When I was given a chance to review The War on Christmas: Battles in Faith, Tradition and Religious Expression I was intrigued enough to request the book. Every year we hear cries that Christ is being taken out of Christmas and we can clearly see by tales of mounting credit card debt amid lavish spending that for many the emphasis is totally askew. I guess I expected the book to cover some of those statistics and maybe point out recent court cases against religious displays, etc. I was wrong.
The book concentrates on the connection between Adam and Eve, the beginnings of man and the need for Christ. The authors' main point is that we need to bring others to see that connection/need, and then the reason for celebrating Christmas will be clear. They are saying that keeping the baby in Christmas is an empty attempt if you don't fully embrace why the baby came. Although I agree, I did not find the book a total literary success. Being basically a collection of essays, I found the writing quality varied greatly. Having different authors also resulted in major repetition and overlap. New essays or topics, despite having bold titles and chpater headings, often seemed to lack clear introductions or conclusions. Despite that, the whole book has a beautiful artistic layout, making it a visual success.
I did find the historical and archaeological discoveries that help clarify the facts behind the scriptural account of the nativity vs. our popular view of it to be very interesting. Much of what they proposed made sense. And I do agree that many people have a "cinematic" view of the nativity that is probably far from accurate. While I may have a creche with three wise man in attendance, and that number and the time of their visit may be inaccurate, the authors helped me refocus on what they represent -- fulfillment of prophecy and an example of adoration of the child.
I am not sure to whom I would really recommend this book. Ministers and lay leaders may find a nugget or two of historical information that is new. Nonbelievers would probably feel brow beaten with a repetitive message. As I read, I did not like that there was no information about any of the authors or their credentials. That in itself made me uneasy as I read despite agreeing with much of what they wrote. I felt it was worth my time because my husband, adult daughter and I discussed some of the book together last night. Those conversations are always important.
I received a copy of this title from Handlebar for my honest review.