I have had the opportunity to review a book that should be read by anyone who thinks they know, or questions, the Truth of Christmas. Bodie Hodge, from Answers in Genesis, has edited a beautiful book called, The War on Christmas, ($17.99), and has compiled quite a few articles written to educate and help families make informed decisions on how to celebrate a Biblical Christmas.
My first impression of this book was, “Wow!” The pictures and layout of this book are spectacular! It is a soft-cover book, but the cover and the inside makes this seem like a fancy coffee table book. And really, this would make a good book to place on your coffee table, because it sure could spark some interesting conversations.
I knew that this was going to have a focus on apologetics. It did not let me down! Many of the authors focus on what the scripture “truly” states and what it does not tell us, especially when it comes to the virgin birth, the 3 wise men, and singing angels. I appreciated those authors who included Greek word studies in their writing. This helped me to gain more of an understanding of the passages they were referring to. The chapter that handles the manger and archaeological finds adds great meaning to the traditional story of Jesus’ birth. I also found the footnotes of the chapters informative, although I would have liked to have seen more research papers, etc. sited in some of the first chapters.
My favorite chapter was entitled, “What was the Christmas Star?” and the author researches different scientific phenomena which could have been the star which the magi saw in the night sky. Was it a supernova? a comet? a conjunction? You’ll have to read the book to find out, but I was reminded by this chapter to not bind God with the laws of natural physics and science. He is so much bigger than the world we know!
I love how the book focuses on WHY Jesus needed to be born. Without knowing the “why” it really doesn’t matter what we think about Christmas.
What I Think:
I think Christians need to be careful. Do we need to stand for Truth? Absolutely. But how we do it can be monumental. If Christians have research and archeological finds which back up scripture, then we should be promoting that and getting that information into the hands of church leaders so lay people can be educated about the Bible and what God has done. I don’t think using opinionated wording is needed if Truth is evident, whether by the Word of God, or seen in reality. Some of the authors write in such a way as to sway the reader to think that there is a “war,” a “fight,” going on and we need to fight back. I’m not saying there is not a heavenly spiritual battle going on which carries itself into our daily lives. Absolutely we need to battle the sins of the world. However, we need to do it by education and relationship, not emotion.
Most of the authors in this book do a fantastic job of communicating Truth and how it has been twisted by the world. But I do think Christians cannot expect those who are living by the flesh to act like those who are to live by the Spirit. We cannot expect the world to accept the Truth of Christmas, or Genesis, or Jesus until God changes their hearts. Christians should not be taken by surprise when the nativity is not allowed at the state house.
One of the arguments of the writers is that churches teach Christmas, but usually do not focus on the WHY of Christmas. Why did Jesus need to come in the first place? While I agree that that particular Truth MUST be taught, I do not agree with the sweeping notion that most churches leave that part out of the message of Christmas. I belong to a denomination and a church where the need for Jesus is preached almost every Sunday, INCLUDING during the days of Christmas. We must be careful to not accuse or lump churches together. Yes, there are some denominations and churches that teach theology that is not Biblical, but, again, we must be careful with our words.
What we do need to do, Christian, is to be educated. We need to KNOW the TRUTH of the scriptures. And we need to communicate those scriptures in love to those around us. This book is a great conversation starter and it also educates.
What will your friends and neighbors think if you placed the magi way across your living room instead of right by the manger scene? And why should you do that in the first place? Get educated. Learn the Truth about Christmas.
As my children sing: “Live every day like it was Christmas! We could make such a world of difference! Sharing love and telling of Him!!”
Overall, The War on Christmas earns 5 incorrect nativity scenes out of 5 incorrect nativity scenes for family, church and homeschool friendliness!