The Role of dual anthropology in theistic evolutionist systems : an analysis and assessment
Triggered by the insistence of some theistic evolutionist models on the indispensability for their systems of an anthropogenesis containing the idea of the infusion of an immortal soul into an evolved pre-human ~body, this research focused on identifying and assessing the role of such appeal to dual anthropology. The study employs both historical-theological and systematic-theological methodologies and is sectioned in three major chapters. After the introduction, which distinguishes between theistic evolutionist systems appealing to dual anthropology and those not appealing, chapter 2 analyzes and describes the former and chapter 3 reviews the latter groups. These chapters reveal that theistic evolutionist systems both appealing and rejecting dual anthropology spread across all Christian confessions and include remarkable Christian theologians and scientists. The theistic evolutionist systems that appeal to dual anthropology do so from both philosophical and theological considerations. The former represents the dualistic ontology established by the Greek philosophy and historically adopted in the Christian Church. The latter is an attempt to salvage the core biblical narrative of the salvation history by upholding its foundational doctrines of the creation of a perfectly moral and conditionally immortal man, and of the Fall from that status. Dual anthropology accomplishes the role of "lifting" the pre-humans to that absolute status by the idea of the infusion of the soul. The device of appealing to dual anthropology appears the best theological hope among the theistic evolutionist systems. It rejects both the alteration of the foundational '- Christian theology and such threatening concepts as polygenism, unavoidable in the theistic evolutionist systems not appealing to dual anthropology. Beyond appearance, however, the appeal to dual anthropology does not actually serve its purpose. On the one hand, critiques notice that dual anthropology itself is biblically and theologically unfounded. On the other hand, the appeal to dual anthropology, while offering a sense of a pre-Fall absolute moral stand of man, does not solve the problem of death as a consequence of the Fall. This is assessed in chapter 4. This study, then, concludes in chapter 5 that theistic evolutionism suffers an irremediable internal incoherence: it faces the choice between keeping a biblical anthropology but abandoning the essential Christian theology and appealing to non-biblical anthropology and claiming to preserve the core biblical theology, but actually failing to do so. Such a state leads one to conclude that theistic evolutionism must be definitively re3ected as a viable model of reconciliation between the scientific evolutionary worldview and the biblical doctrine of creation.