FORT WORTH, Texas – I first held my first grandson about three hours after he was born.
Adrian was a full-term baby. At three hours, he was alert and followed sound, especially his mother’s voice. His eyes were clear, and his mind already appeared to be working feverishly to receive and to sort “data,” as we call it in these tech-dominated days.
I have many arguments in support of God’s creation and activity in this world, of the uniqueness and sanctity of human life, and of the way man’s view of it all is distorted by sin.
I remain unconvinced by the claims of those who say that man’s theories about things we cannot test are to be trusted, that God does not exist, and that a baby is a commodity for a parent or a doctor to choose to keep or to dispose of at will.
But none of that great wisdom and logic is even half as effective as the power of a newborn baby.
So let me ask the skeptics and doubters and atheists only to do this: Hold a newborn in your arms. Then look that baby in the eyes and tell him that impersonal matter plus time plus the laws of physics alone produced him by random chance.
Tell him that some adult, any adult, parent, doctor, whoever, would have been justified in ending his life as it grew in the womb.
Are you still holding that newborn? Tell her that sin does not exist, that your life and decisions and the results of them all are as untainted as that bundle you hold. Then tell her that a man or a woman can make a just decision to take the life of a baby, one even seven months younger than the one you hold, that it is right and good and pure to do so. Tell her that, had the death decision been made for her, it would have been best.
Be sure you are holding the baby close to you. Feel its heartbeat. Know its being. Tell her now that no God is required to explain this world, to produce her humanity, to show us righteousness, to forgive us, even to die for us.
Jesus came to earth as a baby, a newborn baby. He presents us all with a great dilemma. We might reject Jesus the man, but on what basis do we reject Jesus the baby? Yet the newborn in the manger was the same Jesus, the same God, the same sacrifice, the same redeemer, the same yesterday, today and forever.
Christmas leads inexorably to Easter.
If in doubt, hold a newborn.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Waylan Owens is dean of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Jack D. Terry Jr. School of Church and Family Ministries and associate professor of church and family ministries.)