I probably should have saved this until Christmas, and called it “Christmas in a nutshell” – with or without the question mark. But the picture appeared on Reddit, and came to my attention today, and so I thought it best not to wait. Surely it is always worth asking – and especially at a time of year when one cannot be accused of interfering with the Christmas spirit – whether the infancy stories are in any sense central to Christianity.
Closer to its release date, I will be blogging about a wonderful forthcoming book by Andrew Lincoln that deals spectacularly well with this topic: Born of a Virgin?: Reconceiving Jesus in the Bible, Tradition, and Theology. I expect it to be for our generation what Raymond Brown’s The Birth of the Messiah was for the previous one.