The History of the Doctrine of Man

The primary issues that have been discussed and passed on over the years are the following:

▪ What is the constitutional nature of man?

▪ Is man dichotomous? Is he made-up of two parts, or is he made up of three parts?

▪ Is he body, material, or immaterial; or is he body, soul, and spirit. Is he body, spirit, or soul? Is he dichotomous or tricohotomous?

▪ How did the soul originate—when does a foetus obtain its soul?

The views that men have had concerning life in the soul are important. Origin believed that the soul was in existence before conception, becoming part of the foetus after conception. Many Christians, particularly Lutherans, believe that the soul is passed down from mother and father to their children, through the act of procreation.

Subsequently, there is a large number of Christians who believe in creationism—that there is a fresh creation by God at the conception of every human being and that while he possesses his soul from the moment of conception, he is a fresh creation of God. Regarding the nature of God’s image in man, what does it mean when the Bible says that man is in the image of God?

What about sin and grace and their effects on the will of man? When man fell into sin, was his will touched by that sin; and if so, can we say that man is free? Can we say that man has a free will? All of these questions are questions that involve the study of man, which are also issues amongst Roman Catholics, as well as the Protestants, and some even touch the very nature of the gospels. For example, the question as to whether man has a free will, is a question that touches the grace of God in our salvation.

Categories: Theology

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