This is the fifth and final post in a series of posts looking at the theological significance of Adam.
- The Theological Significance of Adam
- The Existence of Adam: Why it Matters
- Adam in the New Testament
- Theological Consequences of an Evolved Adam
Why the Original and Specially created Adam Must be True
As has been shown, the bible clearly presents Adam as a literal and historical figure. It is important also to note here the traditional, orthodox belief regarding Adam. “Basil (the Great) interpreted the creation account of Genesis 1 in a literal way and discussed the divine creation in terms of six literal twenty-four hour periods of time. This became the standard view of the early church – and of the church that was to come.” Of course, not everyone held to a literal six-day creation account, like Augustine.
However, “Even with this allegorical interpretation of Genesis, Augustine believed in a fairly recent creation and explicitly warned against accepting the view that the world is old.” The fact that the traditional and historical view of Adam and the creation account is literal brings up another issue, in our modern age, how much are we letting outside influences interpret the Bible for us instead of letting the Bible speak for itself?
“God’s word must be the final authority on all matters about which it speaks – not just the moral and spiritual matters, but also its teachings that bear on history archaeology, and science. What is at stake here is the authority of Scripture, the character of God, the doctrine of death, and the very foundation of the gospel.”
Although one’s belief about creation and about Adam do not affect anyone’s salvation who has trusted in Jesus, it does affect the authority one ultimately gives the bible. If the Bible cannot be trusted on “smaller” historical, geographical, and/or the scientific things to which it speaks, how do we know it can be trusted on the “bigger” issues such as morality and salvation?
As has been noted, there is much to be said about the scientific data itself and the methods currently used today, but we must also note the drastic changes the scientific thought undergoes with every new discovery. Are we to trust more the ever-changing hypothesis of science, and thus consistently changing how we interpret the bible, or are we to trust the consistent and none-changing plain reading of scripture?
The original and specially created Adam must be true for many theological reasons, some of which include: the authority of the bible; how sin, evil, and death entered the world; that all humanity is equal coming from the same original pair of humans; and the people God gave the authority and power to write the New Testament believed it. If you take away the literal and non-evolutionary creation of Adam, all of these reasons become questions that must be addressed and answered, which are typically ignored and not given an adequate response when done so.
The creation and existence of Adam is critical in our understanding of how a perfect God’s perfect creation is no longer the way it was originally created. While we cannot know for sure how exactly God created the universe and everything in it, we must remain faithful to what he has revealed to us, namely that Adam (and Eve) was specially created in the image and likeness of God, and that, though blemished due to the fall, all humanity is created and loved among all creation uniquely by God.
These posts have looked at who Adam was, why it matters who Adam was, Adam’s presence in the New Testament, the theological consequences of an evolved Adam, and why Adam created by the literal interpretation of Genesis 1-2 must be true. The theological significance of Adam is significant, as our beliefs regarding sin and the ultimate authority of the bible hang in the balance. While there is no harm in speculating how creation came about, we must not speculate and question the things that God has plainly revealed to us in his Word.
It is vital that we humble ourselves before God and trust him over man’s fallen and often problematic theories. The theological significance of Adam sets the tone for how we view the rest of the Bible, and where clearly God has spoken, let us not try to alter it.
 Gregg R. Allison, Historical Theology: an Introduction to Christian Doctrine: a Companion to Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2011), 260.
 Ibid., 259.
 Terry Mortenson, The New Answers Book ed. Ken Ham (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2006), 30.