Genetic Origins of Good and Evil

The research in Larry Stammer's article "Rethinking the Origins of Sin" (May 15) demonstrates a very narrow view of orthodox Christian hamartiology (study of sin).

In the measure of mankind's free will, predisposition does not equate with predetermination. A wide moral chasm exists between the propensity to act and the action itself. The traditional Christian approach to proclivity has been understanding and counsel while the answer to immoral action has been condemnation and censure. Each one of us has varying degrees of temptation which arise from the elementary basis of our being--the very attractive person is constantly tempted to vanity; the intellectually brilliant to arrogance; the infirm to self-pity.

Whether homosexuality, spouse abuse, or alcoholism arise from the gene pool or from a more sublime spiritual source is really a moot point. The individual with these predispositions is still bound to behave according to the precepts of biblical morality.

The Christian model is temperate self-control based upon an external judgment of right and wrong as revealed in Holy Scripture. The struggle for self-control is made no more or less difficult by biology than by any other human distraction that turns our attention away from God.


Bishop (Evangelical Anglican)


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