Here in Weddington (Charlotte area) NC, a belated white Christmas has been bestowed on us. Indeed, my first white Christmas ever. It began snowing in earnest about 9:30pm Christmas Day eve. As I write it started snowing lightly again on and off and has been doing that most of the day.
Surprisingly enough even though the temperature has been hovering around 30º all day the snow coming down is is losing ground, as it were, to the snow on the ground. The barren tree branches are heavily caked with new snow and the leaves which were not loosed from their parent branches are embedded in snow like leaves fossilized in sandstone.
We in Christendom just celebrated the high, holy day of Christmas; the Virgin birth of Jesus the Christ. Since it happened 2,000 years ago none of us saw this event. All we have is the account of a few common men of that day written down in a book. People, I might add, that also were not present at the event. So we take all this by faith. Is faith blind? Yes some faith is blind, or maybe a better term is unthinking, or thoughtless faith.
It is the case that according to the Bible only two people, Joseph and Mary actually possessed empirical knowledgeable that Jesus’ birth was a virgin birth—that is, if you believe what is written in the Bible. The shepherds had no idea, Herod did not know of these things, or the wise men that showed up much later.
There are those that would say this is “blind faith.” The Bible is myth and fiction they say. But is it? Really on their part they only have faith, blind faith that this same event is a myth. They were not alive back then to be able to speak to the reality of the virgin birth any more than we who believe.
But what is faith—really? One definition posits that faith is belief in, or trust in somebody or something without logical proof. I would say that is a good definition of blind faith. But the faith of Christianity is not a blind faith; no it is a reasoned faith. The Bible says that faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). But that statement does not make what is written in the Bible true.
Belief in the God of the Bible was virtually a given in even in Europe and from America’s founding on up until the Enlightenment. Could a historic period be more ill-named, the Enlightenment? I am not a historian, but perhaps broad-spectrum belief in God began waning as early as the Renaissance when the Catholic Church was generating false doctrine on a large scale. The greatest heresy propagated was replacing Christ with the papal government as the head of the Church.
All of this provoked the Reformation, a movement necessary to correct the heretical error and giving rise to the Protestant (protest-ant) movement. It spanned the time of Luther and Zwingli, and Calvin in Europe and was carried by Edwards, Wesley into the Enlightenment period in America.
Charles Darwin, Immanuel Kant, and Friedrich Nietzsche are a few of the “pioneers” who planted the seeds we are reaping today. Darwin’s “theory of Evolution,” so-called, blossomed from the seeds sown by Lyell, which enabled Darwin to create a construct providing society with an alternative “creator” to God—Chance was his name. Kant, on the other hand, declared that reality is unknowable. Since God’s doorbell was broken man could not know God.[i]
But back to logic, if someone told you tomorrow you were going to inherit millions of dollars on July 17, 2011 from a relative you never heard of it would take faith, blind faith to believe that. However if it came to pass, that would be prophesy. That is one of the reasons we know Jesus’ birth was reality. It had been prophesied starting almost at the beginning of time (Genesis 3:15) and throughout history there a literally hundreds of prophesies concerning the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All were fulfilled by only one man–Jesus of Nazareth.
Even though God has been revealed to the natural man (Romans 1: 20, 22) his mind is veiled (2 Cor. 4:3, 4). If he does not want to see truth, he will not see. If you saw or heard the interview Ben Stein does with Richard Dawkins in the movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed it is clear Dawkins has never studied, or desired to study the Bible and the God he so dramatically and emotionally derides.
With the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls and subsequent research the fact of blind faith is shoved further to the side of the non-believer (atheist), not the Christian. The New Testament is the most well documented book in history with well over 5,600 extant copies and fragments compared with only seven copies of Plato, forty-nine of Aristotle’s, and six hundred forty-three of Homer’s.
Furthermore the New Testament copies are very recent, meaning recent to the actual time the events occurred. The longer the time lapse the more probable legend could be introduced. One of the most recent of the ancient writings is Homer, but those copies are 500 years from the time of their origin. However the most recent New Testament writings are within twenty-five years—twenty-five years of the events they proclaim! Additionally the New Testament copies have been shown to be greater than ninety-nine percent accurate.
Of course the virgin birth, the cross, and the resurrection of Jesus are fundamental to the Christian faith which is why they are under constant attack. If Christ did not rise from the dead, neither will we. If the world (i.e. Satan), can show these parts of the Christian faith are fallacious then it is all false and God is a liar and if God is a liar, then there is no God. Then as Paul said, “If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied” (1 Cor. 15: 19).
There are many other venues of proof from cosmology to archaeological. However they do not add up to 100% positive—hence faith is needed. Nevertheless, they all prove the Christian faith is a reasoned faith and a reasonable faith. At the end of the day as Turek and Geisler’s book on apologetics states: I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.
[i] D. D. Edwards, Before the Final Trump (Crossbooks: 2011).