Megachurch pastor ignites debate after suggesting that Christianity doesn’t hinge on Jesus’ birth


Megachurch pastor Andy Stanley (Willow Creek D/CH via RNS)

Source: The Washington Post

December 24

The pastor of one of America’s largest megachurches stirred up Christmas controversy after preaching that the story of Jesus’ virgin birth is not crucial to the Christian faith.

“If somebody can predict their own death and resurrection, I’m not all that concerned about how they got into the world,” Andy Stanley said in a Dec. 4 sermon at North Point Community Church, which draws 36,000 attendees across six locations in suburban Atlanta. “Christianity doesn’t hinge on the truth or even the stories around the birth of Jesus. It hinges on the resurrection of Jesus.”

In the days leading up to Christmas, fellow Christians defended the significance of the virgin birth. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Al Mohler addressed Stanley’s remarks about the Virgin Mary on his podcast, saying:

“If Jesus was not born of the virgin then the Bible cannot be trusted when it comes to telling us the story of Jesus, and that mistrust cannot be limited to how he came to us in terms of the incarnation. The fact is that biblical Christianity and ultimately the Gospel of Christ cannot survive the denial of the virgin birth. Because without the virgin birth, you end up with a very different Jesus than the fully human, fully divine savior revealed in scripture.”

Read more

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