How can it be wrong if I can’t help it?

Kirsten Birkett tackles the subject of addiction, bringing together medical and theological perspectives with reference to Augustine.


Kirsten Birkett teaches ethics and philosophy at Oak Hill College, and is a Latimer Research Fellow. She has written several books on the relationship between Christianity and science as well as psychology, feminism and church history.

Ideas for further thought and discussion

1. Kirsten argues that sin and addiction are both conditions in which people are responsible and yet helpless. Where would you go in Scripture to argue that about sin?

2. “Sin is the cause of the bodily weakness which, post-fall, we now all inherit” [p56]. How much do you think that changes after our conversion? With Tim’s article also in mind, how would this deepen our understanding of how a Christian relates to sin?