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A La Carte (December 21)

wednesday

Crossway has begun to publish The Complete Works of John Owen and Westminster Books has the first volume (of 40!) on sale now.

There are at least a couple of Kindle deals to look at.

What Your Nativity Really Means

Pierce Taylor Hibbs considers “our little, neat, illuminated manger scenes. Such a precious thing: the coming of God in the flesh to two happy, carefree parents, just enjoying the stars on a Bethlehem night. Too bad that image doesn’t seem to fall off the pages of Luke’s Gospel. In truth, that nativity scene means a whole lot more than you think. It’s a deep portrayal of tragedy, shrouding a light that should spark us to even greater worship than any comfortable manger scene could conjure up.”

Was Christmas Like This?

This article is similar—an imaginative but perhaps more faithful telling of the story we have all read so many times. “The thing is, the Bible doesn’t actually give a lot of detail about the first Christmas and so we have filled in some details through tradition, sentiment and a misreading of what the Bible actually does so.”

Recapturing our awe of the incarnation

And then there’s this from Aaron Armstrong who considers “the problem that we all face: we can fall prey to familiarity. Boredom, even. I find this happens a lot at Christmas, especially when we’ve tried to use or reuse Advent reading plans. We become so familiar with them that we lose our sense of wonder.”

Essendon apologizes to Andrew Thorburn

This is good news from Down Under. “Religious freedom received an early Christmas present this year with Essendon Football Club today issuing an apology to Andrew Thorburn.”

An Apologia regarding the Lawsuit against SSU Officials

Meanwhile, Nicholas Meriwether tells why he filed “a lawsuit against officials at Shawnee State University for violation of my First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and religion, as well as for other freedoms.”

It Wasn’t Supposed To Be Like This

“The bang of the heavy front door as Louie came home from work each day broke the silence of a hushed house where serious illness had taken up residence. His days were busy at the barber shop and hardware store he co-owned with his older brother but there was no falling away of tensions as he entered their house. Cancer had ravaged his wife’s body and she had been gravely ill for some time, although she was not yet 44.”

Flashback: On Following Mediocre Leaders

How do we follow mediocre leaders? After all, we will spend much of our lives doing exactly that. While we may wish we’ll be called to follow the few who are great, the law of averages makes it far more likely we’ll be called to follow the many who are not-so-great.

No pastor can give to others what he himself has not received.

—Harold Senkbeil

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