A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance
By Jordan Atkinson
This book is an antidote for the danger of losing Christmas. Many people either mythologize Christmas or secularize it. Some people mythologize Christmas by making the biblical accounts of Christ’s incarnation into a legend. Others secularize Christmas by making the holiday about anything other than Jesus’ birth. People with a secular mindset toward Christmas may consider it to be mainly about giving gifts, spending time with family and friends, or even indulging in self-luxury. This book seeks to overcome these dangers and reorient Christians to the Christ-centered meaning of Christmas in all its biblical richness. To realize this goal, this book meditates on nine facets of the biblical meaning of Christmas and commends them to its readers.
Table of Contents
1 A Christmas Prophecy
2 Knots on the Family Tree
3 Is the Virgin Birth Really Essential?
4 Joseph and Mary
5 The People Who Missed Christmas
6 God in a Manger
7 Who Were the Wise Men?
8 Born to Die
9 O Come Let Us Adore Him
Chapter 1: A Christmas Prophecy
Christmas originates in OT prophecies of Jesus’ birth, rather than in the Gospel accounts of that event. Isaiah 9:6 is key to Christmas because it makes clear that the one to come would in fact be Immanuel, “God with us.”
Immanuel’s various titles in Isaiah 9:6 make clear that he is no ordinary human; he is God incarnate as a man. Immanuel is fully human; he will come as “a child.” Nevertheless, he is fully divine. The phrase, “a son will be given” indicates that this gift is pre-existent. This is no mere baby conceived by the ordinary means of procreation; rather, this baby is the eternal God made flesh. As God incarnate, he will rule over all the earth. He rules now in the hearts of his people, and when he returns, he will rule physically over all the world.
Chapter 2: Knots on the Family Tree
Matthew begins his Gospel with Jesus’ genealogy, going all the way back to Abraham. Though readers may be tempted to skip Matthew’s genealogy when conducting Christmas readings, the genealogy of Jesus highlights how God’s grace was active throughout Israel’s history as God was preparing to fulfill his promise of a Messiah. Most ancient genealogies mention. . .[To continue reading this summary, please see below....]
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God with Us: The Miracle of Christmas