Is virgin birth important to Gospel?

By Joseph Farah

It was less than a week ago that I first became acquainted with the teachings of one of the most popular megachurch pastors in the U.S. – Andy Stanley of the North Point Community Church in suburban Atlanta.

Since then I have been reeling with concern for his very soul and for the souls of those he shepherds.

First, in disbelief and shock, as I chronicled in a column last Tuesday, I watched a recent sermon in which he preached a virulent new strain of replacement theology and pushed the idea of “unhitching” from belief in and study of the Old Testament.

He finds the Hebrew Scriptures seemingly irrelevant to the faith of Christians, which, he suggests, should be solely based on the Resurrection to the exclusion of almost anything else in the Bible, except the book of Acts, which he misinterprets as a denunciation of what he calls condescendingly and disturbingly calls “the Jewish Scriptures.”

“Jewish Scriptures”? All the Scriptures were written by Jews – in both the Old Testament and the New. We call them the “Hebrew Scriptures” because that’s the language they were written in. We call the New Testament the “Greek Scriptures” because most of them were written or, at least preserved, in Greek. But I can’t recall anyone else repeatedly refer to the Old Testament as “Jewish Scriptures,” as if to set them apart from the non-Jewish Scriptures, which, frankly, don’t exist.

All that is to say that I have been immersing myself in Stanley’s teachings ever since – not out of hunger for new spiritual insights, but rather in horror over the abundance of error I see being taught to his multitudes.

I hadn’t noticed, for instance, that in 2016 he suggested to his flock that it didn’t really matter whether Jesus’ mother Mary was actually a virgin or not while giving birth to her first child.

“If somebody can predict their own death and resurrection, I’m not all that concerned about how they got into the world,” he said in a Dec. 4 sermon. “Christianity doesn’t hinge on the truth or even the stories around the birth of Jesus. It hinges on the resurrection of Jesus.”

But it does matter. Because the Bible, Old Testament and New, both say His mother conceived the Redeemer of the world as a virgin. And if Jesus were fathered by a mortal human being, His credentials as the Son of God who came to Earth to die for the sins of the world would not be legitimate. It seems discounting the inerrancy of the Bible is a pattern with Stanley.

It also matters that those preaching to as many as 36,000 congregants on Sunday are speaking such foolishness. It makes me fear for the integrity of the evangelical church in America in these last days.

At the same time, it makes me realize the great need and urgency for the book I recently put to bed for publication this September, which seems more timely than I ever imagined.

It’s called “The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament,” a survey of all 39 books, in which I demonstrate the Good News in every one – the same message of redemption and restoration found throughout the New Testament.

In my first commentary on this matter, I thought this might be good news to Stanley’s ears, and I offered to send him a complimentary copy of the book for his edification. I now believe it might be his worst nightmare, since he seems to believe the entire Bible, including the New Testament is overemphasized as the foundation of the Christian faith, which he believes is solely the Resurrection.

Yet, if the Bible is wrong about Creation, as Stanley apparently believes, and possibly about the virgin birth, how can we depend upon what the Bible tells us about the Resurrection?

However, with such palpable and contemptuous ignorance being preached in American churches, I am more confident than ever that “The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament” will not only put to rest the notion that the Hebrew Scriptures are outdated and irrelevant, but I am certain it will be a spiritual blessing to a spiritually hungry world.

While “The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament” is not out yet, there are ways you can get a sneak peek and help boost the visibility and availability of this book in September:

Find out more about “The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament”:

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