In the video below, Andy Stanley explains his apologetic approach to objections to the historical Adam and Eve. He beliefs Christians have done a disservice to previous generations of children the way they are taught Scripture all hangs together or crumbles.
He begins with a personal story from his freshman English class in college. The professor potentially dismantled the faith of the Christians present after teaching on various creation myths – the story of Adam and Eve being one of those myths. Since Adam and Eve was just another creation myth the question arises of what else in the Bible is a myth. So, if Scripture hangs together on Scripture, as Stanley was taught, and Adam and Eve were a myth, then the door is open for Jesus also being a myth.
Stanley then explains why Christians need not worry about whether Adam and Eve are a myth compared with the rest of Scripture.
The foundation of our faith is not the Scripture. The foundation of our faith is not the infallibility of the Bible. The foundation of our faith is something that happened in history. And the issue is always – Who is Jesus? That’s always the issue. The Scripture is simply a collection of ancient documents that tells us that story.
He touches on the reliability of the Scriptures explaining tying Jesus back to the Old Testament does everyone a service. Then explaining, “You can believe that the Adam and Eve story is a creation myth. So what. Who is Jesus?”
Stanley gives his reasons for believing Adam and Eve existed.
Here’s why I believe this actually happened. Not because the Bible says so, but because of the Gospels – Jesus talks about Adam and Eve. And it appears to me that he believed they were actually historical figures. And if he believed they were historical, I believe they were historical because anybody that can predict their own death and resurrection and pull it off – I just believe anything they say.
I appreciate what Stanley is trying to do in pointing to Jesus. I agree that the foundation of the Christian faith is Jesus and not Scriptures. Christians don’t believe in the Bible for eternal life, but the Bible testifies about, and point us to, Jesus (John 5:39). Therefore, Scriptures inform us about the foundation of our faith and are not to be separated from it.
Scriptures are the only way we can answer the question – Who is Jesus? In fact, Jesus answered this question about Himself using Scriptures (Luke 24). Stanley essentially tells us that the infallibility of Scriptures do not matter; yet points us to the Gospels find Jesus. The problem with Stanley’s appeal is that the Gospels are Scripture. But is he only assigning infallibility to the Gospels?
At this point, I don’t see how Stanley has saved the house of cards from crumbling by pitting the Gospels against the rest of Scripture. I agree that Jesus believing in an historical Adam and Eve is important and makes the case for their historicity. But what point is there in separating the Gospels from the rest of Scripture? We don’t have any Scripture in Jesus’ handwriting. And what do we do with biblical themes and people not specifically mentioned by Jesus?
Again, I appreciate Stanley’s attempt to answer the historical Adam and Eve question, but I think it opens doors to other problems and his house of cards does fall when pushed further.
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