Re: [asa] Lawrence Krauss Defends New Atheism

From: Merv Bitikofer <mrb22667@kansas.net>
Date: Sat Jun 27 2009 - 08:55:54 EDT

Alexanian, Moorad wrote:
> The virgin birth is peanuts compared with the notion of a Creator God. I never quite understood why that issue is ever brought up. The virgin birth must be something to be doubted only by atheists.
> Moorad
> ___
Playing atheist's advocate here...

Yes, but it's also peanuts for hyperbole, hagiography, and general
"story growth" to work its way into cultural "memory" even over a single
human life span. Atheists don't doubt that an existing God could do
what he wants. What they doubt (other than His existence obviously) is
that the event actually happened as recorded in some of the gospels. To
atheists, it's a matter of choosing the simpler explanation.

....and yes, some Christians do doubt the literal virgin birth, though I
can't recall any big names to back this up (other than 'Jesus Seminar'
folks like Marcus Borg --but then they doubt a lot of things that are
pretty essential to Christianity). But it seems I have read somewhere
how some wonder why the Apostle Paul who makes the earliest written
contributions to the N.T. and who gives us otherwise expansive and
comprehensive theology never once mentions this little detail about the
virgin birth. As you can tell, I wrestle with doubts of my own, but
they aren't doubts about God's capabilities. They are doubts about
human cultural ability to resist the temptation of embellishment, in
their zeal of reporting on a cherished cause. Since Luke, a physician,
records it, and since it is O.T. prophecy anticipating it, these are
marks in favor, even to one who doesn't automatically accept all
Scripture literally. O.T.O.H the prophecies of Isaiah refer to the
Hebrew word 'almah' literally referring to 'young woman' when they could
have used 'bethulah' which more literally is associated with virginity.
So doubters can reference this dispute as evidence that later gospel
writers are imputing something back into prophecy to make it match. At
least this is the case according to an ex-Christian blogger at this
site:
http://mexc.blogspot.com/2007/05/bible-study-virgin-birth-prophecy.html
Does he have his Hebrew straight?

--Merv (quester after Truth wherever that may lead; Lord, help me in this!)

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Received on Sat Jun 27 08:56:58 2009

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