Berkouwer-the virgin birth, explanation or sign?

Barth vs. Brunner on the virgin birth.


In The Work of Christ G. C. Berkouwer details the discussion between Emil Brunner and Karl Barth about the virgin birth.  So we get into some heavy Christmas theology.

Beginning in the 1920s, Brunner called for reform of the creedal understanding that Jesus “was born of the Virgin Mary.”  Brunner was not a liberal in the school of Schleiermacher nor was he a follower of Bultman.  So his opposition to the virgin birth was not based on the idea that it was a superstitious doctrine enmeshed in a the mythical notion of a “three-decker universe” with earth sandwiched between heaven and hell.  The liberals and the Bultmanians claimed that Christianity had to be adapted to scientific-minded modern thought.  So the virgin birth had to go.

Brunner’s problem was different.  He did not attack the incarnation itself as incompatible with a modern world-view.  Rather, he gave faith-based reasons to reject the doctrine…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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