Was Adam a real individual who lived in space and time, or was he merely a fictional character who represents the human race? Today, Derek Thomas expresses that our view of Adam cannot ultimately be separated from our understanding of the gospel.
NATHAN W. BINGHAM: We’re recording live from Ligonier’s 2022 National Conference, and I’m joined by one of Ligonier’s Teaching Fellows, Dr. Derek Thomas. Dr. Thomas, was Adam a historical person, and if so, how important is it to affirm this?
DR. DEREK THOMAS: Yes, he was an historical person. I think it’s important, without getting into how old the earth is and what was the exact year that Adam was created—and Christians certainly differ. I think that Adam was not selected from some pre-existing hominids and what differentiated Adam from these hominids was that God created him, made him after His image and likeness. I don’t believe that is viable from a biblical point of view. I think that Paul, in Romans 5, certainly suggests that there is an equivalence between as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive.
It doesn’t make any sense to me at all if Adam is fictitious, but Christ is certainly historical, that the theological argument that we are reckoned sinners because of Adam’s sin. That original sin is reckoned to our account because Adam sinned, and that doesn’t make any sense to me if Adam is fictitious.
So yes, Adam is an historical figure, and I would draw a line in the sand over that issue.
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