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There are two main schools of thought or views concerning the origin of the soul in Christianity (Creationism and Traducianism) but there are three views generally.

This school of thought believe, that the soul of every human being is an immediate creation of God. In other words, God creates each soul ex nihilo, and incarnates it or fuses the created soul with the body of the human that has been formed by his or her parents at conception. Hence, every person’s soul comes directly from God and has nothing to do with the parents involves. They believe, that such Scriptures as Numbers 16:22, Ecclesiastes 12:7, Isaiah 42:5, 57:16, Jeremiah 1:5, Zechariah 12:1 and Hebrews 12:9, can only be interpreted as meaning or implying a direct and immediate creation of the soul by God.

Some Arguments for Creationism
1. This concept is more consistent with the original account of creation as seen in Genesis 2:7. We see from this account that the body and the soul are made separately, first the body without life and then the soul coming into being, the body taken from the earth, and the soul coming directly from God.
2. It is also more consistent with the immaterial and spiritual nature of man’s soul. This nature of the soul means that it is indivisible and can therefore, not be a product of separation or division of essence according to traducianism.
Some Arguments against Creationism
1. According to the creationist, the parents of a child are only responsible for the formation of the body of the child and not its soul. This implies, that Creationism does not therefore, account for the resemblance not just of physical appearance of a child and its parents but of mental and moral traits. It is unable to explain how a child, whose soul has nothing to do with its parents, can have such resemblance with them mentally and morally.
2. If the soul is a direct and immediate creation of God, and the depravity of man is acknowledged, this would mean therefore, that God is responsible for depravity in man, it makes God the source of moral evil. It has neither answer nor explanation therefore for original sin.
3. It is not consistent with God’s present relationship to the world. God is no longer involved in the immediate and direct creation of anything. His work of creation is now done through secondary causes.

This is the belief that God is the Creator of the soul, but through the media of the parents. It holds, that the soul, along with the body, is formed at conception. Each soul is therefore, a product of the action of human parents as God’s channel of creation. This school of thought holds, that God rested from his work of creation. Genesis 2:1-3, 46:26-27, Exodus 1:5, Psalm 51:5, Romans 5:12-13, 1 Corinthians 15:22, Hebrews 7:9-10.

Some Arguments for Traducianism
1. The Scriptures referred to above by creationists as meaning a direct and immediate creative work of God may not be a true argument. This is because, whether God creates immediately and directly or creates through secondary causes, God is still the Creator. Hence, the fact that these Scriptures talk about spirit and soul as being created by God should not and cannot be taken as authoritatively meaning a direct and immediate creative work of God. The fact that the body is a product of the parents does not mean that it was not created by God. Plants and animals produce after their own, yet, this does not mean that God is not their creator. The propagation of the human race became man’s responsibility after our first parents were created directly by God. Genesis 1:26-28.
2. According to passages like Genesis 46:26 and Hebrews 7:9-10, descendants are in the loins of their fathers. Not just the body, but the person. These passages say nothing about descendants being in the loins of their mothers.
3. Original sin or moral and spiritual depravity is explained. It is inherited through the father of the descendant and not the mother, hence the need for Jesus’s virgin birth by Mary. This is the logical follow-up from the previous point.
4. The inheritance of family traits and moral similarities is also an argument for the traducianist point of view here.

Some Arguments against Traducianism
1. It is inconsistent with the philosophical doctrine of the simplicity of the soul, in that it suggests a derivation of essence, which is clearly opposed to the indivisible nature of the soul.
2. It is based on the idea that God only now creates in the world through secondary causes. This idea however, gives no explanation for the regeneration of man at salvation.

There is a third school of thought called PRE-EXISTENTIALISM.
This is the belief that souls were created by God even before the earth was created and that God then unites the soul with the body in its mother’s womb at conception. This school of thought has no scriptural support whatsoever and given no serious attention in Christian circles.

In conclusion, both the creationist and traducianist view of the origin of the soul have questions and difficulties that need to be resolved. However, with the knowledge that is available to us at the moment, I am inclined to favour the traducianist view of the origin of the soul. This view appears to me to be more in keeping with Scriptures on the order of creation, a holistic view of all Scriptures involved, the question of original sin as well as family traits and resemblance. The traducianist view seems to me to have better and more satisfactory answers and less difficulties.

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