I stumbled across a post by Vince Vitale who was responding to a challenge from a friend, a retired Princeton professor, who stated simply, “I cannot believe in the virgin birth.” There is no doubt that this is an assertion of the Gospels that regularly meets with doubt and shrugs by many, including among the clergy. But is it really more astounding than other miracles asserted in the Bible? And, Vitale points out, is it really more incredible than other theories of the origin of life?
My colleague John Lennox recently debated another Princeton professor—Peter Singer—who is one of the world’s most influential atheists. John challenged him to answer this question: why are we here? And here’s how Peter responded:
“We can assume that somehow in the primeval soup we got collections of molecules that became self-replicating; and I don’t think we need any miraculous or mysterious [explanation].”(1)
And I remember thinking, How does us somehow getting self-replicating molecules in the primeval soup not count as a mysterious explanation? That sounds a lot like a virgin birth to me.
Or take the brilliant Cambridge physicist Stephen Hawking’s latest attempt to propose an atheistic explanation for our universe: “. . . the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.”(2)
Is that any less miraculous of a birth than the account from Luke Chapter 1?
We live in a miraculous world. Regardless of whether you are a theist, an atheist, or an agnostic, there’s no getting around that fact. It’s not a matter of whether we believe in a virgin birth, it’s just a matter of which virgin birth we choose to accept.