Reading some more interaction on the question of the historical Adam, I continue to see the “Christological” objection. This argument is not really an argument, in my opinion, but it goes something like this, “The Scriptures are fundamentally about Christ. Everything is meant to point to him. If you are so hung up on things like a historical Adam, then you are missing the big picture.” Now it isn’t obviously clear to me why a Christological center implies that other issues not be important. I suppose this is a variant of the old hyper-Calvinism that places God’s glory in basic competition with humanity and creation’s, even though, as Irenaeus put it, “The glory of God is man fully alive.”
Still, my first response to this sort of argument is to simply ask for basic definitions. What is a Christ? How can I find out?
The answer to those questions will immediately move one into redemptive history, and we should point out that redemptive is an adjective. “Christ” is the term for the messiah. What’s that? The messiah is the king of Israel. What does that have to do with the salvation of the world, or of me?
All of these questions ought to move you to a root question. Michael Horton once framed it this way, “Jesus is the answer, but what is the question?” The old traditional position was that the question is about primordial evil, sin, and death. And the old answer, outdated I’m sure, is that this all had something to do with Adam violating the basic justice of the world and thus bringing all of his descendants under a curse.
Steven Wedgeworth is the pastor of Christ Church in Lakeland, Florida. He writes about theology, history, and political theory, and he has taught Jr. High and High School. He is the founder and general editor of The Calvinist International, an online journal of Christian Humanism and political theology, and a Director for the Davenant Trust. A graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary (Jackson, MS), Steven lives in Lakeland, FL with his wife, son, daughter, and two terriers.
The Calvinist International is a forum for research, resourcement, and renewal of Christian wisdom.