Believing The Nativity

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I must confess that I am a believer.

I believe in God.  I believe in the Bible.  I believe in supernatural events.

I believe in Christmas.

17 thoughts on “Believing The Nativity

  1. Billy bob

    Nor me, just a thought. I guess people are divided on the issue as I see (I looked online).

    It is interesting however that no one formally celebrated Christmas until the 4th C. AD. Presumably, they celebrated the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension every Lord’s Day.

  2. Burt

    It’s not so much what what he is directly saying, but rather how it is being reported. Consider the following headlines:

    [url=http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&ct=us/0-0&fp=476c5dc7db58fccb&ei=QAdsR4nKD5Pq-gGc_dkO&url=http%3A//www.abc.net.au/am/content/2007/s2124684.htm&cid=1125163600]Archbishop says Christmas story a legend[/url]

    [url=http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&ct=us/2-0&fp=476c5dc7db58fccb&ei=QAdsR4nKD5Pq-gGc_dkO&url=http%3A//www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0%2C25197%2C22957350-26040%2C00.html&cid=1125163600]Three wise men leading us astray[/url]

    [url=http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&ct=us/5-0&fp=476c5dc7db58fccb&ei=QAdsR4nKD5Pq-gGc_dkO&url=http%3A//www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml%3Fxml%3D/news/2007/12/20/nwise120.xml&cid=1125163600]Archbishop says nativity ‘a legend'[/url]

    [url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article3076008.ece]It’s All A Christmas Tall Story[/url]

    As I said in the post, I do think the media is sensationalizing his actual words. Though I am bothered by his tendency to dismiss the account of the story simply because it seems intellectually implausible. That standard will debunk most of the scripture. And while I appreciate that he still personally affirms the virgin birth of Christ, I find it unfortunate that he is willing to be so dismissive of its importance to the Christian faith.

  3. Burt

    ah…how I wish for the return of the “edit comment” feature…

    I meant to say “his tendency to dismiss the account of the STAR story…”

  4. tuffy

    nice post. i also see nothing wrong with williams statements as put forth in the article you linked to. i was personally quite disturbed as a high schooler figuring out that most of what i believed about Christmas didn’t come from scripture. i think the traditions we hand down go a long way to illustrating principles, but we should be honest with each other about what is in Scripture and what is not.

    i actually am also quite pleased to hear this happened in a conversation with ricky gervais. ricky is one of the funniest people alive that i am aware of, and also, i’ve noticed, very antagonistic about any sort of faith. perhaps God used williams admissions a bit to help that. heaven will be a much funnier place if gervais is there. 😉

    much love,

    tuf

  5. graham

    I don’t think he dismisses anything, Burt. In fact, if the press were more on the ball and had reported that Ben Witherington thinks it wasn’t a stable, or many scholars think Jesus wasn’t a carpenter, it could sound even worse.

    To say that the shepherds didn’t literally ‘follow’ the star, the way that we often picture that, doesn’t seem much worse than saying that the Sun doesn’t actually rise in the morning.

  6. Burt

    Yeah…I don’t have any problem with debunking the accuracy of the accepted traditions: 3 wise men, their specific names, etc. Yet the media portrayal provides headlines that suggest that the entire birth narrative is merely legend…a “fiction” as brother Eugene might say!
    That I have issue with. Williams tendency to then dismiss the star story as implausible (is he saying there was no star?) and the virgin birth as unimportant doesn’t help matters either.

    That seems to me to be different than Witherington saying it’s the animal compartment at the back of the house instead of a stable, or the idea that Jesus may have been more of a stone mason than our concept of a carpenter. These later examples, though, seem more like semantical differences in understanding. I’m good with that. The implication that it is all therefore legendary, or false, is something else altogether. (I’m not suggesting that Williams is making that assertion, but that does seem to be the intention of the controversy-inducing media!)

  7. Claire

    call me intolerant too! love your post and your heart pastor burt. this is one of the best chrsitmas posts i’ve read – and i’m to add it to my Christmas Out & About list.

    Have a blessed Christmas Pastor Burt and thaks for always believing and being a rock for Jesus and an inspiriation for me!

  8. In His Glorious Name Ministries

    Everyday of the year is a day worthy of saying “Thank You Lord Jesus”! We Celebrate You, Honor You, and Glorify Your Holy Name.

    Thank you for all seasons, for every season, and thank you that we can celebrate you as Our Lord, Savior and King.

    It is good to give thanks unto the Lord.

    Nice post Pastor Burt.

  9. graham

    Burt, I thought you might be interested in [url=http://www.metacatholic.co.uk/2007/12/a-christmas-legend-or-a-licence-to-lie/]this[/url].

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