Skepticism of Incarnation grows among us lucky molecules

Thursday, December 21, 2017
Bill Bumpas, Billy Davis (

Nativity movie sceneA new survey on American's views on Christmas story is raising some eyebrows and a warning is going out for the Church to do its job.

Fewer Americans believe that Jesus was miraculously born to a virgin, known as the Incarnation, which is central to Christian teachings and thus central to the Christmas story.

The Christmas-themed survey by the Pew Research Center shows that 66 percent of Americans believe Jesus was born to a virgin, down from 73 percent in 2014.

More noticeably, among young adults between 18-29, only 54 percent now believe in the virgin birth, a drop of 16 points from three years ago.

White mainline Protestants surveyed by Pew resulted in an 11-point drop.

"There has been, in the classroom, an anti-supernatural bias," observes author and speaker Alex McFarland, director for Christian worldview and apologetics at North Greenville University in South Carolina.

The blame, he says, falls not only to American academia but to the church, too.

"The idea of God and miracles, and God's intervention in history, has been ignored or demeaned in the classroom but even in the church," he warns. "In many a church there has been lack of teaching of the authority of scripture."

Skepticism about the virgin birth is not unlike those who believe mankind developed from non-living matter, Christian apologist Vince Vitale wrote in a 2013 essay about Christ's virgin birth for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.

Vitale, a Princeton graduate and RZIM speaker, recalls that Princeton atheist professor Peter Singer was once challenged in a debate by Dr. John Lennox to explain why mankind exists. Singer replied that a "collection of molecules" become "self-replicating" but insisted that explanation is not pointing to a miracle.

Lennox, a Cambridge-educated mathematician, has also defended Christ's virgin birth and resurrection (see video below) from atheist Richard Dawkins. 

Vitale also points in his essay that Stephen Hawking, the brilliant physicist, has proposed that our universe possibly created itself from nothing in what he called "spontaneous creation."

"We can believe in the virgin birth of an atheistic universe that is indifferent to us," Vitale writes. "Or we can believe in the virgin birth of a God who loves us so deeply that he came to be born among us…"

Vitale goes on to describe how he and others give pocket change to the homeless in New York City, comparing their pitiful situation to mankind.

"Imagine someone who offers to trade his home for a cold street corner," he writes, "who instead of giving a few coins sat down on the street corner himself and handed over the key to his home."

Christmas, he goes on to write, is that very picture.

Citing the worrisome survey numbers, McFarland says he is hopeful that the Christmas season will encourage Christians to show the love of Christ to a culture that is hungry for the good news. 

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