30 Apr 2014

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
1 Corinthians 12:12-14 NIV

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made by Dr Paul Brand and Philip Yancy is a difficult book to classify. Part biology text, part devotional, it manages to successfully take the words written by the Apostle Paul in chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians, examine them through the microscope of modern scientific discovery, and make the analogy fit maybe even better than it did 2000 years ago.

Dr Brand was a missionary doctor in India. I first heard of him many years ago within the pages of Dorothy Clarke Wilson's enthralling biography of his life, Ten Fingers for God, (If you haven't read this book, you really, really should. Really.) and this book is filled with illustrations from his incredible life. Brand takes his medical knowledge of the human body, and then applies it to the body of Christ, his church. He writes beautifully - almost poetically, and his imaginative description of the structure, function, and inter-relationship of our cells, bones, skin, and nerves, and his comparisons with God’s work are quite unique.

There are many reviews of this book online, and I am not about to add another. I can't, in all honesty. I'm reading this book along with Jemimah in AO7 Term 2, and so far we're only up to chapter three. As I have been reading, though, I have found that the book has been enhanced by our learning a bit more about the bodily structures Dr Brand is describing. When he uses the body as analogy, it's sort of useful to know what he's talking about, ya know.

So far we have used one or two short videos per chapter. I don't know if we will find a video for each chapter useful, but if we do, I thought I'd post them here so you can find them. I'll also post them to a YouTube playlist for you, soon. Sound good?

I'll start with the first three chapters, and add as we read. I hope they'll be useful to some of you.

ETA: You'll find the Youtube playlist here.  I am updating it more quickly than this post - if that makes a difference.

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

A couple of old earth comments in this one.

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Two really short snippets this week!
Chapter 6

Chapter 7

You only want the first few minutes of this, where you can see the lipoma. I didn't choose to have Jemimah watch the surgery.

Chapter 8


  1. I read this book nearly 20 years ago and I absolutely loved it. I was thrilled to see it on the AO list so that I can read it again with my sons. I did give my copy to my non-believer anatomy professor in PT school, though, so I will have to obtain another before then. Luckily I have plenty of time:).

  2. Fabulous! Thank you for this. I'm looking forward to reading this book. :)

  3. thankful. i hope these'll still be up when i come around to this again... :)

  4. I'm reading this book, too, right now. I hope you continue posting videos!!!!

  5. We love your blog. Family of 6 with 2 oldest boys In year 4 ambleside and two youngest in first year. This is our fourth year with ambleside, first in Turkey then here using many australianised suggestions.
    Have you read 'I am joe's body' - awe inspiring book similar to fearfully ... Then we read ten fingers for free reading and following year'The problem of pain' by brand which is both biology and apologetics. Pivotal in my own Christian growth.


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