In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis makes a point about Jesus being the Son of God that, strangely, reminded me of a point I make when I teach on the art of pro-life persuasion.
When I make the case that the unborn is a human being, one of the arguments I offer is based on the law of biogenesis. This law states that living things reproduce after their own kind. When two animals of the same species mate, they produce offspring that is of the same biological type. When two dogs mate, for example, they produce another dog. When two spiders mate, they produce another spider. That’s why when my wife was pregnant with our first child, though we wondered whether we were going to have a boy or girl, we didn’t wonder whether we were going to have a human or not. After all, we’re human, so our offspring must also be human. And when our second pregnancy yielded a second human, we weren’t shocked by this. We didn’t think, Wow…two humans in a row! What are the chances? Humans beget humans.
Well, I was recently reading C.S. Lewis when I came across this piece. He was arguing that if Jesus was begotten of God, then that means Jesus has the same nature as God. Lewis explains:
To beget is to become the father of: to create is to make. And the difference is this. When you beget, you beget something of the same kind as yourself. A man begets human babies, a beaver begets little beavers and a bird begets eggs which turn into little birds. But when you make, you make something of a different kind from yourself. A bird makes a nest, a beaver builds a dam, a man makes a wireless set [i.e., a type of military radio transmitter]—or he may make something more like himself than a wireless set: say, a statue…. Now that is the first thing to get clear. What God begets is God; just as what man begets is man.
Lewis is making a point based on a principle similar to the law of biogenesis. When God begets, He begets something of the same nature. Therefore, if Jesus is the Son of God (begotten), then that means He has the same nature as God. Conversely, humans (and angels) are created beings. That makes us a different kind of being than God.
There are, of course, always limitations to these analogies. For example, human begetting yields a creature of the same kind that begins to exist. Although the person of Jesus began in space-time history, the second person of the Trinity always existed. There are many other dissimilarities, as well. To list them all would be to take this post too seriously. But hopefully you can see the similarity between the case for Christ’s divinity and the pro-life argument.