Whence Cometh Our Soul? -- By: Robert W. Myrant

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 06:1 (Spring 1963)
Article: Whence Cometh Our Soul?
Author: Robert W. Myrant


Whence Cometh Our Soul?

Robert W. Myrant

Central Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary

I. Introduction

The question of the origin of the soul of man touches many areas of doctrine. It is concerned with the nature of the incarnation. Appolinarus, for example, came up with the faulty doctrine that the incarnate Christ’s body came from Mary along with His soul, but that the spirit came as direct creative work of Christ, thus making Christ’ s soul and the spirit to come from different sources. It touches the doctrine of the depravity of man, because bound up with the question of the origin of the soul is the question of why all men are sinners. It touches the question of miracles, for the Scriptures include accounts concerning the miraculous birth of several different souls.

Socially, the question of the origin of the soul has serious implications for the entire world, in view of the population explosion and the question of birth control. It touches the well-being of individual families when, because of ill health or other problems, it would seem best for the size of some families to be limited. This article does not propose to discuss all the problems involved; but, it is designed to direct the thinking into certain channels that, if fully explored, should provide some answers.

The various historical views concerning the origin of the soul may be classified in three ways: non-theistic views, creationism views, and the traducian view.

II. Non-Theistic Views

Any doctrine which seeks to rule out the existence and activity of a personal Supreme Being is a non-theistic doctrine. In respect to the origin of the soul there are two non-theistic views to be considered.

Atheistic Materialism

This could also be called the atheistic evolutionary view, or the view of mechanistic materialism. The majority of scientists today believe that there is no superhuman

agency responsible for the origin or development of man, They believe man is simply a biological accident. Man does not have a soul separate from the function of his nervous system and other material parts; there is no spiritual part of man. Perhaps it would be good to coin the word “monochotomy” as a title for this particular approach.

The Bible believer should be quick to reject any such heretical view. However, we do find certain sects of Christendom who hold to it. For example, the soul-sleep doctrine of Jehovah’s Witnesses involves the teaching that man does not have a soul separate from his body. They say, “Man is a soul but does not have a soul.” In other words, death of the body automatically means deat...

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