From what I remember, positions on the origins of the soul were presented as options to me in seminary. Like the choice between trichotomy and dichotomy. It may be this is not how they were presented, but how I remember them. In many ways, I was a frivolous student.
I have preferences, but understanding with utter clarity what difference these make is not something I have. Surely there are theological implications down the line for both! But this is what I’m mostly ignorant of.
I prefer traducianism, and I attribute this to my platonism. Traducianism has problems, but I think creationism is a solution more than an explanation. The covenantal aspect of the fall, the imputation of original sin, is more foregrounded in creationism, this is true. Berkhoff’s treatment, which prefers creationism, is not entirely persuasive. Perhaps I should consult the Doctor Angelicus—he had a way with clarity. There are a lot of questions that arise from creationism. . . . at least for me.
But then, what do we know of the immaterial man? The point at issue seems to dissolve into a greater mystery. It makes me wonder if there aren’t pieces still to put in place before the issue becomes altogether clear.
Before the fourth century, reputable teachers in the church struggled with expressing the doctrine of the Trinity. Sometimes people study these figures and try to hold them to a standard of doctrinal development to which they had no access. Talking of Origen as having subordinationist tendencies makes it sound like he was not quite the theologian he might have been, when in fact the trajectory to robust formulation leads straight through him. He represents a necessary preliminary stage.
What I wonder is if issues like those I started out with are still in a preliminary stage.