This message is sent to the Vancouver Discussion group in case you'd like to attend this event in Beaverton. I sent this to the Beaverton group:
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Hi to those in the Westside Science and Religion Discussion Group,
Our next meeting is 6:30 pm this Monday Dec. 13th, 2010 at Evergreen Presbyterian Church in Beaverton. All meeting details are here:"Christmas Theme: Did Jesus really have no human biological father?"
Reminder, there is a free pizza dinner included, in order to help facilitate some relational development time between people of different belief systems.
Why are we doing this topic? Here's my reasons. First, it is a topic on the current Christmas season. Non-Christians may want to talk about Christmas-related things, so Christmas is the best time to think about it since it is all fresh in our minds (contrariwise, it seems strange for me to think about talking about Christmas-related issues in the heat of summer ;-). Secondly, if Christians have good answers for these Christmas-related questions, it could build their faith in this season. So the non-believers have a chance to ask some good questions, and the believers have a chance to learn more and explain their faith to others (theologically, it is called apologetics).Here's some food for thought.
At Christmas time, the Christian claim is that this is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Jesus is said to have eternally pre-existed as part of the godhead (the Trinity; Father, Son, and Holy Ghost). Mary was said to become pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit (not pregnant by way of a human male). Some critics say this sounds like a myth, just like many other related religious myths, such as the Greek god Zeus impregnating mortal women to create god-men heroes. Are there really similarities, or is this a false argument? And if true, does it lessen the story about Jesus' virgin birth?
As an example of this specific criticsim, here's a YouTube segment from atheist Christopher Hitchens:http://tinyurl.com/25g5b9r
Feel free to discuss this video at the discussion board here:http://www.meetup.com/Westside-Science-Religion-Discussion-Group/messages/boards/