Two days ago I was reading a book that I got for Christmas from my family. The subject of the section was “chivalry”, and the author made the statement that certain actions done by a man on behalf of a woman are wired into our brains. Upon reading this, I immediately thought:
“Can’t be. God designed us to be chivalrous, so that means neurons and hormones aren’t involved.”
Yeah, dumb. And I knew it. Immediately upon realizing how stupid that sounded, I had to ask, “what’s the presupposition here? Why does God being responsible rule out the agency of biology?”
The answer, of course, is that I was assuming that since God did it, it must be a spiritual thing and have no physical/material influences at all. Which, obviously, is quite stupid. God created the cosmos, and the physical/material stuff is included (as Paul makes so abundantly clear in Colossians 1:16), which is true of biology as much as anything else. Why on earth would I make the mistake of assuming that God could not use the material functions of the human nervous system to accomplish His purposes?
Simply the gnostic ideas of our day, prevailing in my mind, I’m afraid. Namely the idea that there is some sort of radical separation between what is spiritual and what is physical. Sure, there’s the whole “born from below/born from above” dichotomy that scripture presents us with, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the idea that what is physical isn’t tied to God.
I’m glad for once I wasn’t consistent in my thinking, as it pertains to applying this unfounded presupposition. If I was, I’d have had to toss the Incarnation, in which the Son of God was inseparably united to what is material/physical. Not to mention the Incarnate One’s words: “This is My body… this is My blood.”
Better to be consistent the other way:
Recognize that even human biology is under God’s directing hand. The false dichotomy is resolved in a simple “both/and”.