A few weeks back I briefly touched upon the wildfire debate of whether there was a literal Adam and Eve, though I used it as a springboard to analyze our ever-growing of theological musts Christian need to hold to stay in the family. Today I’m once again not offering my opinion on the debate but looking at what’s going on behind it all.
I think what is really at stake in the question of whether Adam and Eve were truly the first human beings is how many people understand God, Jesus and his gospel. To many people, if there is no Adam or Eve then a sizable piece of the Romans Road is washed away as if a flood took it away. This is because without an actual Adam and Eve who made the choice to disobey God then we wonder if there is original sin and maybe even total depravity. And without that, therefore, maybe Jesus didn’t have to die on the cross.
Though I’m not terribly interested in debating if there really was an Adam and Eve, I do think it causes us to wonder how we’ve neatly structured our understanding of sin and salvation and the like. I think the Romans Road is helpful to a point, but I think it’s a bit too mechanical.
I think now that the 80’s are over, except for those who still act as though the party’s still going, we’re looking for how to understand the crazy life Jesus led on earth and what it means for our faith. Maybe it’s not the gospel that’s at stake, but moreso how we understand it and try to relay it to others.
I suspect that how someone living two hundred years after Jesus would explain the gospel differently and yes necessarily than someone living in the 1980’s. God’s love and forgiveness is the same, but the way we try to understand it would be different.
I think that in some way the debate about Adam and Eve’s bellybutton status is more about the gospel itself. And I welcome any conversation trying to help us come to grips with that.
What do you think is behind the Adam and Eve debate? Did you or do you walk on the Romans Road? What are other way do you try to sum up the core of the gospel?