Tim, one question I have. One Christian I know asserted that Christians believe that God creates the soul ex nihilo at conception.
Is this true? Or is it just his view, or his church’s?
There are two major views within Historic Christianity on the creation of the soul that I’m aware of:
- The soul is created ex nihilo (by proxy of God or related to the natural act of conception. Just as your physical body is a combination of your parents physical traits, so too is your soul.)
- Souls are in Heaven waiting for bodies. (sounds familiar I’m sure)
#1 is by far the more popular view. There is VERY little discussion of how souls are created. I could probably count the number of times I’ve heard some one bring it up on one hand and have two fingers left. I think if there were more discussion you’d see an even more overwhelming acceptance of #1. While in High School I assumed #2. Later, in college I heard a philosopher talk more about what the soul is and is not and adopted #1.
I’ve revised my thoughts slightly. Please see my first comment below.