RSS

Category Archives: Mythology

Book Review: The War on Christmas – Battles of Faith, Tradition, and Religious Expression. Edited by Bodie Hodge

I did not really like this book. In fairness though, I don’t think it was written for the serious scholar.

This book is intended to drive home one single point; “No Christ, no Christmas.” In so doing this book is extremely repetitive, to the point of making it difficult to read through the 144 pages of text and illustrations.

A variety of issues contained within the Christmas stable are addressed: Christmas star, Wise Men, and Christmas tree. The thread of the argument is that these things are not essential to Christ, but are part of the Christmas celebration. I was interested to see the unusual opinion that the Magi were most likely not believers, but rather astrologers who had seen signs and portents in the sky.

The one serious bone I have to pick is the explanation of pagan religion’s development in Chapter 4. While the explanation is somewhat possible, it seems to me to be largely untenable. It is certainly true that some pagan religion is based on ancestor worship, but there is little evidence to indicate that such practice is the root of all pagan religion and practice. Helen of Troy is connected to Elishah, and regional syntax is given as the reason. The idea that all the personages of pagan religion are descended from the children and grandchildren of Noah is a little far-fetched.

In conclusion, there is certainly a war of thought in play today. Christmas is part of that war. A good deal of this book seems to be well researched and its message is certainly laudable. However, I would be careful whom one recommends this book to. It functions as a decent overview of the salient issues. It does get preachy at times, and sometimes the claims are simply the stuff of fantasy. Even for that the core message is the same; No Christ, No Christmas.

Disclaimer: This review was written as a member of the War on Christmas launch team.

Advertisements
 

An Almost 5 year old talks about God Redux

It has been far more than a few days, yet Ms. Lisha’s thoughts on God are still resonating in my soul. I am a Christian Apologist, and specialized in Pagan and Animistic religions. As such, my wife and I often talk about mythology and such things are heard by the children that continuously surround us like the morlocks at Helm’s Deep.

Lisha’s observation was that our God is a different kind of God. At that time she was only 4 going on middle age, now she is soon to be a kindergartner and is a proud 5 year old. Her observation still stands though. How is God different?

In our trans-modern society is seems that everyone has some take on God and religion. It is acceptable to worship any god, because that god is just another face of whatever the Creator is. To some it is not even this, as the Creator is no longer involved with the Creation, and therefore whatever god is over above humanity, but is perhaps still a minion of the Creator god. At the very heart of this thinking is the idea of modalism, one god many hats. This is the Hindu/T.D. Jakes conception of God. Among the flaws of this thinking, at least from a Christian’s perspective is Scripture cannot support it.

If Jesus is the Father and the Boy, then he must sacrifice himself to himself to appease himself . In effect, Jesus would be on the altar of sacrifice as the lamb of grace and be recipient of that sacrifice simultaneously. This is certainly a contentious position to hold.

My original though with regard to the wise Ms. Lisha’s comments, is simply this. God is different because while he desires our worship, he does not require it to maintain his God-ness. All other forms of gods as a central tenet require that there be continual worship and appeasement. They draw their only power from this worship, and as they fall in and out of favor they gain and lose ability.

In short, we need God, He does not need us. He never did, and never will. He is not Odin or Zeus Pater or Jupiter, humanity has placed a conception of God in those terms to try and understand. Perhaps it would be beneficial to do a study of these three “head” gods and see how they compare to what we know of the YHWH GOD. It certainly seem to me that there are connections, at least mythologically, from the Biblical descriptions of GOD and the mythology of these three idols.

I leave with this question for my readers, would you like to explore this with me? Please tell me and I will be happy to share what I have learned.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on August 19, 2010 in Mythology, Things about God

 
 
%d bloggers like this: