Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Archbishop of Canterbury is owed an apology!

I'm listening to the Archbishop of Canterbury's radio interview in which he was quoted as saying he believed the wise men who visited the baby Jesus were legendary. What he actually said is quite different from what the media reported he said. The media reports either reflect extreme bias or, just as likely, ignorance.

Here are the salient points:

1. He believes in the virgin birth, but would not make belief in the virgin birth a test of faith to become a Christian. (I agree with this to the extent that when I became a Christian this was not something that I either believed or disbelieved. Of course, as part of my growth as a believer I came to believe in the virgin birth.)

2. He believes in the wise men/kings, but not that there were necessarily three of them, one of them a black man from Africa. It was of these legendary accretions he said "works well as legend".

3. He's not sure about the star standing still over the house where Jesus was (as reported by Matthew).

4. Not a fan of right-wing US Christian fundamentalism.

I listened to the entire interview, and he acquitted himself quite well.

To the extent that he was misquoted, and subsequently abused for it in the blogosphere (including this site) we owe him an apology.

So sorry.

If you have the time and inclination, you can listen to the entire interview at


h/t to frappeur, who brought this to my attention.

No comments:

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"