Were Adam and Eve Real Humans?

When I first became a Christian, I would often get into arguments with other believers about evolution, the age of the earth, and the historicity of Adam and Eve. Often the discussion would end with something like, “Why are we arguing about evolution and creation, shouldn’t we just focus on telling people about the gospel?”

It wasn’t until later that I realized the creation account is foundational to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The creation account tells us why we have a duty to worship our Creator, where sin came from and why we are responsible, and God’s promise to crush the serpent’s head.

Now, just 10 years later, many churches think this issue is so important they’re including their views in their Statement of Beliefs or Doctrinal Statements. The reason for this is that we now have a large group of professing Christians stretching the meaning of Genesis 1-3 and even worse, outright questioning if the Biblical account is true.

In the June issue of Christianity Today, Richard Osling has given a broad overview of the current thinking in his article Search for the Historical Adam.

Two quotes that I think unfortunately summarize where the theological momentum in the American Church is heading:

“Adam never existed, and this fact has no impact whatsoever on the foundational beliefs of Christianity” and “the church must be willing to “decouple original sin from the notion that all humans descended from a single pair.””

What will the theological landscape of Protestantism look like in 10 more years?

2 comments… add one
  • Haley beck

    I often wonder how how Adam and Eve could populate the whole world with all it’s people, but I know God’s word is true and therefore I don’t doubt that it did happen.

  • While I was at Biola, I debated this with numerous people on both sides of the spectrum. After reading your article, it made me wonder, although I would agree that understanding sin is important to understand the necessary work of Christ, I’m not sure if original sin is. The one original sin does serve is as a theodicy, by stating that we are the cause of the fall, which is more of an apologetic answer for the problem of evil rather than the sole reason for the necessity of Christ dying on the cross. As long as that part of the Bible is seen as a narrative of reality like a biography, or a tool to say that man fell as a result of himself, there may not be a problem because the theodicy will have served itself. But good inquiry!

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