"Fearfully & Wonderfully Made" is a Christian devotional-type book. Dr. Brand talks about how the various parts of the body (cells, skeleton, skin, etc.) work and then draws from this insights about us as the "body of Christ." I really appreciated his insights and how he made biology very interesting. Although everyone can enjoy this book, I was also thinking that home-schooled teens might enjoy reading this before studying biology as it'll make the textbooks a lot more understandable. I'd highly recommend this book.
I cannot help but compare Dr. Paul Brand and Philip Yancy with "Mountains upon Mountains" writer Tracey Kidder and Dr. Paul Farmer. I wish Dr. Brand were still alive. While both doctors are/were completely committed to their patients, Dr. Brand's commitment rose out of his commitment to Christ, and it shows. His compassion for humanity and for the church shines in Yancy's writing. I can imagine his meeting with God: "Well done, good and faithful servant." I was particularly touched by his story of inventing shoes for the man whose feet were continually damaged by normal footwear due to his leprosy. The entire book is full of such stories, coupled with a bit of instruction on the working of the human body, and how such workings are metaphors for the body of Christ. I loved this book.
I picked this book up because my daughter was reading it. I really enjoyed how Paul Brand described the various functions of the body, going into details that I have never heard before. He had a great way of interweaving this into a description of the body of Christ, which I felt in most cases was interesting and enlightening. The problem I had with the book was in the chapter on bones. When you have two authors it is not possible to know whose ideas you are reading. I got the impression I was hearing from Philip Yancey. Comments like "When the human race was young on a planet of unbelievable expanse and few people, the law "Be fruitful and multiple" was obviously appropriate. But we have obeyed that one command so well that all life is now endangered. We need to place new emphasis on our responsibility for the soil and wildlife and perhaps slow down on our multiplying." Then a couple of paragraphs later he writes, "These issues do not call for sweeping revisions of creeds and beliefs, but they do evince a need for some members of the church to reflect, study the Bible, and pray, and then lead the way in reinterpreting the will of God for their own generation." Does the will of God change? Is the earth now more important than children? God knew the situation the world would be in at this point, so why didn't He say, "Be fruitful and multiply until the earth is full, then quit." The problem is not overpopulation, but sin. Children are a gift from God. "Psalms 127:3-5, "Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;. . . NASB
I feel the book still may have too many of Philip Yancey's prejudices and past hurts weaved throughout it as he alluded to in his preface when he writes, "I have written honestly about my early struggles, due in large part to lengthy exposure to toxic churches".
Overall the book is worth reading, but like any book written by a human author, you need to align it with the Word of God.
This title is probably the most inspirational and well-received of Philip Yancey's books. He collaborated with a renowned physician to study the human body from a spiritual aspect combined with the physical. The reader has no doubt that God created man in His own image. This book is continually checked out of our church library as reader interest is high.