In simple language that is at once academic but still easily accessible to a non-specialist readership, Benedict says the story of the virgin birth
is not just a reworking of earlier Greek or Egyptian legends and archetypal concepts but something totally new in history.
He's saying the virgin birth
isn't necessary, nor the divinity of Jesus.
His declaration that the virgin birth
was not written until 80 years after the event, thus inferring it is false, is easily removed - though even were it true, so what?
If Spong denies the virgin birth
, and he does, and if he rejects the resurrection, and he does, how can he consider himself a Christian?
Kung's licence to teach Roman Catholic theology was revoked by the Vatican in 1979 after he cast a critical eye on concepts such as papal infallibility and the virgin birth
He concludes that the infancy stories are not historical, that the virgin birth
is drawn from a prior conviction about Jesus' unique being.
Then it assesses "the five fundamentals": biblical inerrancy, the Virgin Birth
of Christ, the substitutionary atonement, the bodily resurrection of Christ, and the historicity of miracles, noting that lists of fundamentalist beliefs in the 1920s replaced the historicity of miracles with an affirmation of premillenialism.
The next reporter inclined to pursue a candidate's views on, say, the Virgin Birth
might better bite their tongue and ask about the constitutionality of "faith-based" initiatives--or, if the question must be non-issue-oriented, what the candidate's favorite film of all time happens to be.
This angered the numerous dissident intellectuals, who still thought their 1960's rebellion against the Roman Magisterium was bringing about a new Church in the image of the Dutch Catechism (which had dropped ten major doctrines such as original sin and the Virgin birth
from the Catholic roster).
For the person who has reflected upon the concept of incarnate divinity, the virgin birth
serves as metaphor for the First Cause, articulating the mystery of how the divine reveals itself without anticipation through the process of realization.
Contrary to many recent approaches to the virgin birth
that assume contemporary women cannot identify with a women who did not suffer the normal pain of childbirth, B.
He gave jazzy sermons, hosted a Sunday morning TV show, and was elected Bishop of California, where he was fashionably liberal (building a cathedral with stained glass windows of Thurgood Marshall) and dabbled in mild heresy, "hint[ing] at doubts about the Trinity, the Virgin Birth
, and Salvation Through Christ Alone.
Nor was such a belief limited to the simple and unlettered; the most profound and most erudite minds, the greatest artists and craftsmen, found no difficulty in accepting the Virgin Birth
as an incontestable fact--for instance, Pascal, who in the versatility of his gifts and the originality of his insights was regarded as the Aristotle of his time.
Protestants are also more likely to believe in God (92%), %); that Jesus is God or the Son of God (91%); heaven (90%); angels (88%); the resurrection of Jesus (88%); miracles (87%); the survival of the soul (85%); the virgin birth
(79%); the devil (77%) and hell (73%).
One in four also thinks the Virgin Birth
took place in a church and one in 10 believe Rudolph the Reindeer was there, says the study of five to 12-year-olds.