From a man renowned for his nuance comes an exciting new example. As usual I defer to my theological betters, but the virgin birth is sort of an important piece of evidence for Christ’s divinity, yes? If he’s the son of God then he’s not the son of a man. So, erm…

Dr Williams was speaking live on BBC Radio Five to the presenter Simon Mayo when Ricky Gervais, star of The Office and a fellow guest, challenged him about the intellectual credibility of the Christian faith.

He said he was committed to belief in the Virgin Birth “as part of what I have inherited”. But belief in the Virgin Birth should not be a “hurdle” over which new Christians had to jump before they were accepted.

He hinted that decades ago he was not “too fussed” with the literal truth of the doctrine of the Virgin Birth. But as time went on, he developed a “deeper sense” of what the Virgin Birth was all about.

He’s also a bit iffy on the Magi, which, while reasonable, isn’t exactly Huckabeean in the credulity of its piety. Exit question: What am I missing? Or what is he missing?