Is Christmas Necessary?

It has become axiomatic--at least among Christians--that the Christmas holiday has been taken over by secular, materialist forces. As it becomes increasingly over-commercialized and marginilized, our society seems to have lost touch with its inherent meaningfulness. Christmas is even under attack on some fronts by those who cannot tolerate its implications of a Creator, of faith and of a Savior who made exclusivist claims.

What are the Christmas songs about? What about that fabled star of Bethlehem--was it simply a phenomenon of planets or something supernaturally more? How much does this holiday tie into the Christian faith and what meaning does it possess? And how can believers share that message effectively?


Is Christmas Necessary?
Jerry Solomon
What do you think of when you hear the word "Christmas"? Frantic shopping? Family traditions? A commemoration of the birth of Jesus? Or a combination of all these responses and more?

The Necessity for Christianity
Paul Johnson
The truth is that all of us are Jekyll and Hyde creatures, part saint, part beast. The great strength of Christianity is that, while insisting that man is made in the image of God, it accepts that there is a radical flaw in the reproduction.

The Theology Behind Christmas Music
Robert A. Pyne
Most radio stations play some type of Christmas music during the holiday season, but many of the songs have become so familiar to us that we no longer consider their content.

Mere Christianity
Edward H. Pauley
As any reputable historian can attest, movements and institutions have a way of changing over time, sometimes within one generation, so that they are almost unrecognizable to later observers. Historic, orthodox Christianity, on the other hand, has maintained an identity and continuity at its core for nearly two thousand years. Why is this so?

Christmas on Mars Hill
Peter Hiett
"Incarnation is the stuff from which the kingdom of God is constructed. It's the real beauty of Christmas, the kind of Christmas that should go with us everywhere we go (Athens, the jungle, your teen's high school, the mall, the office). Christmas was never meant to happen just once a year."

The Star of Bethlehem
Ray Bohlin
What explains the strange phenomenon of the star of Bethlehem that led the Magi to the newborn Christ, an astronomical event or the Shekinah Glory, manifesting God's presence among men?

On Not Permitting the Other to Be Other
Richard John Neuhaus
The editor-in-chief of influential First Things Journal takes another swipe at the book, Please Don't Wish Me a Merry Christmas: A Critical History of the Separation of Church and State (New York University Press), which he reviewed for New York Times Literary Supplement. This is the main portion of his weekly review of the culture.

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