Is the doctrine of the Virgin Birth much ado about nothing, or is it a critical aspect of the Christian faith? Our “Conceiving Christmas” study concludes with a look at both the logic and the importance of the Virgin Birth. Continue Reading…
Archives For Studies
Our defense of the Virgin Birth continues with a look at where this doctrine is taught in Scripture. We will look at the explicit, implicit, and prophetic references. The implicit references are especially important because it is often claimed that the Virgin Birth is not taught outside the infancy narratives of Matthew and Luke. That is not the case.
Was the biblical story of the Virgin Birth borrowed from pagan myths and legends? Accounts of supernatural births are fairly common in the history of world religions, so some claim that the early Christians took these writings and re-created them for their own purposes. It was a parochial repackaging of various traditions that had already been in existence. The Virgin Birth of Christ, then, is not seen as historical but mythological.
How should Christian believers respond to such claims? Continue Reading…
The Virgin Mary is a role model for all Christian believers. To ponder her place in the Advent story is to come face to face with what true spirituality looks like, especially in the areas of faith, obedience, worship, reflection, and mission.
Even Protestant evangelicals—who typically do not ascribe to Mary the same exalted status that Catholic believers do (e.g., Mother of God, Theotokos, Co-Redemtrix, Queen of Heaven, etc.)—are moved, encouraged, and challenged by her submission to the divine plan.
But what if the Virgin Birth of Christ never really happened? What if the whole account is simply a spiritual metaphor, a deceitful fabrication, or an exercise in pious fiction? Is there anything left to ponder if the Advent story as presented in Scripture is not historical? Is Christmas even worth observing if Jesus was a mere mortal who was born in a most ordinary way? Continue Reading…
Our “Conceiving Christmas” study begins with a look at what we mean (and don’t mean) by the expression “Virgin Birth of Christ.” Continue Reading…
Somebody once asked Larry King, “If you could select any one person across all of history to interview, who would it be?” Without hesitation he responded, “Jesus Christ.”
And what would Mr. King, a skeptical Jew, ask the Galilean carpenter? “I would like to ask him if he was indeed virgin-born. The answer to that question would define history for me.” Continue Reading…
My faith has found a resting place,
Not in device or creed;
I trust the ever living One,
His wounds for me shall plead.
I need no other argument,
I need no other plea,
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.
- Eliza E. Hewitt, “My Faith Has Found a Resting Place”
How could Jesus verify the accuracy of his spiritual claims, such as the ability to forgive sins and his radical claims to deity? These claims are largely invisible realities that are difficult to verify or falsify. Knowing this, Jesus often proved his spiritual claims on the basis of unmistakable physical evidence (i.e., miracles). Continue Reading…
Behold him there, the risen Lamb
My perfect, spotless, Righteousness
The great unchangeable I AM
The King of glory and of grace
One with himself I cannot die
My soul is purchased by his blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ my Savior and my God
- Charitie Lees Bancroft, “Before the Throne of God Above”
As we noted in our previous post, it is incredible that a man who died should live again. Death is irreversible in our human experience. We cannot do a single thing to fix it. We have no tool or technology to restore life where death has planted its flag. A corpse doesn’t come with an undo button. But Jesus does. He is risen indeed.
Yet this good news of Christ’s resurrection becomes even better news when we realize that Jesus actually shares his new life with those who trust him. In other words, the objective reality of Christ’s resurrection becomes a subjective reality when we authentically believe into that resurrection (Romans 10:9-10). His victory becomes our victory. His story becomes our story. His life becomes our life. Continue Reading…
Crown him the Lord of life, who triumphed over the grave,
And rose victorious in the strife for those he came to save.
His glories now we sing, who died, and rose on high,
Who died eternal life to bring, and lives that death may die.
- Matthew Bridges, “Crown Him with Many Crowns”
It is often said that love is a many-splendored thing. The apostles might have said the same thing about Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
Like a diamond whose facets reflect the brilliant colors of the spectrum of light, the reappearance of Christ from his tomb radiates a theological richness that illuminates every aspect of the created order. That’s why the apostles kept “turning” this diamond in their preaching and teaching. Its implications for life and eternity are numerous and profound. Continue Reading…
You lived, You died,
You said in three days You would rise
You did, You’re alive!
You rule, You reign,
You said You’re coming back again
I know You will
And all the earth will sing Your praises
- Paul Baloche, “All The Earth Will Sing Your Praises”
That venerable theologian Yogi Berra once said, “It’s difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.” History has proved him right on numerous occasions. Here are some famous examples of failed predictions over the years: Continue Reading…