Bad Chemistry, Worse Theology

The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.”  Luke 1:35

One of the great, fundamental truths of the virgin birth is that it guarantees the sinlessness of Jesus Christ. It was necessary for the Son of God to become human through a miraculous conception and birth. The normal process always produces a new person, so for God’s Son to come into the world due to natural procreation would have produced a being with two persons. Since He was a pre-existent person, the Son of God needed only to take to Himself an impersonal human nature, and because it was impersonal, it was also sinless (since persons sin, not bodies). Mankind desperately needed a sinless substitute and the God-man, Jesus Christ, perfectly met both requirements—He was fully man and completely sinless.

As we have seen over the past few posts some very bad doctrine has been taught about the doctrine of Christ, and much of this bad doctrine has sprung from misguided efforts to protect a true doctrine. The same is true about some attempts to correlate Christ’s sinlessness and the virgin birth. In a sermon entitled, The Chemistry of the Blood, a preacher named M. R. DeHaan tried to make the case that the virgin birth was the key to Christ’s sinlessness because the virgin birth kept Jesus from having human blood. Quite honestly, this view is so strange, I will let him speak for himself:

This very fact that sin is in the blood necessitates the Virgin Birth of Christ if He was to be a son of Adam and yet a sinless man. For this very reason Christ could partake of Adam’s flesh, which is not inherently sinful, but He could not partake of Adam’s blood, which was completely impregnated with sin. God found a way by which Jesus, born of a woman (not man), could be a perfect human being, but, because He had not a drop of Adam’s blood in His veins, He did not share in Adam’s sin.

Although Jesus was of Adam’s race according to the flesh, yet He did not inherit Adam’s nature…sin is not transmitted through the flesh. It is transmitted through the blood and not the flesh…. Sinful heredity is transmitted through the blood and not the flesh. Even though Jesus, therefore, received His flesh, His body, from a sinful race, he could still be sinless as long as no drop of blood of this sinful race entered His veins. God must find a way whereby Jesus could be perfectly human according to the flesh and yet not have the blood of sinful humanity. That was the problem solved by the virgin birth.

Since this is only a brief post, I will have to give you the shortened version as to why this is an absolutely horrible teaching that contradicts the Scriptures and is defective at its core. DeHaan based his theory on a strange mixture of bad science and worse theology. The bad science, without getting too detailed, was that the father (not the mother or both together) supplies the blood for a newly formed baby, so the blood of Jesus came from His Father. The fact is that blood is produced within the body, so Jesus’ blood would have been produced by His body, not somehow transmitted to it from the Father (Who also happens to be immaterial and therefore does not have blood!). DeHaan does not successfully dodge this problem by arguing that the father gives life since, in fact, both parents supply the components that produce life.

There is a truckload of bad theology in this view! First, DeHaan makes the very strange case that we sin because we have tainted, sinful blood. This seems to be built on a Platonic view of material things that is contrary to the Bible—it attributes an ethical principle (sin) to a material entity (blood). Biblically, the sin nature is a personal, not material, reality. He even presses his analogy to the point of calling salvation a blood transfusion!

Second, DeHaan undercuts the genuine humanity of Jesus Christ in the same way that the ancient heresy of Eutychus and the Monophysites did. Since, according to DeHaan, Christ is some type of hybrid (human body and divine blood), He is not truly human at all.

Third, DeHaan’s view results in hopeless contradictions. If the blood/life flowing in the body of Jesus Christ is divine, then by definition it cannot die (God is eternal and self-existent). The point of the incarnation of Christ was for the purpose of death—it was necessary to become flesh and blood in order to die (Heb 2:14-17). DeHaan goes so far as to say that the body of Jesus did not decay because it had divine blood in it, yet he allows for that body to die while it has the divine lifeblood still in it. Likewise, he contradicts himself by claiming that the body did not decay because it had divine blood in it and also arguing that all the blood was shed and is preserved in heaven—you can’t have it both ways!

Sadly, DeHaan’s views have had wide circulation among fundamentalists for the past five decades. Whatever one may believe about the present location of the blood of Christ, there can be no biblical retreat from the fact that Jesus’ blood was human blood. (1) The Bible declares that Jesus partook of the same as His brethren, i.e., flesh and blood (Heb 2:14). (2) The Bible declares that Jesus’ blood was shed to atone for man’s sins and it was efficacious because it was a proper substitute (unlike bulls and goats). (3) The real necessity of the virgin birth was to enable a Person to become human without producing another person!

If you want to truly worship Jesus Christ, the virgin-born Son of God, then it is essential to embrace what the Bible teaches about His person and natures. The Christmas that we ought to be celebrating is one that commemorates the entrance into the world of the God-man, One person with two distinct natures, so that He could provide an infinite atonement for mankind’s sin. And He is truly worthy to worship!

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