Sunday, December 21, 2014

Mascall: the virgin birth

Sunday, December 21, 2014
    Advent IV
    But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
    All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
    “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”
    —Matthew 1:20-23 (NIV)
    I do not wish to imply that God the Son could not, absolutely speaking, have become incarnate by a non-virginal conception, any more than I should wish to deny that God might, absolutely speaking, have redeemed mankind without becoming incarnate at all; it is always unwise to place limits to the power of God. What we can see is that both an incarnation and a virginal conception were thoroughly appropriate to the needs and circumstances of the case and were more “natural,” in the sense of more appropriate, than the alternatives... In practice, denial of the virginal conception or inability to see its relevance almost always goes with an inadequate understanding of the Incarnation and of the Christian religion in general.
    ... E. L. Mascall (1905-1993), The Secularization of Christianity, London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1966, p. 270-271 fn (see the book)
    See also Matt. 1:18-25; Gen. 3:15; Isa. 7:14; Luke 1:31-35; John 1:14; Rom. 1:16; Gal. 4:4-5; Heb. 2:14-17; 10:5; 1 John 4:2-3; 2 John 1:7
Quiet time reflection:
    I praise You, Lord, for this sign of Your coming.
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