LOUISVILLE, Ky. (ABP) – A Southern Baptist seminary president says Christians who deny the Virgin Birth aren’t really Christians at all.
In a blog commentary reposted annually since it first appeared in 2006, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler said Dec. 14 that a person can come to Christ without full knowledge of all that Christians believe, but once aware of the Bible’s teaching cannot reject the Virgin Birth.
Mohler said the Virgin Birth, mentioned in two of the four Gospels and not at all in the letters of Paul, was one of the first miracles to be discounted by liberal scholars like Catholic theologian Hans Kung and retired Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong. More recently, he said, some evangelicals have argued that belief in the Virgin Birth isn’t necessary.
New York Times columnist William Kristoff wrote in 2003 that increasing faith in the Virgin Birth “reflects the way American Christianity is becoming less intellectual and more mystical over time.”
Mohler said toning down the Virgin Birth in order to make Christianity more palatable to non-believers has theological consequences.
“If Jesus was not born of a virgin, who was His father?” he asked “There is no answer that will leave the gospel intact. The Virgin Birth explains how Christ could be both God and man, how He was without sin, and that the entire work of salvation is God’s gracious act. If Jesus was not born of a virgin, He had a human father. If Jesus was not born of a virgin, the Bible teaches a lie.”
Mohler said rejection of the Virgin Birth by Christians is evidence of “doctrinal and spiritual laxity.” He said those who deny or affirm Bible doctrines “only by force of whim” have “surrendered the authority of Scripture… undermined Christ’s nature and nullified the incarnation.”
“This much we know,” Mohler concluded. “All those who find salvation will be saved by the atoning work of Jesus the Christ — the virgin-born Savior. Anything less than this is just not Christianity, whatever it may call itself. A true Christian will not deny the Virgin Birth.”
Bob Allen is managing editor of Associated Baptist Press.