Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Science and The Virgin Birth

It's amazing to me how people who pit science against faith (in favor of science, of course) and who claim to be well-informed can be so ignorant of how Christians approach the subject of miracles. I was reading a detective novel where a nun is murdered in a convent. It was found that she had recently given birth.

Obviously, this nun was doing something that she wasn't supposed to do. However, in this book, when the detective questions the nuns, they all think it must have been a virgin birth. The detective is naturally incredulous. The murdered nun must have had sex. That, according to the novelist, is the scientific view. The so-called "faith view" was that it was a miraculous conception.

This novelist does not understand Christianity very well. I do not think that you could find a nun anywhere that would believe that this birth was in any way miraculous. She had apparently broken her vows. It's amazing that any sensible person, like this novelist, would make people of faith so ignorant. The dialogue was even worse. When questioned a nun stated, "You have your science, and we have our faith" as if they were total opposites. Naturally, the detective marvels at the foolishness of these nuns.

What I marvel at is the foolishness of an educated person that would write such tripe. Christians do not use belief in miracles to cover sin. That is not why we believe in miracles. We do believe in miracles but we recognize that God has a purpose in doing them. Making a nun give birth to a stillborn child serves no purpose at all.

I suppose that the author might be taking a shot against the real virgin birth, the birth of Jesus Christ. But we Christians do not believe in the virgin birth because we have faith and are ignorant of science. In fact, without scientific knowledge we would never know what a miracle was. Mary asked the angel how she could have a child without having had sex first. It seems that Mary did have scientific knowledge. She knows how babies are made. Her faith took her beyond scientific realities to a place where she could conceive a child by the Holy Spirit. So faith in the miraculous presumes scientific knowledge and goes beyond it to the Creator whose Word has authority over the natural world.

Because God made the laws of nature, He can overrule them when He sees fit. He does not, however, go around making single women pregnant. He did that one time so that His Son could become incarnate. Jesus could not be born of natural generation or He would have inherited original sin. The virgin birth was a necessary prerequisite to the incarnation.

The virgin birth is one miracle that is frequently mocked by unbelievers. Even some who claim to be Christians have been skeptical of it. Yet it is one of the most necessary miracles in the Bible, right up there with the resurrection of Christ. Without it, Christ could not have come into this world. If He does not come into this world, He cannot pay the price for our sins. If He does not do that, we are all doomed.

The virgin birth is at the very heart of Christianity. That is why it in the Apostles' Creed and is one of the fundamental doctrines of the faith. That is why the Devil hates it so much. He seems to have convinced the skeptics that God would not, or could not, do such a thing. Yet our faith in it is essential. We dare not deny it. To deny it is to deny the incarnation of the Son of God. It is to deny Christ Himself.

Merry Christmas.

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