“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”—Matthew 1:23
“Our God, Jesus Christ, was, according to the appointment of God, conceived in the womb by Mary, of the seed of David, but by the Holy Spirit.”— Ignatius, A.D. 110 (Letter to the Ephesians 18)
Once again it is that time of the year: Christmas. With the Christmas season comes the craze of shopping for the perfect gift for that special someone as well as the captivating sight of Christmas decorations and lights. Also, with the Christmas season comes the Christian church’s emphasis on the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. No, Jesus was not born on December 25th and there isn’t a Bible verse to substantiate such as claim. Thus, I do not think we should be singing “happy birthday” to Jesus. However, there is an issue that surfaces frequently around this time of the year: The rejection of the Bible’s account of the virgin birth of Jesus.
Atheists (who do not believe there is a god of any kind), Naturalists (who claim the natural world is all there is), and Skeptics (who are skeptical or doubtful of accepted beliefs; especially religious beliefs) all say that a virgin birth is neither reasonable nor possible. Interestingly enough, their reason for rejecting the virgin birth of Jesus can be summarized by Rajneesh (also known as Ohso), the cultist founder of the cultic Rajneesh religion. Rajneesh said, “…the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. It is so unscientific that to believe it is to destroy all your intelligence.”1 This is their primary reason for rejecting the virgin birth of Jesus: that it is unscientific and unreasonable to believe it actually occurred. As Rajneesh put it, to believe in such a thing is to destroy your intelligence; but is that really the case?
I will seek to show that to believe that the virgin birth of Jesus actually happened in real time and history is not unreasonable. I will point out the real reason behind their rejection which is not a rejection of the possibility of miracles. In my opinion, the argument against miracles is just a smoke screen in order to avoid the greater reason for rejecting such miracles as the virgin birth of Jesus. I will seek to reveal this reason in what follows.
Before we begin to unveil the real reason why Atheists, Naturalists, and Skeptics reject the biblical account of the virgin birth of Jesus, I think it would be wise to first define what a miracle is. It is wise to do so since the term ‘miracle’ has been wrongly defined by non-Christian theists such as the 18th century Scottish philosopher David Hume. Hume, in his most well-known work An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Book X defines a miracle as “…a violation of the laws of nature.”2 By defining a miracle as a violation of the laws of nature, Hume thinks he has stopped all arguments of the case for miracles since a miracle can only occur if the laws of nature are violated, and that simply cannot happen. According to Hume, a miracle can only occur in accord to nature, but if a miracle occurs according to nature, it isn’t a miracle at all, but simply an act of nature itself. Thus, miracles are not possible.
The good news is that Hume’s definition of a miracle was grossly wrong. A miracle is normally defined as a “supernatural act of God and such miraculous acts exceed the natural powers or capacities of natural things.”3 If the natural order of nature were created and set in motion by God, then why couldn’t He perform a miracle in the natural realm (earth) since He is omnipotent and sovereign over it? How could God be limited by or subjected to the very laws He made and yet remain God? God couldn’t. He is Lord over His creation, “Whatever the Lord pleases He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deep places.” (Psalm 135:6)
Now that ‘miracle’ has been properly defined, it’s now time to unveil the underlying reason why Atheists, Naturalists, and Skeptics reject the miracle of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. Simply put, they presuppose the non-existence of God; particularly the non-existence of the omnipotent God of the Christian faith. Atheists, Naturalists, and Skeptics must rule out the existence of an omnipotent God in order to rule out the possibility of miracles. They know that unless this denial of the existence of an omnipotent God is posited, then miracles are not only possible, but can in fact happen.
It is insufficient for Atheists, Naturalists, and Skeptics to simply presuppose the non-existence of the omnipotent God, they must demonstrate through sound logic why such a God does not exist. Therefore, until they have soundly done so, there is no logical reason to reject the possibility of miracles; in particular the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.
The Virgin Birth of Jesus is Reasonable
In conclusion, the virgin birth of Jesus Christ is reasonable and we as Christians don’t have to feel self-conscious about believing that this event happened in time and history. The burden of proof falls squarely in the lap of the Atheists, Naturalists, and Skeptics to prove that the virgin birth of Jesus is unreasonable, and this is not possible unless they can first disprove the existence of the omnipotent God. Until that has been established, it is thoroughly reasonable to believe that the omnipotent God of heaven and earth sent His Son Jesus Christ to earth through a virgin birth to ultimately die on the cross for the sins of the whole world and three days later rise bodily from the dead, so those who turn from and confess their sins and believe in Jesus can be forgiven and reconciled to their Creator. The virgin birth of Jesus was the critical prelude of God’s redemptive plan for all humanity and this Christmas season and in all seasons, let us praise and give thanks to God the Father for this beautiful and miraculous historical event.
Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.—Luke 2:10-11
1. Osho.com. Osho Online Library https://www.osho.com/osho-online-library/osho-talks/bertrand-russell-holy-ghost-inexpressible-6251f323-ec1?p=d894b2ab4c06b57b422f062d0c750544. Accessed 21 December 2021.
2. David Hume. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (Indianapolis, Indiana, Hackett Publishing Company,1993), pp. 76.
3. C. Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religions (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), pp. 76.