John Clayton is a former atheist who now spends his time proclaiming the reality of God and the Bible as his word. I have had the privilege of attending his seminars several times, and highly recommend that if you have the opportunity to attend you do so. You will be amazed at John’s knowledge and insights– and his passion for sharing the reality of our Lord.
John speaks at 50 seminars a year, and has a website: www.doesgodexist.org. Check it out!
John writes is a regular Dandy Design article. In these short articles he shares the marvels of God’s creation and how the design that we witness speaks eloquently and powerfully of the existence of God. Below is one of those articles, and I will share more in the future.
The Mind as a Healer
We live in an age of wild health claims. Miracle diets, miracle foods, miracle herbs, miracle medical treatments and claims of miraculous results bombard us every day. There are a lot of problems with what is happening in the health industry. It is difficult for the average person to know what is a valid claim and what is not. What is particularly dangerous is the fact that some claimed miracle drugs and foods can be harmful–even if they are natural. It is also important to understand that taking a miracle drug or food as a substitute for a known cure can put off medical help to the point of becoming dangerous and actually add additional expense.
Scientific literature describes what is called “the placebo effect.” National Geographic (August 2004, page 1) published some of the surprising placebo effects that have been observed: Researchers treating arthritis by arthroscopic surgery sedated a group of patients, nicked their knees and when they awoke told them the operation was a success. Two years of follow-up showed that the placebo patients had the same improved function as those who actually had the operation. 50 percent of Parkinson’s patients showed improved motor function after receiving a saline injection.
The same cream was put on two spots on subjects’ arms, and they were told one would reduce pain and the other would not. Heat was applied that could produce a burning sensation to both spots. Brain scans and verbal responses showed that the cream that was identified as pain relieving really worked while the other one did not. There are lots of other examples.
Some will say that all of this is just in the minds of people, but there is evidence that there is more going on here than that. Brain scans have shown that just the anticipation of relief in Parkinson’s patients can increase dopamine production in the brain (a major factor in the disease). Our minds control our bodies and there are many chemical responses in our bodies to what we think, see, and hear. Our attitudes and our activities can have a major effect on how we respond to physical ailments. Doctors tell us that a patient’s attitude has a huge effect on recovery, and we have all known people who sailed through a treatment that crippled someone else.
The human mind is an incredible example of God’s design. Not only is it incredible in its ability to process data and control body functions and think, but it also has a major role to play in our health and well-being. The Christian system is a part of that design, because it offers the positive message of home and salvation that enables us to reduce fear and anxiety and face the things that the world brings upon us. All of this together gives us the potential for maximum health and enjoyment of life, and the brain is the key element in all of this. It just makes the message of the Psalmist all the more clear when he says, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and that my soul knoweth right well” (Psalm 139:14). (Source: Does God Exist? March/April, 05).