“The virgin birth is a necessary foundation for Christmas and for the life of the believer,” says renowned pastor and seminary president Jack Hayford.
Tragically, disbelieving basic truths has become a normative part of modernity.
Oxford agnostic professor Sir William Ramsey, one of the greatest archaeologists of all time, has decided to scientifically refute the Fourth Gospel. He thought skeptically that he couldn’t be trusted. Luke gathered his information from a primary source, possibly Mary. Luke refers to 32 countries, 54 cities and nine islands.
After several years – and many miles – of hard work, Ramsey completely changed his mind, finding that Luke was precise in any case the critics disagreed with. Ramsey wrote: “Luke is a first-rate historian; not only are his statements of fact reliable, but he possesses true historical meaning; in short, this author must be placed among the greatest of historians.
Much to the dismay of contemporary skeptics of his day, Ramsey spent the next 20 years proving and publishing the accuracy of every detail of Luke’s accounts.
Another skeptic turned believer was Thomas Oden, a famous Methodist theologian. In his memoir, “A Change of Heart” (2015), he shared his pilgrimage from theological liberalism to the orthodox affirmation of biblical Christianity. Explaining his early adherence to biblical skepticism, he admitted: “I loved fantasies and I loved revolutionary illusions. I loved the heresy. After spending years disbelieving in the basics of the Bible, he says the Holy Spirit found him and put him on a completely different course for the rest of his life.
Attacks on fundamental theological truths “emerged in the aftermath of the Enlightenment, as some theologians attempted to harmonize the anti-supernaturalism of the modern mind with the Church’s teaching on Christ. The great quest of liberal theology has been to invent a Jesus stripped of all supernatural power, divinity and authority ”(Albert Mohler,“ Can a Christian Deny the Virgin Birth? ”).
The source of this movement was skeptical 19th century German criticism, with thinkers like Rudolf Bultmann, who argued that the New Testament presents a fantastic worldview that we cannot accept as genuine. He pushed a program of thought called “demythologization” to strip Christianity of any suspicion of the miraculous or the supernatural – including the denial of key things like the virgin birth and the literal bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.
American Protestant liberalism emerged in the early 1900s with influencers like Harry Emerson Fosdick courting the same type of deconstructionism. In the mid-1900s, two movements emerged against theological liberalism. Fundamentalism, as with Bob Jones Sr., and evangelism, led by figures like Billy Graham, Bill Bright, and Carl Henry, saw the dangers and folly of rejecting the foundations of Christianity.
The Bible describes truth as a plumb line. The next time you buy a house, build a storage shed, or cross a bridge, ask yourself, “Do I care if this structure was built plumb (i.e. exactly vertical or true)? “
Modern movements, such as the “Jesus Seminar”, however, have fully embraced the first serpent tactic in the Garden of Eden: “Did God really say? (Genesis 3: 1). The abandonment of the full reliability and authority of Scripture has led to the full embrace of moral revolutionaries, the sexual revolution, and the questioning of virtually all standards of behavior.
Among most of the major denominations, Oden said, “The world sets the agenda – it’s always trying to catch up with whatever is the newest and apparently the best and most productive form of psychotherapy. I was taught to be culturally sensitive without having a sufficient basis in the classical Christian confession.
Mohler cautions: “Christians must face the fact that a denial of the virgin birth is a denial of Jesus as Christ. The Savior who died for our sins was none other than the baby who was conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of a virgin. The virgin birth alone is not a biblical doctrine; it is an irreducible part of biblical revelation about the person and work of Jesus Christ. With it, the Gospel stands or falls.
“The authority of the Bible has almost completely disappeared where liberal theology holds sway. The authority of the Bible is replaced by the secular worldview of the modern era and the postmodern denial of truth itself. The true church stands unapologetically on the authority of the Bible and declares that Jesus was indeed “born of a virgin.” Although denial of this doctrine is now tragically common, the historical truth of Christ’s birth remains inviolable.
This Christmas I am grateful for Jesus Christ, the embodiment of Truth, and the Bible, the written revelation of Truth. He’s the incarnate and now glorified Word of God, and the Bible is the written and preserved Word of God.
It was necessary that he go through a virgin, so that the bondage of sin would not be passed on to him. He became the sinless sacrifice – for my sins and yours. He perfectly met God’s requirements.
Hayford recaps: “Obedience to the Word of God makes it possible to be available for the fulfillment of the life-giving promises of God and that through the power of the cross one can be freed from the power of sin and be made righteous and pure before. the Lord. “
– Dr Rhett Wilson Sr. is transitional pastor for Spring Hill Baptist Church in Lancaster.