A fascinating, though disturbing, article in the BBC online News Magazine asks the question, “What Can a Brain Scan Tell us About Free Will?”
In weighing the struggle of science, theology, and philosophy to explain the relationship between mind, matter, free will, and fate the article describes changes in behavior that turn out to be related to brain tumors and body chemistry.
We’ve been talking about how God can be compassionate and merciful while being committed to punishing sin (Exodus 34:5-7); how, while acknowledging that the sins of the fathers weigh on their children, that same God doesn’t want us using that fact as an excuse for our own choices (Ezekiel 18:1-3) (Ezekiel 18:20-21); and that how heaven views our hearts may, therefore, may be very different than how we do.
It’s clear from the early pages of Genesis, that one bad decision of Adam and Eve had disastrous effects on their children, the first of whom, in an envious rage, murdered his younger brother. Yet God talked to an emotionally disturbed son as if he had a choice about how he was going to handle his anger (Gen 4:6-7).
So what are we to do with all of this?
- Damaged state
- Fallen inclinations
- Limited knowledge of others and ourselves
- Accountability to an all-seeing God
- Personal choice
Seems to me that if all of this doesn’t help us to see our need for the mercy and help of God, then it probably shows that we aren’t yet seeing the extent of our problem. How does it hit you?