Biblical narratives tell the ultimate story of rescue and redemption of fallen mankind through the coming of the Messiah. It’s important that we understand how to read and interpret the smaller narratives in light of the one grand narrative.
The writers selected stories portraying Jesus the best for their audience, and wrote in a way their readers would understand. While they were selective in what they revealed, what is written is everything they thought important for their readers to know.
While you and I may not have the sculpting skills of Michelangelo we are able to use something even more powerful, our words.
Our sentimental approach to Christ’s birth sanitizes the event to the point where we re-cast the story for palatability, nostalgia, and commercial manipulation.
The doctrine of the virgin birth, or perhaps more accurately the virgin conception, is important for many reasons. On it hang the doctrines of original sin, the inspiration of Scripture, who Jesus was, and what Jesus did in salvation.
Nostalgia. That abnormal yearning within us to step into the time tunnel and recover the irrecoverable. That wistful dream, that sentimental journey taken within the mind—always travelled alone and therefore seldom discussed.
John Wycliffe is often called the great-grandfather of the Reformation, who planted the seeds for John Huss and Martin Luther. He was a brave man during a tumultuous time and obeyed God’s call, speaking the truth regardless of the outcome.
If I’ve described your situation, I have great news. I’m so glad that I memorized it years ago and call it to mind often. Here it is: We are all faced with a series of great opportunities, brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.
From a pluralist’s standpoint, the exclusivity of Jesus as the only way of salvation is intolerant. It assumes the existence of absolute truth, that it may be known, and it delegitimizes all competing religious claims.