On the Origin of the Soul
A Brief Defense of Creationism
Immediate vs. Mediate Creation
Christianity undoubtedly teaches that the souls of men are created by God. What has generated many questions throughout church history, however, is the question of how the soul comes into being. There are two main views that have arisen in response to this question, namely —
The soul of each individual is created by God immediately, alongside God’s mediate creation of the body within the womb.
The soul is created mediately by God from the souls of the child’s parents, alongside of God’s mediate creation of the body within the womb.
Proponents of the first view are called creationists, whereas proponents of the second view are called traducians. Both views have been held by theologians throughout church history; however, creationism has always been the dominant position.
In my recently published article “Intro to Biblical Axiology [Pt.2]”, I cite part of Francis Turretin’s defense of the doctrine of creationism (under the heading “Humans Considered Individually”) in order to underscore the ontological simplicity of the soul and draw attention to how that is related to the primacy of the individual (over and against the primacy of the social body). Seeing as I am a creationist (spec. referring here to the immediate creation of the soul) and yet hold to Scripturalism,1 one of my subscribers asked me about traducianism, particularly as it was argued for by the great Presbyterian philosopher, and proponent of Scripturalism, Gordon H. Clark in his essay “Traducianism.”
Rather than doing a full response to Clark’s essay, I want to