Friday, December 20, 2013

Book Review: The War on Christmas

There was a time, not too long ago, that when someone said "The War on Christmas," I would have thought that they meant the worldly war - removing nativity scenes, replacing "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays," etc. But the last few years it seems that social media explodes with posts for or against Christians celebrating Christmas, or decorating trees, or exchanging gifts. Sadly, true brothers and sisters in Christ are dividing over a non-essential.

When the opportunity arose to review this book, I was immediately interested. And, I was not disappointed. This book, which is a collection of essays covering the various questions often raised in the great Christmas debate, is a must-have guide to understanding the issues and the history behind them. 

The book covers a wide variety of issues and answers common questions such as:
-The true history of the holiday - is it a pagan holiday?
-Are Christmas trees pagan?
-When was Jesus born?
-What was the true timeline of events? 
-Who were the Magi (Wise Men) and how many were there?
-What was the Christmas star?
-What does the X in X-mas stand for?

I found the essays to be very informative and easy to read. There is a very interesting section on common misconceptions that may surprise you. Did you know that nowhere does the Bible say that the angels sang? Or that the Bible never says that Jesus was born in a stable? 

I appreciated that very near the beginning of the book there was an essay that covered the topic of Christian liberty and how it applies to holidays and how we celebrate them. 
"It would be wrong to condemn someone for celebrating Christmas or Easter (Resurrection Sunday). The "substance," the reason for these holidays, should come from Christ because they belong to Christ. The reason we celebrate these holidays is to remember Christ. However, if someone is fully convinced in their mind that they should not celebrate these holidays, that is fine as well (Romans 14:5) and they should not be criticized either." (Bodie Hodge, p. 14)

A common theme that runs throughout the book is the need to view Christmas through the lens of Genesis - the creation, the fall, and the need for a sinless Savior.

As for the book itself, it is a beautiful paperback. The pages are heavy and sturdy, and I loved that every page looks as though it was printed on nice Christmas stationary.

I enjoyed this book, and it is one that I would recommend.

*I must mention that I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Handlebar Marketing in exchange for an honest review.

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"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. " Hebrews 10:23-25