Historical Adam and Eve

Greg Strand – July 27, 2015 1 Comment

What is the position of the EFCA regarding the historicity of Adam and Eve?

We affirm God created all from nothing (ex nihilo). Adam and Eve are unique and special in that they are created in the image of God (imago Dei). These are biblical/theological essentials.

Regarding the creation of Adam and Eve as recorded in Genesis, the significance of their uniqueness as historical figures and that they are the first created beings in the image of God, it is important to note the following theological truth from Article 3, The Human Condition, “We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image,” as articulated in Evangelical Convictions: A Theological Exposition of the Statement of Faith of the Evangelical Free Church of America, 76-77:

There are legitimate differences of opinion about how one understands the nature of the language used in the early chapters of Genesis to describe the actions of God in the world. However, our Statement affirms that Adam and Eve were historical figures16 in the following sense: 1) From these two all other human beings are descended (Acts 17:26).17 2) These two were the first creatures created in God’s image such that they were accountable to God as responsible moral agents. And 3) these two rebelled against God, affecting all their progeny.18

What is essential to the biblical story-line is that the problem with the world is not ontological-that is, it is not a result of the material nature of creation itself nor is sin an essential part of our humanity.19 The problem is moral. The first human beings from the very beginning, in a distinct act of rebellion, chose to turn away from God, and this act not only affected all humanity (cf. Rom. 5:12-21), but creation itself (cf. Rom. 8:18-25). This leads us from considering the dignity of humanity to acknowledging our depravity. 

16 The historical reality of Adam and Eve has been the traditional position of the church (so Tertullian, Athanasius, Augustine, Calvin) and is supported elsewhere in Scripture. Particularly, Paul compares the “one man” Adam with both Moses and Jesus (cf. Rom. 5:12, 15-19; 1 Cor. 15:20-22). In addition, Luke traces the genealogy of Jesus back to Adam (Luke 3:23-37; cf. also 1 Chron. 1).

17 We take no position on the manner in which the human soul is passed on, either by natural heredity (“traducianism”) or by a unique work of God in each life (“creationism”).

18 Consequently, no human beings existed prior to these two, and, consequently, no human beings were sinless and without the need of a Savior.

19 This also gives us hope that human beings can be redeemed from sin.

Greg Strand

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Affectionately called “Walking Bible” by his youngest daughter, Greg Strand has a ministry history that goes back to 1982. Since that time, he has served in local church ministry in a variety of ministry capacities: youth pastor, associate pastor of adult ministries and senior pastor. He is currently the EFCA's Executive Director of Theology and Credentialing. Greg reads voraciously and never stops learning — a passion reflected in the overflowing bookshelves that spill from his library to multiple offices. And he could tell you about each of those books! His hunger for learning pales in contrast to his great love for God and for teaching the Word of God.

One response to Historical Adam and Eve

  1. Thanks for this, Greg! Much appreciated.

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