Flight Simulators, Adam, and Biblical Authority
“. . . those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17)
I tore open the wrapping paper to reveal . . . a box of rocks. No, not a rock tumbler set. My mom had literally wrapped my childhood rock collection. Underneath it, however, I found a note: “We wanted to buy you a joystick, but we wanted you to pick it out.” The rocks were just there so I could open something. Flying a simulated fighter jet with my new joystick later that afternoon, I knew the givers of the re-gifted pebble pile had fulfilled their promise of a better gift.
God gave a gift like that. He used the first man, Adam, to foreshadow Jesus. Sadly, some scholars deny that Adam was a historical person, tossing him aside like a re-gifted rock box. Making Adam figurative, however, contradicts Paul’s comparison of Adam with Jesus. Adam’s sin brought death and condemnation to all, but Jesus brings righteousness to those who believe (Romans 5:15–18). Remove a real Adam from this passage, and Christmas becomes pointless. There is no need for a savior when there is no sin. God gave the first Adam the gift of life, but Adam brought death. Jesus, the last Adam, brings life from death—a perfect re-gift.
Challenging Adam’s historicity reveals a deeper problem, though: it questions biblical authority. Did God really say Adam had to be historical? Imagine me throwing my re-gifted rock collection across the room—clearly, a lack of trust in the gift’s source. The real rock collection pointed to a better (and equally real) gift of the joystick.
The Christmas season can sometimes get rocky—maybe unexpected tragedies past or present make it an emotional time, make it seem like a big pile of rocks. Where you place your trust matters. Will you toss the rocks or read God’s “note” to you and His “better gift”?
Thomas Crank, Director of the Clark Academic Center and Disability Support Services, Instructor of English