Yet Another Qualification St. Peter Will Check At The Door, Or The Danger Of Debating A Literal Adam & Eve

Fear not, though I’ve got a few thoughts (and not many answers) about the new big debate over whether there was a literal Adam and Eve, this post is will not outline them. Maybe I’ll write more about it later, I’ll leave myself that option, however right now I’m not subjecting you to yet another post on the subject.

I can buy a literal Adam and Eve, but do I have to believe they were white?

For some, the notion that some can no longer believe there was an actual Adam & Eve or an original two human beings from which the rest of the human population came is incomprehensible. It’s like the ultimately slippery slope, and not the good kind (slip-n-slide, ironically a youth group favorite).

But I have a big fear for this debate – that believing in a literal Adam and Eve will become yet another essential position a person must hold to be classified as a Christian. Certainly it’s an important topic that informs many other things, but I think we’re tacking on too many “musts” for Christians. There are too many ways to divide and separate us, too many things we can use to say that guy over there isn’t a true Christian. And all over beliefs, nonetheless.

You’re a Christian if you are:

Protestant Evangelical,
Substitutionary Atonement adherent,
Law is dead now under grace-er, 
TULIP pickin’,
Marriage as one man and one woman believer,
Intelligent Design follower,
Bible as Literal Word Of God’er,
Genesis as Historical Fact-iod.

When you give your life to Jesus, what is we must sign up for? I thought we believed Jesus is real and he is God (some may even think he’s just God-like!), and that was faith. But we’re making it so much more, and it’s become more like a ball and chain….

How essential is the doctrine of a historical Adam and Eve as the first human beings? Must it join the mainframe? What are the essentials for you? 

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13 Responses to Yet Another Qualification St. Peter Will Check At The Door, Or The Danger Of Debating A Literal Adam & Eve

  1. I believe in a literal A & E but not sure how I come out on the “must believe” issue just yet. Give me a moment to think it through. Okay done. No answer. 🙂 I reckon if your list is a prerequisite I am down the line. I believe in One God. I believe Jesus was the virgin born Son of God, died on a cross as a substitute for my sins, rose from the grave and sits next to His Father. I believe in the Holy Spirit as Christ in me. I do happen to believe the Bible is the Word of God and is inerrant in its original language. I also believe Jesus is returning but have no clue when or how. There is more but my fingers are tired.

  2. David says:

    Well, first your painting is incorrectly rendered; Adam and Eve, if they were the first would not have had belly buttons.

    The existence of Adam and Eve is not the place to start a theological discussion, nor is the last days and the rapture.

    If we are all honest, we live our lives by a few dozen versus at best. This happens when the Bible matches our experience. Someone once told me healing was for another age – then I got healed and my experience matched the Bible and I began to believe that God could heal. Then one day I prayed for a sick woman and she got healed. Then I believed that I could use the gift of healing to love on someone. One day I was in church and thought I heard the voice of the Lord tell me to pray for a sick person. I had doubt, but went and did it just in case; the guy got healed.

    These experiences are the building blocks of faith. I have been told lots ot theological stuff, then I went and read the Bible for myself – well, I don’t believe what I was told because my experience matches Scripture in quite a few places – and what I was told didn’t really match Scripture.

    When I get to hard passages like Jonah, or Adam and Eve – even the last days and the rapture, because my experience in the Kingdom now and I have expereinced quite a bit of it, giving me a glimpse of the Kingdom to come… my faith is that my experience will match the Scripture. And I believe that Adam and Eve were real because I have studied science, sociology, and have 9 years of college – and guess what, not all my education matches the Bible. Therefore; I will err on the side of believing God.

    What is essential for this Christian? Other than the doctrine of salvation by faith, everything God has shown me to date. I do have a bucket list. And once those things are checked off, my faith will grow.

  3. Darius says:

    I’d say believing in a historical Adam and Eve are as important as believing in a historical Jesus. The Bible repeatedly relies on both premises for the Gospel, so I assume we should as well. However, I think the bigger issue is WHY someone would want to disbelieve in a historical Adam and Eve. Many times, it’s because they idolize science and want to look good in the eyes of their “intellectual” peers. That is a much greater sin than whether or not we believe in a historical Adam.

    As for your list… if that makes one a Christian, then I’m out.

    Protestant Evangelical – check
    Substitutionary Atonement adherent – check
    Dispensationalist – not a chance
    Law is dead now under grace-er – check, depending on what that means
    TULIP pickin’ – check
    Premillenial – I’m more of an amill/postmill person
    Marriage as one man and one woman believer – check
    Rapture-fearing – nope
    Intelligent Design follower – check
    Bible as Literal Word Of God’er – double check
    Genesis as Historical Fact-iod – ehh

    However, even those things I believe, some of them aren’t “essential.”

    Here are my essentials, since without them Christianity falls:

    – Authority of Scripture: God inspired it, it was perfect in its original state, and speaks to all things, either directly or indirectly.

    – Deity of Christ: Jesus was both fully human and fully God, and always perfect.

    – The sinfulness of man: no one is good in themselves and all deserve God’s wrath

    – The substitutionary atoning death and bodily resurrection of Christ: Jesus died as the Passover Lamb to cover our sins and truly rose in victory over sin and death.

    – Salvation is by grace through faith: no one can earn salvation in the least. Everyone is a beggar before God and His mercy seat.

    Other than that, everything else is more secondary in importance.

    • I forgot to add my disclaimer at the end that this post was loosely based off on a long running joke about two Christians meeting and swapping the intricacies of their beliefs until they get like 9 agreements down the line and hit one where the differ and the one calls the other a heretic and pushes him of a cliff. So all that to say I wasn’t making that list as my personal list – I don’t even know what dispensationalist means! I’m with you though, there aren’t nearly as many essentials as we make it out to be.

  4. Larry Hughes says:

    Ok here is my thoughts. If one would read the issue with Adam and Eve and I really mean read the whole story past Cain and Abel, One can only surmise there were other humans around but it was not too clearly emphasized in the old testament. However, I am fairly certain there were other creations in human form out side of the Garden of Eden. Just something to think about. It goes with out saying that Adam and Eve were God’s chosen people but He also created others too that were not the chosen ones?

    • I could see where you’re coming from there. Ultimately we’re not gonna know, and I’m fine with it.

    • John Guthrie says:

      With all due respect, I suggest you read it again. It is a matter of understanding the author’s style and perspective. And, if you research it further you will see that Jesus spoke of many of these issues and verified the historical aspects of the Bible. Since I started studying for myself and quit following the various gurus, I have been surprised to learn that I was wrong about the majority of what I believed. Now, I have no trouble staying interested in research because I am always looking for something.

  5. Amy says:

    Ewww…you’ve got nekkid peoples on your blog. I’m offended. 🙂

  6. Amy says:

    Oh, yeah, and when we were talking about Adam + Eve in small group one night, my friend REFUSES to believe that there were only two people created because it is just too disgusting for her to imagine brothers and sisters marrying each other. It’s hilarious how animated she gets about it. I wish I had a YouTube video to share or something.

  7. Pingback: John Calvin Would Be Having (Another) Fit, Or How The Whole Faith Could Fall Apart | Charlie's Church of Christ

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