Neuroscience is making it extremely difficult for believers to still claim that by freely choosing to believe we are saved (or condemned), that we freely choose to sin, or that there is a wrathful God who will judge us on the last day. Case in point, girls and boys, are the following two essays, the last of which I will quote from. The first is Grandma’s Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes. Now for the second one, "The Brain on Trial." [Be sure to read this essay at least as far as the highlighted money quote in red!].Where does the Bible say that we freely choose sin? But I want to hold off on that a moment and point out what Loftus considers the main point.
The crux of the problem is that it no longer makes sense to ask, “To what extent was it his biology, and to what extent was it him?,” because we now understand that there is no meaningful distinction between a person’s biology and his decision-making. They are inseparable.Has Loftus ever read the Bible? I ask because he seems to fail to recognize that the Bible does not teach that people are "all adults possess the same capacity to make sound choices." We don't. We, by default, are broken and hostile to God and God's ways. We are not good outside of God's mercy and influence - even the atheist who does something good for someone else. This is not new information. Sin is hardcoded in us - post fall. Adam and Eve are the only other human beings other than Jesus Christ who know what it is like not to be driven to commit sin. Therefore neuroscience does not destroy what Christians believe about sin or salvation but instead underscores why we need it. Everyone is broken to different degrees and in different ways. You might not desire to kill others, but just like the articles point out, given the circumstances you don't really know what you would or would not do. Everyone needs a savior because we are not free or independent. We are held hostage by sin - which is even a part of our biology.
5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. - Psalm 51:5
22 This righteousness is given through faith in[h] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. - Romans 3:22-24
12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— - Romans 5:12
5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. - Romans 8:5-8
I can already hear the objection because people have been using it since Adam messed up in the Garden of Eden. If we are slaves to sin, and God allowed us to come here that way, why does he hold us responsible? Asked and Answered along time ago.
19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”[h] 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?
22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? - Romans 8:19-24
It's tight but it's right. You can fool yourself into thinking that you just happen to be better than the people you like compare yourself with or you can admit your own failing and be free of your prison. If you want to be free that is God drawing you to Jesus. Reach out and take the salvation Jesus is offering you.
Debunking Christianity: Neuroscience is Destroying the Notions of Free Will, Sin and Salvation by Faith