Were Adam & Eve real people?

Last month I mentioned how Hollywood stars can be a significant influence on the general public (good or bad).  In somewhat of a related fashion, this month’s question is in regard to the influence of Christian celebrities.

Independent of whether or not we like their music, Christian artists can hold a lot of sway amongst their followers.  It’s human nature to want to think the best of people we highly esteem.  There is no question that pastors and other teachers of God’s Word are biblically held to a higher standard… “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” (James 3:1)  I think the argument could easily be made that those who are in the position of Christian entertainment would probably also be held to a higher standard as well, because they are publically claiming to convey and promote the truths of Scripture.

Recently, Dove-award winning musical artists Michael & Lisa Gungor (famous for “Beautiful Things” among others) made some very alarming statements.  The following excerpts were taken from their blog post:

"I have no more ability to believe, for example, that the first people on earth were a couple named Adam and Eve that lived 6,000 years ago. I have no ability to believe that there was a flood that covered all the highest mountains of the world only 4,000 years ago and that all of the animal species that exist today are here because they were carried on an ark and then somehow walked or flew all around the world from a mountain in the middle east after the water dried up."

"I have no more ability to believe these things than I do to believe in Santa Claus or to not believe in gravity. But I have a choice on what to do with these unbeliefs. I could either throw out those stories as lies, or I could try to find some value in them as stories".

“To some people, you denying the 'truth' of a 6,000 year old earth with naked people in a garden eating an apple being responsible for the death of dinosaurs is the same thing as you nailing Jesus to the cross. You become part of 'them.' The deniers of God's Word.”

From their church’s website:

“Our quest is to take Jesus - his life, his teaching, his death, his resurrection - more seriously than we take any other thing. That's pretty much how we understand what the word 'Christian' means."

"At Bloom we have tied ourselves to the story of God found in Jesus, which makes us decidedly Christian, but we gladly welcome anybody among us regardless of gender, creed, race, sexual orientation, or any other division that we humans like to divide ourselves into. Our hope is that everyone who wanders into our community will taste the Kingdom and come to love and embrace Jesus and his story too."


My brief commentary…

I couldn’t possibly address all that I would like in this brief article, so I will choose to make just a few points.

Michael, when he says, “I have no more ability to believe…”, is obviously using his own limited, fallible understanding to decide what in Scripture is believable and what isn’t. (Proverbs 3:5 “…lean not on your own understanding”)

He is expressing his biblical illiteracy when he states that all of the “species” of animals around today were on the ark.  That’s not what the Bible teaches. The Bible indicates two of each “kind” – a much broader category, more similar to the classification of “family” or “genus” in today’s terminology, which would entail much, much fewer animals.  He also displays his not understanding that the tallest mountains around today were not around in their present form at the time of the flood (they were lower, see Psalm 104 regarding the mountains rising towards the end of the flood.)

His desire (through his church) to “take Jesus - his life, his teaching, his death, his resurrection - more seriously than we take any other thing,” is admirable, but how do you know what His teaching was?  Obvious answer… from what He said in Scripture!  But Michael has a problem believing what Scriptures says (when it goes against his own reasoning).  Jesus believed in a real Adam and that God created both Adam and Eve at the beginning of creation (Mark 10:6 & Matt 19:4).  What does Michael Gungor do with that? It’s Jesus’ own teaching.  The Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, viewed Adam as a real person (I Cor 15:45).

Why believe that Jesus rose from the dead?  If science has shown anything, it certainly has confirmed that people don’t come back from the dead (other than allegedly being dead for a few minutes or so, in which case, they obviously weren’t truly dead, even though they met the criteria of what the medical profession deems as “dead”). “Well,” he might say, “Jesus was God and He could easily do that, because He’s all-powerful!”  I agree, and long before Jesus was Savior, He was Creator (John 1, Col 1, Heb 1) and He not only could create everything in six days, including Adam and Eve, but that’s actually what He said He did (Exodus 20:11).

Performing my own kind of miracle here (i.e. stopping here and not writing a 1,000 page polemic) I’ll end with an interesting quote from Martin Luther:

“When Moses writes that God created heaven and earth and whatever is in them in six days, then let this period continue to have been six days, and do not venture to devise any comment according to which six days were [something else]. But if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are. For you are to deal with Scripture in such a way that you bear in mind that God Himself says what is written. But since God is speaking, it is not fitting for you wantonly to turn His Word in the direction you wish to go.”  [What Luther Says. A Practical In-Home Anthology for the Active Christian, compiled by Ewald M. Plass, Concordia, 1959, p. 93.]

The main point of this article was not to attempt to offer a defense against everything the Gungors said, but merely to state that when we use our own reasoning to decide what in Scripture is “believable” and what is not, we become the ultimate arbiters of Truth, which is a dangerous thing.  It is even more concerning when Christians who are in the spotlight (especially by their own choosing) lead others to have such a low view of God’s Word, as though He wasn’t capable of telling us what He really meant.  Even though the Bible is God’s first shot at writing a book… I think He did a pretty good job and we truly can trust it from cover-to-cover.

See these additional articles for further information:

As with all of our other articles, much more could be said about this, but if you have any questions related to this month’s article or any other issue, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

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