THE DEITY OF CHRIST DEFENDED FROM THE WHITE HOUSE
While doing research on a biography of former First Lady Nancy Reagan, a literary treasure was uncovered in 2018 by Washington Post columnist, Karen Tumulty. The discovery was, as Tumulty describes, an “intimate missive, four pages of White House stationery randomly tucked in a file.” In a September 14, 2018, column, Ms. Tumulty discusses the amazing letter dated August 7 (in 1982) from The White House.
The author of the letter was Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States, who addressed the letter to his father-in-law, Loyal Davis, a pioneering neurosurgeon who was dying and “by most definitions of the word [was] an atheist.” Tumulty quotes Dr. Davis as once saying, “I have never been able to subscribe to the divinity of Jesus Christ nor his virgin birth. I don’t believe in the resurrection, or a heaven or hell as places.”
As professor Paul Kengor in God and Ronald Reagan a Spiritual Life (2004) says: “[Reagan] often wrote of Jesus Christ in private correspondence . . . and he wasn’t shy about Christian apologetics, frequently making the case for Christ” (127).
The following brief excerpt from the President’s 1982 letter to his father-in-law is a powerful example of Kengor’s observation about Reagan and apologetics. Tumulty describes it as manifesting “earnest intensity . . . an intimate, humble profession of faith.”
Charles C. Pugh III
THE WHITE HOUSE
. . .
Loyal I know of your feeling—your doubt but could I just impose on you a little longer? Some seven hundred years before the birth of Christ the ancient Jewish prophets predicted the coming of a Messiah. They said he would be born in a lowly place, would proclaim himself the Son of God and would be put to death for saying that.
All in all there were a total of one hundred and twenty three specific [prophecies] about his life all of which came true. Crucifixion was unknown in those times, yet it was foretold that he would be nailed to a cross of wood. And one of the predictions was that he would be born of a Virgin.
Now I know that is probably the hardest for you as a Dr. to accept. The only answer that can be given is—a miracle. But Loyal I don’t find that as great a miracle as the actual history of his life. Either he was who he said he was or he was the greatest faker & charlatan who ever lived. But would a liar & faker suffer the death he did when all he had to do to save himself was admit he’d been lying?
The miracle is that a young man of 30 yrs. without credentials as a scholar or priest began preaching on street corners. He owned nothing but the clothes on his back & he didn’t travel beyond a circle less than one hundred miles across. He did this for only 3 years and then was executed as a common criminal.
But for two thousand years he has . . . had more impact on the world than all the teachers, scientists, emperors, generals and admirals who ever lived, all put together. . . .