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’Tis the Season!

’Tis the Season! December 12, 2016

Happy holidays, everyone! This is the 900th post for this blog.

Christmas presents atheismAs we near the solstice, one’s thoughts turn to topics of the season. If you’re looking for holiday gift ideas, let me suggest my two books. The apologetic argument becomes something of an additional character in Cross Examined: An Unconventional Spiritual Journey. It’s the story of a young man torn between two mentors, struggling to make the Christian case in the aftermath of the 1906 Azusa Street Revival.

A Modern Christmas Carol is a reworking of Dickens’ classic, in which a shrewdly successful televangelist receives unexpected Christmas visitors: first, his long-dead partner, and then three ghostly guides. Finally able to acknowledge the shallowness of his message and doubts he has long suppressed, he makes amends with far-reaching consequences.

Here are a few Christmas-y posts:

  • The virgin birth story is a popular one in the list of supposed fulfilled biblical prophecies. When you actually read it, however, it’s startling how many ways this claim falls apart.
  • The War on Christmas™ is a perennial favorite. Some Christians seem to enjoy being offended, and the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue is a professional at it. Literally—it’s his job. In one end-of-the-year survey, he thought he found a juicy factoid with which to attack the atheists, but it blew up in his face.
  • Stand-up comedian Patton Oswalt demolished a pop Christmas song and taught an important lesson about how God doesn’t work: “How Christianity Infantilizes Adults.”
  • A parable about two kids arguing about evidence for Santa has interesting parallels with evidence for Jesus. Be careful about dismissing the existence of Santa, because that reasoning may demand that you dismiss Jesus as well.
  • In 2013, in what must have been a War-on-Christmas miracle, I was given a copy of Sarah Palin’s newly released Good Tidings and Great Joy to review. I had a few thoughts. Here’s the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of that book.

And finally, here’s a Christmas present from a reader of this blog, a skeptical update on the song “Mary Did You Know?”

We cannot know that Santa definitely doesn’t exist. 
This is technically true. 
But what’s your best guess? 
Go on. Be bold. 
— Ricky Gervais

Image credit: Donnie Ray Jones, flickr, CC

 

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