The Christian Century of April 2, 1958, carried an interesting editorial entitled, “A Choice of Miracles.” The choice was between the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection of Christ; between “the Womb and the Tomb.” Men like Bultmann reject both, but not so our writer. For him only the Virgin Birth needs to be rejected, “because it is so radically out of character with the rest of the manner and the matter of Christian revelation.” It is beside the point; not an impossibility, but an irrelevancy. What does it prove? Only that Jesus was “half and half”—half God and half man. And this cannot be because Christ “is not God in his structure.”
Since this editorial represents a modern and fashionable way of disposing of the Virgin Birth it calls for comment. It seems to have the great advantage of permitting a person to eat his cake and have it too. We will not disprove the Virgin Birth, it argues, for that is not the point—proven or unproven it is irrelevant. But then we are told in the next sentence that it is not so much irrelevant as untrue. “Christ is not God in his structure.” This is very slippery apologetics—a theological legerdemain almost faster than the reader’s eye.
But let us go over this reasoning in slow motion. First, we are told that the Virgin Birth cannot be disproved but it need not be because it is irrelevant. Then, we are told that the Virgin Birth, if true, would prove that Christ is God and man. But to be told that Christ is God is false because Christ “is not God in his structure.” If the Virgin Birth is true, and our writer does not deny it, then, according to him, it proves that Christ is of the structure of God. But this he does not reject because it is irrelevant but because it is untrue. How he knows that ...1
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