« AnteriorContinua »
ceived and born of a woman. But against it must be urged: (a) It is hard to reconcile it with the fact of universal depravity, i. e., to think of God as either creating souls sinful, or creating pure souls and imprisoning them in bodies of sin and death. (6) It would destroy the organic unity of the race ; for there would be no descent or continuity of soul-life, the deepest reality that identi. fies each individual as human, and forms full interrelationship of the race. The only race unity left would be a corporeal unity, and this would have no part in the transmission of soul-life. (c) It tends to de stroy also the personal oneness of the individual man; for body and soul would have alien origins, the one by the action of secondary or natural causation, the other by an immediate creation ex nihilo. It disrupts the basal unity of the personal human constitution. (d) It thus fails, further, to explain the fact of the conveyance of mental or psychical traits, as well as moral, from parents to children.
From the inadequacy of these two theories, theology has turned to the principle of linkage naturally suggested by the analogy of all organic race-life, that the whole constitution is transmitted in and by the mystery of propagation. It is called Traducianism.
It was propounded by Tertullian, but his advocacy, because of his connecting with it some materialistic conceptions, failed to break the ascendancy of creationism through the early and middle ages. Since the reformation it has been maintained in the Lutheran Church generally,' and by most of the New England theologians since Dr. Hopkins. It is supported by such passages as Gen. v. 3; Ps. li. 5; John iii. 6; Rom. v. 12, etc. These imply
It is taught in the “ Form of Concord,'' Part II., ch. i., 28-30.
that propagation by natural descent carries all the parts of the human being together. Arguments in proof of it are: (a) The slow development of the psychical faculties with that of the body seems most in harmony with this theory. (6) The mental and even moral peculiarities of parents are found descending to their children. (c) The truth of original sin is best stated and explained in the light of this view. On the whole, this theory accords best with the known order of divine procedure in nature, and has the fewest difficulties. It must be understood, however, that traducianism does not deny, but implies a certain reality of creationism. But it is the creative reality that is ever going on through 'second causes.' It signifies, not creatio prima, but secunda, the divine power fixed in means, which makes the result just as truly and really God's work. It is not immediate, but through the power that He has established in active force in the law of propagation. Souls are potential, therefore, in the life-force adjusted by God for evermore creating fresh personalities. Prof. J. T. Beck says: “In the beginning of new life, a divine creative use of means must be conceived of as going on together and mutually implying each other. Consequently even the coutinual beginning of human souls is neither the result of absolute creation (creationism), nor of an absolute reproduction (traducianism). But that abiding, effectual Power of God, which conditions all life, acts immanently in generation.
DICHOTOMY OR TRICHOTOMY. This question concerns the number of constituent elements in the human constitution. Trichotomy divides man into three parts or different essences, body, soul, and spirit; Dichotomy into two, body and soul, or spirit. While interesting as a scientific problem, this subject is of some importance theologically in the interpretation of various passages of Scripture.
1 "Outlines of Biblical Psychology," p. 10.
The Scriptures were not meant to teach a scientific psychology. Their language is to be understood according to the modes of expression of truth in the times when they were written. Yet it is reasonable to believe that, if interpreted correctly, their popular forms of expression will not mislead from the real truth, as it lay in the thinking back of their phraseology. The difficulty here is in the fact that some passages speak dichotomously, others trichotomously. Two trichotomous forms are: 1 Thess. v. 23, “The very God of peace sanctify you wholly, and
pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless," etc.; Heb. iv. 12: “The word of God is quick and powerful, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit,” etc.—in which a distinction is apparently made between 'soul' and 'spirit.' Dichotomous forms are: 1 Cor. vi. 20, “For ye are bought with a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's ” ; Jas. ii. 26, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead.” The precise question is: Is man composed of two essences, the matter forming the body and a spiritual essence called also “soul,” which, as the life-principle, organizes the bodily structure; or is there besides the matter of the body and the rational arveûna (spirit), also a fuxń or “soul” as the life-principle of the bodily organism and the source of the lower passions and instincts?
In answer, the following facts as to trichotomous teach. ing are to be noted. (1) Many languages have words expressive of a threefold distinction. In Hebrew : basar, nephesh, and ruach or neschama, the last two being synonymous. In Greek: côua, yuxń, and oveŪua. In Latin : corpus, anima, and animus or mens. In German: Leib, seele, and geist. In English : body, soul, and spirit. (2) Forms of trichotomy appear among the earliest attempts at a philosophic view of man. Plato had a threefold division, a soul as desire or affection (το επιθυμήτικον), as passion or courage (το θυμοειδες), and reason (TÒ Roycotikov). The last was thought to be immortal. Aristotle included, in addition to the body (cwua) and soul (yuxń), the mind (võus), the principle of rational intelligence as existing before the body and entering it as something divine and immortal. The o@ua and fruxń were regarded as common to brutes and men; the rational principle as the unique and lofty endowment of man. Plotinus, the great neo-Platonist, developed a full trichotomy. The reason (võus) comes from the supreme Being. This produces the soul as its image, and both precedes and survives the body. Apollinaris probably got from this neo-Platonism his view upon which he denied to Christ the possession of a rational soul, the divine Logos taking its place.
In the church, during the early centuries, the teaching was largely trichotomistic, especially among
writers of the Alexandrian school. Justin Martyr, Irenæus, Origen, Clement of Alexandria, teach a triad of essence in man. Gnosticism so taught. In a later period trichotomy declined, superseded by the simpler division into body and soul. Occam, however, of the fourteenth century, was a trichotomist, distinguishing between the thinking mind (anima intellectiva) and the feeling soul
(anima sensitiva) and making the intellective soul another substance than sensitive soul, and capable of existence apart from the body. Franz Delitzsch presents what he calls the true trichotomy of man. He starts with the idea that in creation God made Adam at first only a physical organism, unvitalized. Then He breathed into him the Spirit or breath of life. This created in man the human spirit. This spirit then quickened the body or produced the animal soul. “The soul is related to the spirit as life to the principle of life, and as effect to that which produces it.” “The spirit, as spiritus spiratus, endows the body with soul as spiritus spirans.”' This view of Delitzsch, though termed “the true trichotomy,” in the end really abandons trichotomy and gives us dichotomous humanity. For the “quickening ” of the physical body is attributed to the "spirit” created by the divine Spirit, and the life or "soul” becomes the “effect" merely of this created spirit. The soul, in this explanation, is not an essence other than the spirit, but the given life or animate condition of the organism.
How thoroughly the trichotomistic teaching has failed to hold the homage of recent psychology is seen in the fact that in Flemming's “ Vocabulary of Philosophy," from thirty-seven different modern philosophers who have attempted to define the soul, only one presents a really trichotomistic view, viz., Rothe. He says: “The spirit is something higher than the soul. In the spirit is the unity of our being, our true ego. The soul is but an element in its service. At death the soul passes away; the spirit ripens to a new existence.” The Scripture evidence seems to be against any posi
1 Ueberweg, "History of Philosophy," I., p. 4643"Biblical Psychology," p. 18.