Friday, August 15, 2003


Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times apparently believes a belief in the Virgin Mary -- by Christians and non-Christians -- is a firm step down the road to becoming an American Taliban.

I just find it interesting that he's concerned about believing in the Virgin Birth is a shift toward "mysticism", but doesn't reference the Resurrection as such.

Surely the Resurrection is more "mystical" than a Virgin Birth? How intellectual is coming back from the dead?

I was also confused by some of his numbers:

"Americans are three times as likely to believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus (83 percent) as in evolution (28 percent).


America is so pious that not only do 91 percent of Christians say they believe in the Virgin Birth, but so do an astonishing 47 percent of U.S. non-Christians."
Do those numbers add up? I'm no statistician, but they seem off to me. 83% of all Americans believe in the Virgin Birth - comprising 91% of the Christians and 47% of Non-Christians. Maybe I'd need to know an actual % of Americans who are Christians to understand.


"...Because most Biblical scholars regard the evidence for the Virgin Birth [...] as so shaky that it pretty much has to be a leap of faith."
He expects us to believe at least 51% percent of Biblical "scholars" believe the Virgin Birth is a myth? What defines a Biblical "scholar", anyway? He cites two and only two theologians as reference.

Passing off a conviction as convential wisdom (i.e. "most Biblical scholars") without providing real evidence to this belief is disingenious. And it's a popular tactic these days, by a lot of people - on and offline.

Thanks for Bill Hobbs for the link, plus Donald Sensing and Rod Dreher have more.

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