When I mention the Christmas story, I’m not talking about Santa Claus – I agree with my friend Rick when he says he’s never really been a big fan of the big guy. Me either… with apologies to those of you who are.
In writing about the historicity of the Christmas story, I am referring to the account provided in Luke 2 (and Matthew 1 for that matter) about the virgin birth of Christ. To many, that story is about as true as the story of Santa. It’s a nice, sweet story for kids, but shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
But if that’s the case, then we (by “we” I mean human beings in general, and you and I specifically) are absolutely without hope, and our faith is a sham. If Jesus was not born, if Immanuel (God with us) is just a philosophical concept not anchored in reality (space/time history), then there is no recompense for sin.
I say this because we know that sin is real – we can see it everywhere (watched the news lately) and we know it exists in our own hearts. We have a deep-seated sense that things are not the way they were meant to be. And we are hopeless in and of ourselves – the best we can hope for is the the answer provided by Existentialism: we can arbitrarily create our own meaning, all the while recognizing that it’s a facade.
Or we can retreat into Hedonism – the endless and mindless pursuit of pleasure, idly trying to spend our meaningless days on temporary pleasures. But deep down we know that the answers and solution cannot come from ourselves.
The Christmas story is essentially God’s answer to the human dilemma.
It is a divine invasion of the status quo, a divine D-Day attack on the powers of darkness that enslave this world.
It is a declaration of war, a war that brings freedom to those who cast their lots with the child in the manger – with God Himself. In your Christmas celebrations, don’t forget that the baby is not still a baby (an innocuous image we can handle), but is the Shepherd King who brings freedom to sinners.
But if none of this is really real, then we are stuck. So it matters that the story is true, that it really happened, despite what the world (or liberal scholarship) says – everything depends on it. So I point you to Dr. Mohler’s blog. Dr. Al Mohler (president of Southern Seminary and a leading evangelical theologian and spokesperson), has a series of blog posts about the historical reality of the virgin birth that are worth reading and considering.