Some Christmas posts to chew on as we subside from the aftermath of the Christmas parties and brace ourselves for the New Year celebrations.
David Mathis on the three kings who visited Jesus:
I’m not eager to play the spoiler here, but these dudes aren’t kings. They are pagan astrologers, not too far from what we’d call sorcerers and wizards.
Gandalf and Dumbledore are coming to worship the baby Jesus.
These magi are not respected kings but pagan specialists in the supernatural, experts in astrology, magic, and divination, blatant violators of Old Testament law — and they are coming to worship Jesus.
Larry Taunton on Richard Dawkins’ new children’s book about atheistic Christmas:
In the final analysis, The Magic of Reality lacks, well, the magic that a children’s book must possess. On the contrary, Dawkins would rob children of the true magic of life: meaning. One can always hope that Dawkins, like the Grinch, will realize that the magic of Christmas — and that of reality itself — is not found in the tangible. Then again, maybe Dawkins is seeking to become atheism’s Oxford equivalent to C.S. Lewis, whose stories continue to excite the imaginations of young and old alike some five decades after his death. If so, the Lewis estate need not worry. The place of the pipe-smoking inventor of Narnia within the canon of children’s literature is firmly intact.
And another post from David Mathis about the Magi from the East:
So God comes to these stargazers where they are — in their sin, as their attention is focused on the stars for guidance (rather than the Scriptures) — and woos them to his Son.
The magi are messy. This crazy star is confounding. It’s messy that the magi are pagan astrologers, such blatant sinners, and it’s messy that God is stooping so far, exploiting their sinful practices as it were, to bring them to Jesus.
But maybe it shouldn’t surprise us too much. This is, after all, about the greatest divine stooping in all of history, when God himself, in the person of his Son, stooped a humanly incalculable distance by not grasping his divine prerogative, but becoming fully human, humbling himself to take our flesh and blood, our finite mind and feeble affections, and take our humanity all the way to death, even death on a cross, for us.