Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hard-Wired for Nonsense


Sin in the Double Helix

Reports linking moral behavior to genetic traits actually prove Scripture's claims, not undermine them.
Karen Swallow Prior | posted 3/17/2011 10:38AM [at Christianity Today]


For, despite some thinking to the contrary, these genetic discoveries do not negate biblical teaching. Instead, they illuminate the truths of Scripture in a new and powerful way. . . this only confirms the truth of the psalmist's prayer: "You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made" (Ps. 139:13-14).

And what of Paul's lament? "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, I do. … As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me" (Rom. 7:15-17). Whether sin literally resides in the genes or not, Paul truthfully confesses that sin is living in him, as it is in all of us.

And in the middle of this passage from Romans are these words: "And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good." God's law is good, not only when we abide by it, but even when—especially when—we don't.

Are we predisposed to sin, genetically or otherwise? Absolutely. But God has determined a way to freedom, and that way originates not in the genes but in the Genesis.

Kent comments:

I don’t want to be too harsh, but Karen is an English professor.  This might be what you get when English professors try to tell us about theology!  (Just kidding, of course.)

But this “explanation” explains nothing, pious-sounding as it might seem to be.

If God “hard-wired” us to sin, we cannot be responsible for our sin.  Even if God only hard-wired a predisposition to sin into the first human pair, then God is at least partially responsible for sin.

So what is Karen trying to say here:  that being hard-wired for sin in some way illuminates the Psalmists description of our being “fearfully and wonderfully made”?  That sounds just a bit like non-sense.

What could it possibly mean that “God has determined a way to freedom” even if we are genetically wired for sin?  It seems to indicate that Karen the English Professor thinks that perhaps God hard-wired us for sin, and then, when we did what God hard-wired us to do, He “came to our rescue” by over-riding His original programming!

While it might sound very erudite to dismiss modern claims that our moral behavior stems from our genetic code, it is really more a display of air-headedness.  I wonder if that is the product of genetics?


James said...

Whoa, let's hav3e a reasonable discussion without resorting to calling people "airheads!". Karen Prior is simply stating the fact that modern genetics backs up fact that the Bible is true in its description of the fallen nature of man (a genetic predisposition to sin if you want to get technical). Then she hints that the cure for sin is in Word of God, stating with the promise of a Redeemer in Genesis. She is intelligent AND biblical so relax!

Kent B. True - perhaps one Harold N. Orndorff, Jr. said...

I say again that "determined" and "free" are not compatible. One flies in the face of basic logic to pretend that they are. It is this that falls under the category of being an "airhead."