Re: Acquisition of spirituality

Murphy (
Mon, 30 Dec 1996 11:53:01 -0500 wrote:
> I do NOT want to resurrect the abortion question, but one of
> the issues raised was the moment at which the foetus gets a
> "soul" or become spiritual. The question I have is this.
> Is there a useful parallel to be drawn with the question of
> when mankind became spiritual? If you hold to a YEC
> position this is not an issue. But for those with a
> theistic evolution position the question seems very
> relevant. Did we suddenly become human in an instant of
> spiritual creation? Or did our spirituality develop over
> time? I think that this has been discussed by
> Glenn and others before. But, it seems to me that we have
> the same difficulty in dealing with the spirituality of the
> foetus, or rather when it becomes spiritual, albeit in a
> shorter time frame. I am also reminded of the addage
> (somewhat flawed) that ontogeny repeats phylogeny - perhaps
> this is true of the spirit as well as the body?
> If this has been discussed in my absence, please ignore this
> posting. Otherwise I would be interested in some comments.
> Thanks.

In order to deal with this issue we need to have some
understanding of what it means to "become spiritual". If one takes
Ps.104 (& especially vv.27-30) and the statement of the NC Creed that
the Holy Spirit is "the Lord and giver of life", then all life is
spiritual. It is not simply "spirit" which distinguishes humanity but
the ability to "hear" & respond in faith to the Word of God. Those who
do not so hear & respond are, in the Pauline sense, "fleshly" rather
than "spiritual". This does not mean 2 different kinds of "stuff" but 2
different kinds of relationship.
There is discussion of some issues related to this in my article
"The Third Article in the Science-Theology Dialogue" in the Sept. 93
This doesn't really answer the questions you raise, but perhaps
helps to establish the context.
George Murphy