Does It Make Any Difference?

The Question of the Virgin Birth

by Dr. I. M. Haldeman

Taken from Grace and Truth Magazine 1922


Does it make any difference who was the father of Jesus?

There are those who say it does not. There are preachers in the pulpit who say it does not.

I affirm it does.

I affirm it makes a difference as wide as eternity.

If our Lord Jesus Christ was begotten by a human father; as Joseph protested he was not that father, JESUS WAS BORN OF A MOTHER STAINED WITH THE SIN OF UNCHASTITY.

If our Lord Jesus Christ were begotten by a natural father, and that father was not Joseph, as Mary was betrothed to him, and in the eye of the law as solemnly bound as a married woman, in giving birth to Jesus SHE BECAME AS GUILTY AS A WIFE WHO BREAKS HER MARRIAGE VOWS.

If Jesus were begotten by a natural father; as that father was not Joseph; as that natural father has never been known, Jesus was begotten by an unknown father of an unmarried woman; as the child of an unmarried woman and unknown father is both illegitimate and bastard. He whom we call the Son of God entered the world with the bar sinister of His mother's unchastity and faithlessness, stamped with the seal of an unknown father's cowardice, and stands before men as AN ILLEGITIMATE AND BASTARD SON, HAVING NO LEGAL OR DECENT RIGHT TO LIVE.

Dr. Haldeman has given us here a sparkling, convincing, and Scriptural discussion of a vital theme. It is one of those themes which is simplified by a knowledge of the Infinity Principle.

— Editor

If our Lord Jesus Christ were begotten by a natural father; as personality comes not from the mother, Init from the father (Heb. 7:9, 10), He was the seed of the man and not the seed of the woman. If he were not the seed of the woman, the promise made at Eden's gate that such a seed should bruise the serpent's head has never been fulfilled; and whatever else Jesus of Nazareth may be. He is not that seed.

If our Lord Jesus Christ were begotten by a natural father; if, as is true, personality comes from the father, the personality of Jesus was natural. If he were. a natural person, He was not God. If He were not God, and since forgiveness of sin belongs only to God, He had no right to forgive sin. He had no right to make Himself the object of faith and the issue of salvation. As He claimed the right to forgive sin and to consign to eternal wrath all who did not believe in Him, Me was either a wanton deceiver or a blindly deceived man. In either case, as mental weakling or moral degenerate. He would stand outside the category of a Redeemer and Saviour of men.

If our Lord Jesus Christ were not begotten by God the Father of the very seed of the woman; if the act of God were not an absolute generative act; if the generative act were that of a natural man and the conception wholly natural, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS REDUCED TO THE LEVEL OF A MERELY NATURAL MAN. If He were a natural man; if He were not true and real God; if He were not God of God, very God of very God, God the Son as well as Son of God, HE WAS NOT THE SECOND PERSON OF THE TRINITY. If He were not the second person of the Trinity the question may be asked:

Who is the second person of the Trinity?

To this, under the circum- stances, there can be only one answer: No one is.

There is no second person of the Trinity.

If there be no second per- son of the Trinity — there is no Trinity.

Thus, IF JESUS OF NAZARETH HAD ONLY A NATURAL FATHER, THE DOCTRINE OF A TRIUNE GOD. the doctrine that God subsists as three distinct persons in one undivided substance or being, FALLS TO THE GROUND, and THE CHURCH IS LANDED INTO THE FRONT YARD OF OPEN UNITARIANISM.

If our Lord Jesus Christ were begotten by a natural father; if as the son of such a father His personality was only natural; as a natural person is not infinite; as only an infinite person can atone to an infinite person; as only God can satisfy the law, the government and being of God; and since our Lord (as begotten by a natural father) could not be God, and was no more at any time than a finite person. He could not offer atonement to God. If therefore, the father of Jesus were a natural man, THE DEATH OF OUR LORD ON THE CROSS WAS NOT AN ATONING SACRIFICE.

This is true upon the side of His personality.

It is true upon the side of His humanity.

It is true in this wise:

To be an acceptable victim for sacrifice, to fill the function of a substitute, our Lord Jesus Christ must be free from the penalty of sin. To be free from the penalty of sin He must be sinless, not only in deed but in essence and nature. A sinless humanity can be produced only from a sinless father; but, if our Lord Jesus Christ were begotten by a natural man. He was begotten by a sinful father. If He were begotten by a sinful father, He inherited His sinful nature. He would have sin in Him. He would be under the penalty of sin. Under the penalty of sin, He could neither be a substitute for sinners, nor yet a sacrifice for sin.

If it could be proven that Jesus had a natural father (and as the son of such a father could die neither as a substitute nor sacrifice) it would be plainly proven that the cross was a bloody, brutal, barbarous, useless and excuseless murder, without the basis of a single principle, without profit to man, and with- out glory to God.

If our Lord Jesus Christ were begotten by a human father; if as a natural son, with a natural personality and a nature of sin. He could not offer an atoning sacrifice, nor act as a substitute, it would be evident, since God alone can raise the dead, IN FAILING TO BE TRUE AND ACTUAL GOD, HE COULD NOT FULFIL HIS OWN PROMISE THAT AFTER LAYING DOWN HIS LIFE HE WOULD TAKE IT UP AGAIN; it would be evident He could not of Himself raise Himself from the dead. And, further, as God the Father is said to have raised Him, and the Holy Spirit is said to have raised Him, and it is said He should raise Himself; and the Father and the Spirit are represented as co-operating with the personal power of the Son to raise Himself, since He was a natural man and not God, He could not cooperate with the Father and the Spirit in a supernatural act; and as His failure to so co-operate would break down the Scripture doctrine of the invariable co-ordination of the Trinity — resurrection could not take place — HE NEVER WAS RAISED FROM THE DEAD.

If Jesus our Lord had only a natural father, the Trinity as already shown, does not exist. All therefore that is predicted of the Trinity as such utterly fails, and there is no honest evidential warrant for believing in the ordained, consummative work of the Trinity; that is to say, the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth as the thus declared Son of God.

If Jesus had only a natural father, the logical consequence of His natural sonship vitiates any pretended evidence that lie is alive to-day. Immortality has not been brought to light and we stand on the edge of the grave with only night and silence.

n the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ we find the blending of the Finite and the Infinite, of Impeccable Humanity and Perfect: Deity. This, to the Skeptic, is a Silly Myth borrowed from the Legends of the Heathen, But to the Child of God this Truth is the Foundation and Bulwark of Faith, o~o~o


If God the Father did not stoop down from heaven, and in prime ac- cord with the Son as His verbal and eternal expression, and through the co-ordinate and covenant operation of the Holy Spirit take hold on a cell or seed of the Virgin Mary, creating a new and distinct human nature which the Son of God took into union with Himself, becoming a unique being with two natures human and divine in one body and with one personality forever, then THE WHOLE FOUNDATION AND FABRIC OF CHRISTIANITY AS SET FORTH IN THE NEW TESTAMENT IS COMPLETELY OVER-THROWN.

The men who deny the virgin birth; who do so that they may the more easily be delivered from carrying the baggage of the miraculous; who shift the fatherhood of Jesus from the eternal God to the act of some unknown and sinful man, are paying a dear price for their jaunty endeavor to accommodate the supernatural ism of Christianity to the poverty-smitten weak ness of their own faith, and the noisy clamor of an unbelieving spiritually ignorant and scoffing world.