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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Two thousand years of Christmas

Some thoughts on the meaning of Christmas.

Luke and John's Christmas chronicle is two thousand years old. Although skeptics might be right about the myths regarding angels at the manger, the fact is, the Christmas story unites Christians, regardless of our religious faiths. 

If the story of the nativity were completely false, this "conspiracy" would have been disclosed hundreds of years ago. My faith in the Gospel reports by Luke and John describing the birth of Jesus are rooted in the sheer simplicity of the events. One small birth in Bethlehem, chronicled 2000 years ago, brought forth a universal religion, where forgiveness is a tenet of the faith. Regardless of whether or not the birth of Jesus was a "miracle", the fact is, his short life created a religion that will be with us until the end of human time on earth.  

Consequently, the nativity Christmas story is worthy of belief.

The Washington Times published an interesting essay about the Christmas nativity, written by Cal Thomas (not necessarily a writer I follow, but this time he presented some concepts deserving consideration).


There is everything to gain and nothing to lose in embracing the Christmas story by Cal Thomas December 24, 2014


Suppose what some call the “Christmas story” is true — all of it, from the angels, to the shepherds, to the virgin birth, to God taking on human flesh. By this, I don’t mean to suggest it is true only for those who believe it to be true, but what if it is objectively true, no matter what the deniers say? What difference would it make? Should it make any difference?

The narrative and the quotations written by the physician named Luke and by John, the closest disciple of Jesus of Nazareth, are unique and exclusive. The genealogical line of Jesus compiled by Matthew the tax collector is impressive and compelling. The words spoken by Jesus and recorded by these men are phenomenal. They expose the inner darkness of man, offering a road map out, while also revealing the light of God, offering directions into His presence.



The information provided by witnesses to these events are either true or not. The claims leave no room for middle ground, despite what some “theologians” claim. If they are not true, one must conclude “the greatest story ever told” was the result of the greatest conspiracy in history from which not a single “conspirator” later recanted. The One who spoke such heartwarming words, as C.S. Lewis has noted, was either a liar or a fool, or he told the truth. There are no other options.

The “conspiracy” would have to have stretched over thousands of years, from the time of the prophets to the modern era when millions continue to claim their lives have been transformed by this carpenter with no formal training, no college degree and no influence with the reigning religious and secular authorities of His day.

Among other things skeptics have to contend with is why would so many people claim the story is true, including what would occur at the end of Jesus’ life on earth, when they had nothing to gain in this life by promoting a lie? In fact, they invited persecution from the religious authorities, along with imprisonment and death from the Roman rulers, who treated any perceived or actual challenge to Caesar as a capital offense.

Of course, the story is fantastic. But who would want to follow a God that can be defined and understood by human logic? Such a God would not be worth knowing because He would be created in our image.


The information provided by witnesses to these events are either true or not. The claims leave no room for middle ground, despite what some “theologians” claim. If they are not true, one must conclude “the greatest story ever told” was the result of the greatest conspiracy in history from which not a single “conspirator” later recanted. The One who spoke such heartwarming words, as C.S. Lewis has noted, was either a liar or a fool, or he told the truth. There are no other options.

The “conspiracy” would have to have stretched over thousands of years, from the time of the prophets to the modern era when millions continue to claim their lives have been transformed by this carpenter with no formal training, no college degree and no influence with the reigning religious and secular authorities of His day.

Among other things skeptics have to contend with is why would so many people claim the story is true, including what would occur at the end of Jesus’ life on earth, when they had nothing to gain in this life by promoting a lie? In fact, they invited persecution from the religious authorities, along with imprisonment and death from the Roman rulers, who treated any perceived or actual challenge to Caesar as a capital offense.

Of course, the story is fantastic. But who would want to follow a God that can be defined and understood by human logic? Such a God would not be worth knowing because He would be created in our image.  (from Julie...hmmmmm, not sure what Cal is saying here.....but, I think what he means to say is that, by creating his son to endure scorn and suffering, God allowed us mere humans to see how He knows about our own human condition and sufferings. I believe Saint Anthony  of Padua said - not an exact quote-   "Christians should use the Cross of Jesus to support us through life like a mountain climber relies on a walking stick .....)


Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist. His latest book is “What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America” (Zondervan, 2014).

Celebrating a 2,000 year old birthday. 
Merry Christmas to everyone.



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