Chapter 4—The Virgin Birth
1. Discuss for a moment the sentence “Theology is not a produce of arithmetic as if we could find out which subjects are more important by adding up the number of verses that mention them.” Though we often do this what important beliefs (besides the virgin birth) would become less important by using this method?
2. Christians believe the Son of God existed before he was born on earth. What theological truth does this imply related to his conception? (a true incarnation of “very God”—God becoming flesh).
3. How does each person of the Trinity play a role in the incarnation?
4. Read then discuss the practical implication of the statement” We serve a God who makes impossibilities possible.”
5. Make a chart of mistakes we can make about the two natures of Jesus—they are all mentioned in this chapter. Discuss each.
6. Christian orthodoxy claims Jesus “was every bit as human as Peter or Paul.” Why do we prefer (as Zach does in the opening quote) to imagine Jesus “pushed the easy button” to overcome temptation and did nnot beat temptation as a fully human being? (Some of us want to escape the idea that Jesus was fully human so we can say “I’m only human” in dismissing our sin.)
7. Make a chart as a class of the people in the early centuries and their beliefs which were outside of Christian orthodoxy (p 70). Ask how these beyond-orthodox view can sometimes appear today.
8. Have the group read the “What about us” ending to this chapter to themselves as a closing meditation, or have someone prepared to read it aloud for the group. Consider closing by having someone read the prayer at the end for the group, or praying their own prayer based on the response we have to this part of Christian beliefs.
I invite you to post your own ideas on this chapter by adding a comment to this post to help other leaders. -- Keith Drury