Re: An interesting essay for evangelicals

From: Terry M. Gray (
Date: Tue Jan 21 2003 - 14:43:17 EST

  • Next message: jdac: "Re: An interesting essay for evangelicals"

    Well... traditional Augustinian (including Calvinist and Lutheran, I
    think) views of the fall have held that a corruption of human nature
    was a consequence of the Fall, i.e. we don't have the same capacities
    that Adam was created with (now, post-fall, we're objects of wrath
    *by nature* (Eph. 2:3) and are predisposed to sin). Even for dualists
    like me, fall and redemption are not just what happens to the "soul",
    but fall and redemption impact every aspect of our created being,
    including our bodies, including our genomes.

    I can't say what that looks like in terms of a DNA sequence ;-) There
    are calls to re-work this aspect of traditonal theology in light of
    human evolution, but I've yet to see it done satisfactorily.


    >Re: "If our fallenness extends to our genomes"
    >An interesting "If"! The idea of Adam's behavioral choice somehow
    >resulting in a genetic tendency sounds [I'm bracing myself!] like a
    >(failed) Marxian notion. Instead, it looks like Adam walked out of
    >the gate of Eden with the same capacity for choice and error that he
    >was created with, and that we have.
    >Terry M. Gray wrote:
    >>At 9:25 PM -0700 1/20/03, Jim Armstrong wrote:
    >>>I think I'm with Burgy on this one. We should proceed with great
    >>>and tempered caution - the human genome findings have every
    >>>potential to present the Christian community (of which I am a
    >>>part) with one of the greatest challenges of this new millenium,
    >>>should it identify a genetic link to homosexuality.
    >>Why? Does the existence of a genetic or physical-chemical basis for
    >>some sinful behavior excuse it?
    >>If our fallenness extends to our genomes then there's really
    >>nothing surprising about finding a genetic or physical-chemical
    >>basis for homosexual tendencies or any other tendencies that might
    >>be deemed sinful. If someone has a particular disposition toward
    >>some sin for whatever reason--genetic, upbringing, hormonal
    >>imbalances, abusive past, etc.--they simply must take greater care
    >>in resisting that particular sin.
    >>Some of us, for whatever reason (possibly any or all of the above)
    >>have short tempers. Those who do must take special care to guard
    >>against that particular sin, perhaps in ways that others don't have
    >>to worry about. We all have temptations created by internal and
    >>external factors that must be resisted. It is true, of course, that
    >>some temptations are more culturally acceptable than others and
    >>that succumbing to them is seen as being more heinous.
    >>I think it's a big mistake to define "normal" as "whatever is in
    >>the genome". For the Christian, normal is what scripture, rightly
    >>interpreted, says. (Yes, I know, that doesn't necessarily answer
    >>all the hard questions.)

    Terry M. Gray, Ph.D., Computer Support Scientist
    Chemistry Department, Colorado State University
    Fort Collins, Colorado  80523
    phone: 970-491-7003 fax: 970-491-1801

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