Thursday, December 19, 2013

Book Review: The War on Christmas

Recently I was offered an opportunity to review a book titled The War on Christmas: Battles in Faith, Tradition and Religious Expression and after reading the description of the book, I found it intriguing and decided to request my copy and give it a review. Here is the description: "Filled with family get-togethers, office parties, breaks from school, decorating the tree, and more, Christmas is a time of peace and love. So why has so much controversy clouded this sacred holiday? It has become ground zero in an ongoing culture war where Nativity scenes are nixed, Merry Christmas becomes Happy Holidays, and even the word “Christmas” is considered by some as offensive. Find the truth about Christmas and the Christian’s response to a culture that seems to be declaring war."

As a member of the church of Christ, I do not celebrate the birth of Christ on Christmas; instead, we are taught that the actual date of Jesus' birth is unknown. I personally, have no issue with those who celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas and it can be a nice time to reflect on the fact that our Lord and Savior came to earth. I do, however, find it ridiculous that people and organizations and companies have gone so far as to stop saying Merry Christmas and instead say "Happy Holidays" and I also believe that Christmas has become way to commercialized and so I wanted to read this book to see what the author had to say.
There are five sections to the book which are as follows: "What About Christmas?" which details events surrounding the birth of Christ, including a timeline surrounding the birth and also information on there the name Christmas originated. "Confusion and Misconception" which provides information regarding such things as the wise men, or were they three kings or magi or is it really just all the same? "It's All Baby Jesus" which provides information on the significance of the name of Jesus. "How Christmas Came to Be" provides information regarding Mary, the Christmas Star and the virgin birth, and finally, "The War on Christmas" which discusses how society has basically rid the holiday, and the world really of anything to do with Jesus.

Again, my personal belief is that the date of the birth of Christ is not known, but still I found this book to have interesting points and information. It's a really easy read and has a lot of illustrations and pictures for those who are keen to that type of book. In general I agree with the premise of the book which is that society is taking Jesus out of the world and in my opinion, this can be contributed to the increase in violence, etc. we see so often today. If you are looking for an interesting read on this topic, you might want to check out The War on Christmas edited by Bodie Hodge.

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