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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

How thoroughly fleshly they are

Posted by: Hammer / 10:44 AM

Let's file this book under "Things I don't think they teach you in medical school":

A Pennsylvania surgeon says the Apostle Paul was exactly right when he called humans' sinful nature "the flesh," because many sins actually do have physiological connections. Dr. Clark Gerhart, M.D., author of Say Goodbye to Stubborn Sin [$11 on Amazon] (Siloam Press, 2005), says he hopes the book will show Christians how thoroughly fleshly they are by helping them understand where their sins originate.

According to Gerhart, the human body becomes physically involved in recurring sin. "If you think about it, everything we do in life begins first with some sort of sensation," he explains. "Whether it's taste or touch or smell or sight or sound -- one of our senses is giving us information to then process and then give a response to in absolutely everything we do."

One of the most dramatic links to stubborn sin is society's addiction to its senses, the author contends. And the things to which people become addicted, he notes, include not only substances like alcohol and drugs and food, but also the sights and sounds of television and movies and the sensations involved in viewing pornography or engaging in sexual sin.

I haven't read the book, so I won't comment on it. But do all our actions really begin with a sensation? That's quite a stretch. Say, for example, I decide to buy my wife a corsage on the way home from work because she has a choir concert that night. Which sense does that action originate in? My impulse is rooted in my recollection and interpretation of information received by my senses.

If sin is rooted in sensation, then the most godly act we could take would be to expand baptism to include severing the spinal cord, removing the tongue and eyes, and sealing of the nostrils and ears with an impermeable glue. Each child would then be free to live a life of free of sin to the glory of God. Hallelujah!


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