by Bill Nugent
When young people go off to college and enter a classroom where philosophy 101 is being taught they are likely to see Christianity derided as mere myth. The atheist professor smugly says that the virgin birth was a part of pagan myths that predate Christianity. He then blasphemously asserts that early Christians “borrowed” the idea of the virgin birth from paganism when they wrote the New Testament.
The “Christianity as myth” charge is a serious one but fortunately for us it is a charge that is easily and soundly refuted. To begin, let’s get the chronology straight. The virgin birth of Christ was predictively prophesied in the Hebrew scriptures (The Old Testament) centuries BEFORE Christ’s birth. The Bible got it first. The virgin births mentioned in pagan myths do not predate biblical revelation.
C.S. Lewis, a prominent Christian writer of a generation ago, has said that pagan myths are not random storytelling but are the work of people groping for the truth about God. It is not surprising therefore that myths contain a bare outline of the truth. Any ancient sage who sought the truth would echo some themes that are contained in the Bible. This is in spite of the fact that myths also contain many errors and ultimately have no saving power.
A pagan myth might be similar to Christianity in ten ways but different from Christianity in a hundred ways. It may sound persuasive when a philosophy professor compares Christianity to myth and speaks only of the points where a vague similarity is observed. The professor’s case quickly falls apart, however, when the major differences between pagan myth and Christianity are also presented.
Unlike pagan books, the Bible is consistent with both science and archaeology. Christianity is based on historical facts: Jesus is a real person who lived among real people in history. He took the just punishment of our sins upon Himself and died and rose again in fulfillment of ancient prophecies. In fact, over 300 prophecies were fulfilled in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. No hero of any pagan myth can make that claim!
Christianity contains such sound truth and miraculous saving power that ancient pagans abandoned their idols and myths and joined the first century church in droves.