that describe gravity, and Einstein's work with relativity really overturned

Newton for the first time in several hundred years.

Newton was sort of dethroned by Einstein, and Einstein said,

no, I don't stand on Newton's shoulders.

I stand on Maxwell's shoulders. So Maxwell was the guy that inspired Einstein

with his incredible work on magnetism and electricity.

Why am I telling you that? Well, because this is a little-known secret.

It's not that little-known, but nobody's ever going to talk about it in the

media. The fact is, science, the actual academic pursuit of science,

actually started as a way to investigate the things that God has made.

And guys like Copernicus and Galileo and Kepler and Maxwell and all these guys

that were starting out as experimental scientists...

The idea originally was to try to investigate creation and bring honor and glory

to God by helping people understand what God has done.

Maxwell was the first professor of the Cavendish Experimental Physics Laboratory

at Cambridge, which has gone on to produce some of the world's great breakthroughs in physics.

And over the door of the Cavendish lab, Maxwell inscribed Psalm 111 too.

Great are the works of the Lord. They are pondered by all who delight in them. He actually carved it.

It was carved in the door in King James, which is the works of the Lord are

great, sought out of them all that have pleasure therein. I like the NIV.

Great are the works of the Lord. They are pondered by all who delight in them.

My friend, here on Spiritual Brain Surgery, we are going to ponder the works of the Lord.

We're going to look at the amazing things that God has done,

and we're going to tear into what we believe so that we can make sure we understand

it well enough to explain it

to somebody else who might be asking some big questions like we are, okay?

So we're going to look at things like theology, which is the study of the nature

of God. I grew up in the church.

I was baptized at age 11, raised by incredibly strong Christian parents,

my mom and dad and Lisa and I.

In fact, just last week sat on my parents' couch in Dallas and had an amazing

conversation about the Bible and Scripture and beliefs beliefs and all kinds of doctrinal things.

It was just a wonderful, wonderful conversation.

And I'm so grateful for the way I was raised. I can still remember I would get

up in the morning and wake up early and walk down the hall and my mom and dad's

bedroom was to the right of the hallway from my bedroom that I shared with my older brother, Rob.

And I would walk down the hall, and my mother would always be awake with a cup of coffee.

She would make her bed, and then she would sit on her bed and read her Bible

and drink a cup of coffee.

And the first thing I would see was my mom sitting on her bed.

I'd go in and give her a hug and say good morning.

Then I would walk down the hall, and it passed my sister Laura's room on the

left, my sister Michelle's room on the right.

And up at the end of the hall, there was a staircase going down.

It's a 1970s kind of split-level home.

And there was another staircase going up, and up those stairs was my dad's office.

Office, and my dad would always be, without fail, no matter what time I got

up, he would already be up, and he'd be at his desk reading his Bible and drinking a cup of coffee.

And on his desk, he would have numerous books, and some of those books were

things like Strong's Concordance of Bible Words, which was basically like a thesaurus.

You could look up every word in the Bible, and you could research and see where

the Greek and Hebrew origins of that word were and where where other places

in the Bible where that word or similar words were found.

So you could use it to sort of chain your way through the Scripture and learn

what a word really means and really pull out of it the understanding and depth

of what you were trying to study.

So it was fascinating. Strong's Concordance. He had another book called Vine's

Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words.

There's just incredible resources that my dad had, and he did that because he

was trying to make sure that he

knew what he was reading and that he understood the text at a deep level.

So that's theology, but it's also exegesis.

So theology is studying how God is, who God is, what your beliefs are.

Exegesis is this critical explanation or interpretation of a text.

You're digging into the Word. What does it mean when God said,

let there be light? What does that mean?

What does it mean when he says,

whatever he says. What does it mean when he says, you shall love the Lord your

God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with

all your strength? What does that mean?

That's exegesis. Okay, what's it mean? What's it for?

How do I understand it? How do I extract the meaning from the text?

And exegesis is different than hermeneutics.

Hermeneutics is a branch of knowledge that deals with interpretation.

So you have a philosophical way that you approach the text.

So exegesis is explaining, interpreting,

trying to critically examine it and not bring any bias to it.

Hermeneutics is related to another word called eisegesis, E-I-S-E-G-E-S-I-S.

Eisegesis is this idea that we all bring something to something that we read.

We read the Bible, but we also interpret the Bible.

And the interpretation is based on our history, our upbringing,

our biases, our fears, our concerns, our philosophy.

That's hermeneutics and eisegesis. And we need to understand that when we read

something, we have to be careful not to filter it through a set of biases or

agendas or politics or anything else.

We're trying to read the word for what it actually says, okay?

There's also something called a heuristic, which is these little rules of thumb

that we all have of, oh, when I see this, I do that, I think this, I behave that way.

Heuristics are little rules that we all carry around in our worldview.

And we have to be aware of them so that we make sure that we're not interpreting

Scripture according to some rules that we put on how we arrive at decisions about that Scripture.

So in spiritual brain surgery, we're going to look at all those things in moving

parts, and we'll have guests to help us understand things like apologetics,

as we're going to do on Tuesday, where Elisa Childers and Tim Barnett are going

to help us look at this movement called deconstruction.

And they're going to help us develop a faithful defense of the gospel against

some things that we're hearing in culture now. Has your faith been colonized?

Is it wrong that the Europeans took the gospel to certain parts of the world?

All those kinds of things that you hear now in this deconstruction movement.

And Elisa Childers and Tim Barnett are going to help us talk about deconstruction.

That's the service, the science, the movement, the discipline of apologetics

is this argument or writing and justification of something. So you need to have

some apologetics tools in your heart.

If you're going to say that you're a Christian and you believe that the hope

of Christ is the only hope that people have to avoid being lost,

but also to have an abundant life and have the hope of a future,

if you believe that, then you need to be able to defend it.

And you need to be able to help other people see that it's true and that there's

a reason and a valid belief system that you have.

There's a reason for it and that it's legitimate and that you can argue for

it. If somebody says, why do you believe the Bible's true and you don't have

a way to explain it, then you're not going to be a very effective witness, right?

So, those are the targets that we're getting at. We're going to look deeply

at theology and apologetics and exegesis and hermeneutics and eisegesis and

heuristics, and we're going to do all that in a really fun way,

and we're going to try to become less self-directed when we get into the Bible

and more spirit-directed.

And I believe that neuroscience plays into that.

The way our brains are constructed and the way that our minds direct our brains

influences Influence is, it has everything to do with how we read and interpret

scripture and how we believe and what we feel and when we're challenged, what we fall back to.

The neuroscience is all related and relevant to that.

So I don't believe that happiness makes people happy. If happiness is this pursuit

of things in your life that you think will make you feel good or give you value

or make you feel respected, the problem is that if you don't have the power

source, which is, I believe, the creator, the great physician, the designer, center.

He gives us the things that can actually make us happy, satisfy us,

heal us, make lasting change in our lives.

That's what's going to really make people happy. So understanding your belief

system, because there are no second generation Christians.

I can't do work to change your mind. I can't make you be saved.

Your parents' faith won't get you to heaven and your parents' faith won't give

you tools to live a life of abundance.

You have to do it. God doesn't have grandchildren, children, the saying goes.

He only has children. So each of us have a responsibility then to understand

what we believe, be able to explain it and defend it, and to be able to draw

out of the Word what God wants us to see in the Word.

Because the Word of God, my friend, is the only book that you don't just read, it reads you too.

And so when you're going through things like suffering, you want to be able

to find meaning and purpose, and Scripture will help you get there.

When you're having doubt.

You want to be able to find faith and hope again. Scripture will help you get there.

You want to understand when you're hurting that science and scripture and reason

can reinforce your faith.

And we can actually have a valid reason to believe the things that we say that

we believe. So here's some scripture for you.

Hebrews 4.12, the word of God is living and active.

It's sharper than any two-edged sword, pierces to the division of soul and spirit,

of joints and of marrow, of discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

The Word of God is living and active. It's an MRI scanner that scans you back

when you read it. You think you're reading it, it's reading you too.

And the weird thing about the Bible is it's going to start nudging you when you read the Word.

It's going to start saying, hey, Beth, hey, Joe, hey, Dan, don't you think you

ought to change the way you think about this?

As you're reading the Word, it's going to say, hey, you're reading that about

what these guys did to those guys, and haven't you done that too?

Don't you hold that attitude? Don't you need to investigate?

Don't you need to do a little brain surgery and get rid of that thought process?

The Bible will do that to you and in you and for you.

There's a practice called Lectio Divina.

It's an ancient practice of a way to interpret and read Scripture where you

don't just read words, but you meditate on them, you chew on them,

you hold them in your heart all day, you kind of like a cow works the cud,

you just constantly keep a particular Scripture in mind, memorize it,

toss it around, think about it.

It's the Scripture from Deuteronomy that says, hey, these things I'm writing

to you today, write them down, put them on your forehead, write them on a wristband,

put them on your doorframe, teach them to your kids, talk about them when you're

in the city and when you're in the country and when you're walking down the

road, talk about them, think about them, feeling.

That's Lectio Divina. It's this keeping the word in your mind,

in your mouth. These words will always be on my lips, the scripture says.

And the idea is you can get into a story in the Bible and you can pretend like

in your mind, like zoom out, like you have a camera and then see yourself in

every different position, every character in the story.

So when Jesus has given the Sermon on the Mount, think about it from his perspective.

Like if you were him and you were teaching these these people,

and you needed them to understand how He used the words to try to influence and help people.

And then zoom back out and be one of the disciples hearing Jesus,

this rabbi, this teacher that's so different from all the other teachers,

that you've never heard anything like this.

You've never heard anybody talk like that. And listen to the words fresh fall

on you in a new way that you've never heard anybody speak like that before.

Now zoom out and be part of a person in the crowd. and you've just seen this

miracle happen and the bread and fish have fed this entire group and what would you think?

And what would it sound like to hear these words that are so different and understand

that Jesus is raising the bar?

Like, wow, he's not just saying I can't kill somebody. He's saying I can't hate

anybody either where I'm just as guilty.

Like the sin in my mind is as bad as the sin in my heart, of my hands.

Like what I think about becomes what I do. And what I think about is just as

evil as actually doing it in my head. if you hear that for the first time when

Jesus says it, then you start to understand, holy cow, he's telling me that

I need to control my mind.

I need to think different thoughts. If I want to have a better life,

if I want to be a more holy,

more acceptable person to God, I have to clean up my brain and my mind as much

or more than I need to wash my hands. Does that make sense?

So that's like Teodovina, this multiple perspectives type of Bible study,

okay? Now, here's a few scriptures for you.

2 Timothy 1.7 says this, God didn't give you a spirit of fear,

but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

We're going to develop sound minds. We're going to understand how our minds and our brains work.

We're going to apply that stuff to our understanding of Scripture and our belief systems. Okay?

Jesus says in Matthew 22, 37.

So we're going to learn how to wholeheartedly and with a sound mind love our

Lord, our God, and what that looks like.

How do we get our thinking right and how we use our mind to build better brains,

so our brains become more like Jesus's brain, because your mind changes your brain structurally.

So if you think about Jesus having a life where he never committed a thought

sin, where he never let himself go down a negative rabbit hole,

where he never let himself become overwhelmed with emotion,

but he always was in charge and control of his thinking and his responses,

then that means he had structural changes in his brain because he made better synapses than we do.

What you're doing, you're getting better at, and he was always getting getting

better at thinking properly.

So his brain looked different than our brains did. His brain looked different

than Einstein's brain did.

So if we get our thinking better, our brains will progressively become more

structurally like the brain of Jesus and more wired to be successful in having

a sound thought life, which leads to a better actual life because thoughts become things.

So those are our kind of baseline scriptures, okay?

Psalm 111.2 is this idea that great is the things that God has done.

Great are the works of the Lord. They are pondered by all who delight in them.

Mark 22, 30, and 31, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and

all your soul and all your mind and all your strength.

2 Timothy 1, 6 through 8, to remember this idea, God has not given us a spirit

of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

And then my favorite, so Romans 12 is kind of our self-brain surgery chapter.

And we always talk about Romans 12 too. Don't allow the world to mold you in

its own image, but be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind.

That's 12 too. But what's 12 one?

Check this out. I love the voice translation here. here. Brothers and sisters,

in light of all I have shared with you about God's mercies, I urge you to offer

your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice to God, a sacred offering that brings Him pleasure.

This is your reasonable, essential worship.

Your reasonable, essential worship. Offer your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice.

I hope I've demonstrated to you that your body includes your brain,

and it includes your mind, and you are to offer that That is a reasonable,

essential act of worship to your creator.

That, then he leads into verse two, transform your mind, renew your mind.

That's an act of worship, my friend. We get our thinking under control. We're giving God glory.

And we're looking at the things that he has made and delighting in them.

That's science. It's faith. It's all smashed together.

And that, my friend, is what we're going to do in spiritual brain surgery.

I didn't make a new outro for spiritual brain surgery because the one that we have for the regular Dr.

Lee Warren podcast is so appropriate here that I just want to remind you as

we get into spiritual brain surgery that you can't change your life until you change your mind.

And my friend, the good news is you can start today.

Hey, thanks for listening. The Dr. Lee Warren Podcast is brought to you by my

brand new book, Hope is the First Dose. It's a treatment plan for recovering

from trauma, tragedy, and other massive things.

It's available everywhere books are sold. And I narrated the audio books.

Hey, the theme music for the show is Get Up by my friend Tommy Walker,

available for free at TommyWalkerMinistries.org.

They are supplying worship resources for worshipers all over the world to worship

the Most High God. And if you're interested in learning more,

check out TommyWalkerMinistries.org.

If you need prayer, go to the prayer wall at WLeeWarrenMD.com slash prayer,

WLeeWarrenMD.com slash prayer.

And go to my website and sign up for the newsletter, Self-Brain Surgery,

every Sunday since 2014, helping people in all 50 states and 60-plus countries

around the world. I'm Dr.

Lee Warren, and I'll talk to you soon. Remember, friend, you can't change your

life until you change your mind. And the good news is you can start today.