Traducianism, When did the soul get made?

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Traducianism, When did the soul get made?

Postby RevSears on Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:10 am

I'm attaching a recent short paper for class. It may suck, but it's already sent off for grading. It probably lacks context from class disccussion and the assignment, but i think it would do a decent job to show a few very simple things about the view that the soul is created when sperm meets egg. What do you guys think? this was a new one for me, and this both answers some questions and raises new ones.


Human beings had a clear beginning point. Gen 1:27 and Matt 19:4, they did not exist eternally, so where did they come from? Where did our souls come from? It is common Knowledge that Genesis recounts the creation of Adam, but with each new person a new soul comes into being. Several theories attempt to solve the question of where that soul comes from.
Some believe that the soul is created instantly at the start of each new life, while others hold that there is a pre-existence at some point, possibly eternal. An eternal pre earth soul flies in the face of scripture and opens up more questions about why we wouldn’t remember such a time, why God would send us to earth to be doomed by sin.
Another Theory about the origin of the soul is called traducianism. The word itself, “Comes from the Latin tradux, meaning “branch of a vine.” (Giesler, pg 31) In this view the soul is created at the exact same time as the physical body, “The heart of the traducian view is that human life (soul) can be divided and passed on to others.” (Gielser, pg 33) Theisen states the theory in this way, “This theory holds that the human race was immediately created in Adam, with respect to the soul as well as the body, and that both are propagated from him by natural generation.” (Theisen pg 165)
The beginning of our life is so precious but as believers we often don’t have a solid grasp on it. We know that life begins at conception, “It is a genetic fact that a fertilized human ovum is 100 percent human. From that very moment, all genetic information is present, and no more is added from the point of conception until death.” (Giesler, pg 28) At the moment of our conception we are living human beings, much of us decided at that moment, even ,”the sex of the individual child is determined at the moment of conception.” (Gielser, pg 28) We inherit genes and characteristics from our parents that will help shape us our entire lives.
David claims to have been conceived in sin in Psalm 51:5. At the moment of his creation he was in sin. A biological mass without a soul would hardly be guilty of sin. At that moment of conception one is not only a biological human being, but a living soul. Psalm 51:5 does not state specifically how that soul was made, but if it was made immediately it raises some problems. If our soul is created at that moment, of conception and is one with the body, it answers several problems brought about by immediate creation of the soul by God.
Genesis 2:2 records that God was finished creating on the sixth day, “so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.” (NASB) and this is supported by Deut 4:32 and in the New Testament by a quotation in Hebrews 4:4. This does not appear to be a temporary rest, “the seventh day does not conclude with ‘and there was evening, and there was morning – the seventh day.’ In this respect the seventh day stands apart from the other six days in not having an account of it’s conclusion.”(Sailhammer pg 39) Sailhamer adds in his commentary on Genesis that this “Has suggested a picture of an eternal, divine “Sabbah.” (Sailhamer pg 39) God rested from creating more objects, but “this could not be the case if God daily, hourly, and momentarily created souls.” (Theisen pg 166) These verses remain true only if God had built in a mechanism to pass on and create souls.
Traducianism is also vital to help us understand how we are imputed with Original sin. We know that through Adam original sin entered into the human race, “We then ask on what ground was Adam chosen as our representative?”(Theisen pg 166) We may wonder why scripture does not record Eve as the originator because she first took the fruit, but she too came from Adam’s rib. Later Hebrews 7:10 “Teaches that Levi was in Abraham’s loins and came by physical transmission from him.” (Giesler pg 33) In the New Testement 1 Corinthians 15:22-27 affirms that we were “In Adam.” We are held responsible because even the make-up of our souls, not just DNA were within Adam.
A challenge that has to be addressed with traducianism is that if soul and body are created by God indirectly by mating, does Christ inherit his soul/body from Mary? How is it that original sin doesn’t touch him? Theisen offers a few solutions, “Human nature was perfectly sanctified in and by his conception by the Holy Spirit; or better, the human nature which he took from Mary was sanctified before he took it into union with himself.” (Theisen pg, 166-167) I think there is a better and more logical solution that satisfies scriptural requirements.
Dr. Henry Morris argues that Christ’s body was created ex nihlo, out of nothing, “Thus, the body of Christ was prepared by the great Creator, with no dependence on prior materials, and was made in total perfection, ready to receive Him as its occupant.” (Morris) Christ still grew in and was born from Mary, a descendant of David, and would have the legal lineage of Joseph. It’s difficult to imagine God the son, riding in a half created body, because if traducianism is true, then the body and soul are created together, and Jesus’s body would not have been created in full if conceived using any material from Mary. It would have to be a unique and new creation, making an even stronger parallel between old Adam and new Adam.
Traducianism, meshes with what we know in science. The life of a new human being begins at a zygote. This explains scriptually how new souls could come into being while God has rested from creating. This does not conflict with Christ’s deity or humanity. “The most reasonable explanation is that both fallen soul and body are naturally generated from one’s parents.” (Gielser pg 31) and within Adam, and from Adam existed all material for the entire human race as well as the spiritual make up for our souls.
The information is practically applicable to all believers in understanding the imputation of sin. Since it is from our parents that God indirectly creates our soul it is easier to understand the reason we are all condemned under original sin. Original sin is not just a biological handicap or an inclination but it has infected our very soul at creation. It eliminates false doctrine such as a soul bank, or any of a pre-existence or eternal soul. When applied correctly it can actually aid us in the commonly asked question about how Christ was sinless when born of Mary.
For years cloning has been in the realm of science fiction, but as we move forward with technology, cloning has occurred in animals, and while still judged unethical as possibly already occurred in humans. Many writers and philosophers have dealt with the problem of a created being having a soul. Dr. Giesler states that “cloning produces the same kind of life without a new creation. Hence, the possibility of human cloning argues in favor of Traducianism.” (Giesler pg 34-35) When news does break that a human has been successful cloned, this doctrine can help shield the faith of many from attack. A Clone will not be man-made proof of a lack of a soul, it would be a new way to copy a young soul. Man is not creating something from nothing, but is still using God made material.
After being exposed to this idea it really addressed several issues for me, but Giesler may have raised a new one for me, “Man is a unit of Soul/body. “ He states that, “Some traducianists are inconsistent and do not see these as logical entailment's of their view.” (Gielser pg 32) this gives me a new challenge to study into and wrestle with in prayer. My view on the entire being of man has changed. I look forward to better understanding the relationship of body and soul, as I continue to study.
This doctrine is an excellent apologetic tool. The issue of original is misunderstood among the lost, some even respond in anger to the idea that their little children would be found in a state of sin. With scripture and understanding of this theory I can better explain to them how this is possible. God is not an angry God sending new young souls into the world, or helpless God watching us without power to help us in our sin. God offers grace and the only way to cleanse our soul that we as a race choose to damage in Adam. We must accept that we are imperfect, even at our creation to understand the need to be restored to God as we should be.




Reference List
Giesler, Norman Systematic Theology Vol 3 Sin, Salvation Bethany House Minneapolis,
Minnesota
Thiessen, Henry Clarence Lectures in Systematic Theology Wiliam B. Eerdmans publishing
Company Grand Rapids Michigan.
Morris, Henry, Creation and the Virgin Birth, Institute for Creation Research
http://www.icr.org/article/creation-virgin-birth/
Sailhamer, John H. The expositor’s Bible Commentary Vol 2. General Editor: Gaebelin, Frakn
E. Zondervan Grand Rapid Michigan
http://nerd4thelord.wordpress.com/ A blog about Nerd topics from a Christian perspective.
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Re: Traducianism, When did the soul get made?

Postby chad_ghost on Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:44 pm

Personally, I wonder why people think that a cloned being has no soul. In essence, isn't one of identical twins technically a clone? One sperm + one egg = two beings

And scientifically, what is a soul? Sure, Biblically we understand that we must have souls, but a lot of these arguments are odd. I'm really not following why it matters about the creation of the soul and sin. Sure, we are born into sin, but is sin something we do, or is something we are?

I think, in my opinion, this is where the question lies. Once we determine that (if we can), then we begin trying to understand things such as age of accountability.

Maybe I'm rambling here...
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Re: Traducianism, When did the soul get made?

Postby Matthew on Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:14 pm

Want to comment, but it's been a long day and really not up for reading. I'll try to read this tomorrow :D
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Re: Traducianism, When did the soul get made?

Postby RevSears on Sat Mar 05, 2011 4:03 am

chad_ghost wrote:Personally, I wonder why people think that a cloned being has no soul. In essence, isn't one of identical twins technically a clone? One sperm + one egg = two beings

And scientifically, what is a soul? Sure, Biblically we understand that we must have souls, but a lot of these arguments are odd. I'm really not following why it matters about the creation of the soul and sin. Sure, we are born into sin, but is sin something we do, or is something we are?

I think, in my opinion, this is where the question lies. Once we determine that (if we can), then we begin trying to understand things such as age of accountability.

Maybe I'm rambling here...


Sin is both an act and a state. if we are in a state of sin, even at conception it is important to know how that could be. Would God create flawed souls?
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Re: Traducianism, When did the soul get made?

Postby chad_ghost on Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:31 pm

RevSears wrote:Sin is both an act and a state. if we are in a state of sin, even at conception it is important to know how that could be. Would God create flawed souls?

Would He?
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Re: Traducianism, When did the soul get made?

Postby RevSears on Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:39 am

chad_ghost wrote:
RevSears wrote:Sin is both an act and a state. if we are in a state of sin, even at conception it is important to know how that could be. Would God create flawed souls?

Would He?

clearly not, so creation immediate creation of a soul by God at Conception must be ruled out.
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Re: Traducianism, When did the soul get made?

Postby chad_ghost on Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:24 pm

RevSears wrote:
chad_ghost wrote:
RevSears wrote:Sin is both an act and a state. if we are in a state of sin, even at conception it is important to know how that could be. Would God create flawed souls?

Would He?

clearly not, so creation immediate creation of a soul by God at Conception must be ruled out.

So, if the soul has been created, then does that soul have sin, or does the sin come from conception?
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Re: Traducianism, When did the soul get made?

Postby destros_elite on Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:14 pm

I'm taking a break from finishing up my term paper, so I can't respond much at the moment. But I would be interested in your interpretation of Psalm 51:5. I believe this passage addresses the issue of sin and the soul. Your thoughts?
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Re: Traducianism, When did the soul get made?

Postby RevSears on Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:02 pm

destros_elite wrote:I'm taking a break from finishing up my term paper, so I can't respond much at the moment. But I would be interested in your interpretation of Psalm 51:5. I believe this passage addresses the issue of sin and the soul. Your thoughts?

It clearly states that we were sinful at concepation. It doesn't explicitly state when the soul was made but I have seen much smarter men than I use this verse to show a link between concepation and the creation of the soul because it was at that point we were sinful. I'm at work but I'll see if I can dig up some info later I think it was Giesler but i'm not 100% sure. That wouldn't eliminate the possability of immediate creation, nor traducianism.
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Re: Traducianism, When did the soul get made?

Postby chad_ghost on Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:08 pm

RevSears wrote:It doesn't explicitly state when the soul was made but I have seen much smarter men than I use this verse to show a link between concepation and the creation of the soul because it was at that point we were sinful.

So the immaculate conception kept Jesus from being conceived into sin?
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