Adam–The Man Who Wasn’t There

Adam Continuing to interact with Denis Lamoureux’s contribution to Zondervan’s Four Views on the Historical Adam, Professor Lamoureux informs us that his pastoral concern is that young men and women know there is a Christian view of origins that accepts evolution and recognizes that our faith does not rest on the existence of Adam (pg. 38). He asserts that our faith is based only on Jesus Christ, His sacrifice on the Cross, and His bodily resurrection from the dead.

Firstly, the biblical narrative is organically woven together. You can’t uproot one doctrine and expect that it won’t affect another. This kind of compartmentalization of Scripture separates what God has joined together. It disassembles the connections.

It’s analogous to a novel in which character development, theme, and plot are said to be of little importance. It’s only the climax that really matters. However, it’s the back story that sets up the climax. They’re tied together. Adam is the fountainhead of the human race and his fall into sin necessitates the incarnation, the crucifixion, the atonement, and the resurrection if salvation is to come to a broken world.

Secondly, if Jesus Himself was wrong about there being a historical Adam how do we know He wasn’t wrong about other matters, like His own person, work, and mission? How do we discern when Jesus is fallible and when He’s infallible? What’s the criteria? When modern scientific consensus disagrees with Him? Modern scientific consensus doesn’t take into account the supernatural, nor should it. The creation of man transcends naturalism.

Thirdly, why does Dr. Lamoureux insist upon the historical necessity of Jesus’ death and resurrection, but deny the existence of Adam and original sin? What makes one more of a historical necessity than the other? Of course, as Professor Lamoureux states, “our faith is based only on Jesus”, but Jesus Himself asserts the historicity of Adam. If the author is to be consistent, he should hold the position that Jesus didn’t really exist either. His life, like the account of Adam, was a little story God told ancient man to communicate spiritual truths. Yet, our author insists, Jesus did and said what is recorded in the Gospels. He will have to explain how doing so is not arbitrary.

We’ll look at his work further in our next post.

C.M. Granger

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3 thoughts on “Adam–The Man Who Wasn’t There

  1. Keep up the good work Chad. Belief in a historical Adam is foundational to our salvation, our understanding of Jesus Christ, our understanding about what it means to be human, our understanding of the world and our relationship to it, our understanding of masculinity and femininity, our understanding of marriage, the roles of husband and wife in marriage and the roles of men and women in church. If he did not exist our understanding of scripture and how to interpret scripture is also at stake… let alone the veracity of scripture… for as you write both Jesus and Paul assume Genesis 1-3 is historical literature and not allegory or symbolism!

    • Thanks, brother. What has made such positions as this one (evolutionary creationism) more widely accepted today is not the text itself but the use of outside criteria (such as Ancient Near Eastern literature) to judge the Bible. The opening chapters of Genesis are then categorized as coming from a certain genre of writing that is not to be taken as historical. Such a determination cannot be made from within the text.

      If we let the text stand on its own, we can come to no other conclusion than that it was intended to be understood historically. Those who favor Lamoureux’s position are now forced to say that Jesus and Paul were wrong. At that point, in my opinion, they’ve conceded the argument. Whenever you get someone to say that he is right and Jesus is wrong, I think you’ve demonstrated a weakness in his position!

      I acknowledge there is room for disagreement among Christians about these matters, and don’t consider Gen.1-11 to be a science textbook. On the other hand, there has to be a point where a theological position can no longer be considered plausible.

  2. Pingback: Adam and the Unbearable Lightness of Non-Being | Coffee Rings

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