At the end of this post are links to other posts on the importance of a historical Adam.
For some time now, there has been extensive debate in the church on how to understand the early chapters of Genesis. The focus has normally been on the length of the days in chapter one. Is it describing six, literal days? Or is the author just using a “literary framework”? Or is each day an age, or epoch of time?
In the midst of these debates, there lies a more core, and foundational issue, namely whether Adam was a real historical individual, created directly by God, from which all human beings descend. Aside from the length of days, this is the issue on which much theological truth depends.
For the entire post, see The Historical Adam: Why It Really Matters.
Also see The Historical Reality of Adam by Guy Waters (at the same Aquila Report site). It also includes related links at the end.