Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: A Review Article -- By: John C. Whitcomb

Journal: Grace Theological Journal
Volume: GTJ 02:2 (Fall 1981)
Article: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: A Review Article
Author: John C. Whitcomb


Fearfully and Wonderfully Made:
A Review Article

John C. Whitcomb

David C. Whitcomb

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: A Surgeon Looks at the Human and Spiritual Body, by Dr. Paul Brand and Phillip Yancey. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1980. Pp. 214. $8.95.

Here is a comparatively brief but beautifully written comparison of the intricacies of the human body with the majesty and complex function of the spiritual Body of Christ on earth. The beautiful, almost poetically imaginative description of the structure, function, and inter-relationship of human body cells, bones, skin, and nerves, make this book a treasure-house of illustrations and comparisons with God’s greater work in the spiritual realm. Seldom have the reviewers been so fascinated by a match between magnificent scope of subject matter and marvelous descriptive style. The careful reader will surely be caused to cry out with David, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps 139:14). Even more, he will marvel at the significance of our Lord’s promise concerning his spiritual body: “I will build my church” (Matt 16:18).

The principal author of this volume is Dr. Paul Brand, Chief of Rehabilitation Branch of U.S. Public Health Service Hospital, Carville, Louisiana. Dr. Brand has been honored by the British government for his pioneering research on leprosy in India, where he served as medical missionary for eighteen years. He is also widely known as a hand surgeon. The co-author, Phillip Yancey, serves as Executive Editor of Campus Life Magazine and Editor of Campus Life Books.

For a person with little or no scientific background the book provides an excellent introduction to the fascinating world of medical science. Brand and Yancey have taken complex and difficult physiological processes and presented them in a brief and accurate story form with well-chosen illustrations. Remarkably, the reader is left with a fundamental understanding of the physiological or mechanical property being discussed and also with the sense of amazement and excitement about body function that is experienced by those with a thorough knowledge of the subject. Particularly memorable are his discussions of the human eye (p. 22), the recognition of its own cells by the body (p. 44), the amazing DNA code (pp. 45-46), the analogy of cancer within the physical and spiritual body (p. 60), the structure of the skeleton (p. 70), and the mysterious hierarchy of neuron cells (pp. 183-90).

Of the several hundred illustrations appearing throughout the book only a few were simplified to the point o...

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