Shuck and Jive

Monday, November 12, 2007

What is Christmas About?

Christmas music has been blaring in the stores for a week or two now. The point of it is to get us shopping. If you are in the neighborhood, you ought to come to the First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton this Saturday for the Ten Thousand Villages Festival Sale. From eight a.m. until three p.m. Saturday and again from one p.m. to three p.m. Sunday, you can purchase handcrafted items from artisans in two-thirds world countries with all of the proceeds going to the artisans themselves. You can read more about Ten Thousand Villages.

You also might be in the mood for a Christmas book.

John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg have published another book in time for Advent entitled The First Christmas: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus's Birth.

This is from the publisher:

"...they explore the beginning of the life of Christ, peeling away the sentimentalism that has built up over the last two thousand years around this most well known of all stories to reveal the truth of what the gospels actually say. Borg and Crossan help us to see this well-known narrative afresh by answering the question, "What do these stories mean?" in the context of both the first century and the twenty-first century. They successfully show that the Christmas story, read in its original context, is far richer and more challenging than people imagine."


  1. It's an excellent book. I recently finished reading it. I think that a lot of the book reflects things that Crossan wrote in "God & Empire", but you can also see Borg's influence as well.

  2. BTW, Ron Paul has apparently jumped on the "War on Christmas" bandwagon, and Bill O'Reilly is readying his opening salvo, so watch out. God help us if O'Reilly starts reading the Layman and its proud trumpeting as "News from the Presbyterian Church (USA)" an article arguing that the PC(USA) should abandon celebration of Holy Days (i.e. Christmas and Easter).

  3. "What is Christmas About?"

    Since Macy's got a hold of it, greed. Pure greed.

    "Christmas", unfortunately, seems to be about everything but Jesus anymore. More about "what can I get" than "what can I give". More about political posturing than faithful prostrating.

    This is one thing that will always amaze me about fundies, they took a thirteenth century pagan ritual and in attempting to convert it to something "Christian", they made it even less spiritual. Only the Right Wing culture of death could screw that up.

    The spirit of Christmas is truly in the eyes of the beholder now. I celebrate the life of Jesus every day.

  4. Oh, no, tn420 is turning OPC on us!!! ;-)

  5. :D

    I'm far to Un-Orthodox for that. Ask anyone.