Robert Elsmere

In the biography of William Gillete which I’m reading is a description of a book Robert Elsmere, which Gillette at one time worked on an adaptation of. The description of the plot of the book caught my attention:

This was the story of an Anglican clergyman’s loss of Christian faith and conversion to a type of Unitarian belief. His loss of faith begins in the study of his country home where he reads up on the philosophical and scientific theories of the day. This leads to his loss of belief in the miracles described in the Bible, including the virgin birth an physical resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This caught my attention because it is appallingly stupid. If a man can lose his faith in a miracle because of scientific knowledge he gained, he is an idiot. The whole point of a miracle is that it is something that is ordinarily impossible. The entire reason that anyone ever thought the virgin birth remarkable was that they thought it could not happen.

(I know, of course, that this was no unrealistic to the late 1800s, but still.)

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