What he is saying is that many theologians believe that some people are born with the capacity to be good, and others aren't. Paul doesn't agree with this assessment. He believes that we all have the capacity to be good, because God gave it to us. While he also believes that "one must love to do good and avoid evil," (120) the fact is that whether we choose the right road has nothing to do with the fact that God's grace has given us all the possibility to always choose good. Paul added, "Conscience is not an infallible judge; it can make mistakes" (121). This is obviously true. The Bible teaches us that none are perfect, and that all fall short of God's glory. Still, Paul maintains that the important thing is to know the difference in what we choose, and what we have the ability to choose. While it is clear to Paul that we have, innately, all we need to make good decisions, we still need to study the Bible, and attend, church as a compass to keep us headed in the right direction.
In Lois Walker's "Religion Gives Meaning to Life," Walker writes about a similar belief. It is her opinion that who we are is determined at the time of our births. She writes, "We are not the products of chance" (626). Walker's essay is in response to an atheist who claims that people only need to practice being responsible to know the right thing to do. According to Walker, the atheist proclaimed, "We don't need a big Daddy in the sky. We need to grow up and become our own parents" (624). While we do need to know how to govern ourselves, we do, also, need our Father in heaven. Walker is states that she believes in the theistic philosophy that holds, "The universe is suffused in goodness and that good will win out over evil" (627). God's purpose, according to Walker, is to give us a continuous reason to want to behave. If God can give his son for us, and his son dies for our sins, then surely we can "live deeply moral lives" (Walker, 627). We have gotten something from the sacrifices that our Fathers have made for us, so it is only fitting that we give something in return. God gave the life of his child. All we are generally asked to do is live ethical lives. Morality, according to Walker, is a wonderful thing. If we need the Bible and church to remind us of that, then so be it.
The phrase, "You shall purge this evil from among you" comes up a lot in the Book of Deuteronomy. Church is also supposed to be a place to fellowship with like-minded Christians. Deuteronomy reminds Christians that it isn't always enough to live right, but to surround ourselves with others who do the same. Our inbred moral code tells us that we shouldn't go out and rob banks. Being a Christian means we don't hang out with others who rob banks, either. Christians are expected to keep good company in an effort to eliminate some of the temptations we might otherwise face.
Unfortunately, there are too many people who believe the same as Walker's atheist. In P.S. Greenspan's "Free Will and the Genome Project," Greenspan writes that individual autonomy ought to govern us. Probably no one will go out on a limb as saying that Christians shouldn't govern themselves. The fact is, though, that they don't do so all the time. That is where Christianity comes in. Attending Sunday service, or mid-week Bible study, and volunteering in church keeps us