Skip to comments.Evolution Would Empty the Christmas Manger
Posted on 12/26/2004 10:49:06 AM PST by NYer
Two days after the presidential election, Garry Wills, a nationally syndicated columnist, lamented that religious voters had swayed the election. He was clearly disturbed that "many more Americans believe in the Virgin Birth than in Darwin's theory of evolution."
Obviously Mr. Wills, though he calls himself a Catholic, departs from that bit of required Christian doctrine.
Evidently, one cannot be both "enlightened" and a believer in the Christmas story, according to Wills.
In many ways, I understand the dilemma. Sometimes I stop and ponder the Virgin Birth. I mean, I really stop and think about it: A woman became pregnant without the aid of a man?
It is inconceivable, pun intended.
Evolution, on the other hand, is also pretty weird: One species changes into another. A female became pregnant and gave birth to an offspring that has some strange new appendage that no one in her line has ever had? It's inconceivable. And this happened millions of times over. At least with the Virgin Birth, it was only once.
But is there evidence for either of these scenarios? Yes. For the Christian, there is the evidence of the testimony of the early Christians as recorded in the Scriptures. There is further evidence in the ongoing miracles of the church throughout the ages.
With respect to evolution, to my "unenlightened" mind, the strongest indicators for it are the monkeys and apes. They are so eerily similar to man. It seems entirely possible that we could be related somehow.
Of course, there is more evidence than that, but I have not personally found it persuasive.
Evolution, if true, seems terribly cruel. Charles Darwin's evolution is "red in tooth and claw." The model nature thus sets for humanity is raw power and survival of the fittest.
Creatures are doomed to claw and tear each other to death for untold eons. And for what purpose is all this blood and suffering? So your teenager can buy an iPod?
The Virgin Birth, if true, is wonderfully sublime. Almighty God, the maker of the cosmos, humbles Himself to become one of His creatures, an infant a poor one at that. A babe who is destined for the Cross to save us. Talk about humility.
It is totally the opposite of raw power and survival of the fittest. And the purpose of this incarnation is not how much stuff can we get before we die. The end is eternity walking humbly with your God and fellow saints.
I do sympathize with the unbeliever. Miracles are pretty hard to swallow and the Virgin Birth is a biggie. By definition, a miracle is something outside of the natural order, it is "outside the box."
Materialists do not believe that anything can happen outside of the natural order, and they believe this simply because they say so.
They ignore all the evidence of miracles throughout history.
They are stuck in their boxes. This is an irony, as most materialists think of themselves as innovative thinkers. But their boxes constrain them more than they know.
It is the believer, the traditionalist, who truly thinks outside the box. The believer knows that there can be miracles. And, if a miracle is possible, why not the Virgin Birth?
You don't get Christmas with evolution. The best its adherents have given us is the awful film by Stanley Kubrick, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Earth Day. Evolution is a dreary, tedious and messy theory. Even if it were true, I see no reason to be happy about it.
But God becoming man, I can rejoice in that. God, incarnate in His son, Jesus, walking and talking among us. I can rejoice in that.
God, incarnate in His son, Jesus, suffering for us and teaching us how to sacrifice for one another even unto death, I can most certainly rejoice in that.
The Virgin Birth gives us hope. And meaning. And Christmas.
"Belief" is not an appropriate category for scientific theories, and the very fact that Wills uses this term in connection with "the theory of evolution" illustrates what has happened to this theory: it has become an article of faith for the a certain variety of secular dogmatist.
Evolution teaches us that we evolved from Apes and the only thing "special" about us is our self-awareness (and thumbs). The Virgin birth teaches us that Jesus was brough unto this earth by God, and that if we follow his teachings we too will have eternal life.
Why then would anyone be surprised as to which theory has more resonnance.
Of course most folks prefer not to admit that during the centuries and various translations, the word "virgin" has gone through many meanings. The original Hebrew word for today's "virgin" merely meant a woman who had not yet married.
The "cruelty" of nature is unrelated to whether evolution occurs.
Forget about a "Catholic Ping." I am a hard core Southern Baptist and I thought this was an excellent article...something all believers in Christ could agree with. Thanks for posting it.
"The original Hebrew word for today's "virgin" merely meant a woman who had not yet married."
Yes, but what you fail to grasp is that in that culture a woman did not engage in sex until marraige. Therefore, it was assumed that a never married woman was a "virgin." So, it is a matter of semnantics.
Those folks, materalists, that want to discredit a miracle will stoop to any level of distortion to damage the beliefs of those that have faith.
By definition, a miracle is something outside of the natural order, it is "outside the box."
re monkeys and apes: #1, Living breathing animals have a lot in common - a backbone, arms, legs, heard, eyes - etc - because these are the things that one need to function in life....Like a car or a plane or a truck, which need engines and fuel, etc. #2: The question I always pose to evolutionists is: "the Horse came from eohippus, right? (right) And the elephant from the mastodon? (right) There are no more eohippus (?) and there are no more mastodons, right? (right) Then why are there still monkeys and apes, if we "evolved" from them? (ahh- ummm - )
The second posit re miracles: you write that miracles are something "outside of the natural order." I have a different slant. I believe miracles are simply done by God, using his own natural laws that we have yet to discover. Certainly a lot of things that Medieval man would have thought a miracle have become totally explainable to us today.
As for the unexplainable virgin birth? Well, certainly thousands - even a hundred years ago - who knew about artificial insemination? think God couldn't have used His own method, maybe that or maybe one we don't yet know about?
Personally, I trust God in all He has done and in what He is doing and what He will do. I trust He has a handle on things - and we tend to over-worry sometimes.
Make that "supposedly" women didn't engage in sex until marriage. There, too, is that rumor of the Roman soldier or any number of other engagements. Taboos are meant to be broken and when they are it's hushed up. Remember, it wasn't so long ago that American girls who got into trouble went to visit out of town aunts and no one was to be the wiser. But, we weren't there at the time and I was only commenting on the misinterpretation of the word, "virgin".
Uh, You're thinking of Brian Cohen, who was born in a manger next door to that of Jesus. ;-)
"Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is impossible that a nation of infidels or idolaters should be a nation of free men. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, are incompatible with freedom."
Patrick Henry ·1736-1799·
Virginia House of Burgesses
Born: May 29, 1736 in: Hanover County, Virginia.
Education: (Lawyer, Politician)
Work: Elected to Virginia House of Burgesses, 1765;
Admitted to the Bar of the General Court in Virginia, 1769;
Elected to the Continental Congress, 1774; Virginia Militia Leader, 1775; Governor of Virginia, 1776-1778, 1784.
Died: June 6, 1799.
And how now has this nation evolved?
As my father has often said: "There was only one perfect man and they crucified him".
Thanks for the post! Absoutely beautiful.
And, thank "you" for your comments. We have more in common than you imagine ;-D.
A Blessed Christmas to you and your family!
"But, we weren't there at the time and I was only commenting on the misinterpretation of the word, "virgin"."
I read the same articles on MSNBC(I believe) that you apparently did. The argument is specious, about interpretation of "virgin", and should not have been repeated. The article was a deliberate attack on a cornerstone of Christianity. In Christ Jesus wasn't "born of a virgin" by the miraculous power of God, then he is just another man. If he didn't live a sinless life, then he is just another man. If he wasn't "God in Flesh" that was crucified as an atonement for Adam's sin, then he is just another man. If he wasn't resurected from the dead to prove he had made atonement, then he is just another man. However, I believe HE is the I AM of the Moses, and He is indeed God with us. To me He is Lord. I also believe that some day, "Every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord." This will be by God's working and not man's use of force.
I don't know what you think or believe. But, unless someone human holds a gun to your head and trys to force Christianity on you, then please leave Christians alone and don't participate in an effort to undermine their faith. It isn't hurting you, or others, that some of us have faith that transcends what we can physically/intellectually grasp or scientifically prove.
"We have more in common than you imagine ;-D"
Amen and Amen again!
Scripture has this nasty habit of continually refuting skeptics because of the way it always provides another angle to a story which really boxes in something that realistically had very little wiggle room to begin with. (Not that skeptics aren't above trying to manufacture wiggle room to push a point of view of course.) The above passage should make it clear what Mary's frame of mind was as she considered the possibility of being pregnant - how could that be possible since she had never been intimate with a man? Just in case you are wondering about that word 'know' which is used in the King James Version, here is another reference for you:
Genesis 4:1 'And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.'
"I'm just grateful to God for giving us hearts that can accept and appreciate His astounding grace, even if we can't ever comprehend it. What an amazing God we serve!"
Amen! I like the way you talk. In the words of John Newton - "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I am found, was blind but now I see. Twas Grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved. How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed."
Not to quibble but there was actually two perfect men (and one perfect women) - Jesus Christ, Adam and Eve (until of course the latter two sinned and got booted out of the Garden of Eden).
Luke 1: 34 'Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.'.