Yes, it has been a while since I have last written. My excuses are part busyness of the Christmas season at Ekklesia and part laziness. But excuses are lame so I'm not going to make any.
Speaking of Christmas, earlier today I read an article by Albert Mohler (originally posted in 2006) defending the veracity of the Virgin Birth against The New York Times article by Nicholas Kristof, which argued that conservative Christian belief in the Virgin Birth is anti-intellectual.
In his article, Mohler skillfully defends the theological necessity for the Virgin Birth as it relates to the deity of Christ and the doctrine of incarnation. As Christians who claim to believe in the Bible, Mohler states, we should actually believe what it says.
Do Christians need to believe in the Virgin Birth? As one author put it, what would be the big deal if we found out Jesus was actually not born of a virgin? Would anything change?
Everything would change.
Think about it this way:
If Jesus was not born of a virgin, then his mother Mary either had premarital sex with her betrothed, Joseph (a serious offense in that culture) or Mary had an adulterous affair (an even more serious offense.)
While sinful, such acts are not outside God's power to redeem (take a look at Jesus's genealogy, Matthew 1:1-17, for a picture of sexual sinners that were redeemed). God can and still does do amazing things in spite of our sinful hearts.
The problem is that instead of admitting her misdeeds, Mary claims that an angel came to her and told her that she was going to birth the Son of God through the Holy Spirit's conceiving.
So if Jesus was not born of a virgin, then Mary is not only promiscuous but a liar and/or crazy.
But wait, there's more!
This lying, cheating woman then actually gets everyone to believe her outlandish story (although Joseph was most likely in on it because he saw an angel too). Most of all, she convinces her illegitimate son that he was born of God instead of Larry.
He believes he is the Son of God. He believes he is unique and special and powerful. He believes that he has come to save the world. He believes her so much that he takes on this identity and eventually is killed for a lie.
The problem is that if Mary concocted the idea of the Virgin Birth then he was never the Son of God in the first place.
You see, if Jesus was not born of a virgin then the basis of His whole ministry, life, and death was a lie and everything else that came after Him was just the blind following the blind.
Does the virgin birth matter? I think so.