Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Typical Coverage of the Virgin Birth

The Philadelphia Inquirer recently had an article about the virgin birth. The article is written by Faye Flam, a science writer, and you can tell from how she frames the issue that she doesn't know much about Christianity.

Wesley Wildman of Boston University is quoted telling us that the Old Testament is ambiguous about a virgin birth, and we're told that the doctrine was emphasized through the influence of people like Augustine. The New Testament isn't addressed. All we hear about is the Old Testament and Augustine, without any attempt to explain the New Testament data and the references in post-apostolic sources earlier than Augustine.

Without addressing the evidence for the virgin birth, the article concludes:

"The bottom line for me: I think the virgin birth is a mistaken belief," Wildman says. "I also think that this need have no impact whatsoever on Mary's and Jesus' moral and spiritual importance."

A non-virgin birth, however, would seem to raise the spiritual capital of sex.

Since neither Wildman nor Flam, the article's author, raises any reasonable arguments against the virgin birth, and the evidence for it is ignored, why quote Wildman's conclusion or mention possible implications for "the spiritual capital of sex"? You get the impression that the last line in the article is the author's desired conclusion rather than the logical outcome of the evidence presented.