Well, the launch date is approaching for Answers In Genesis’ new book, the War on Christmas. As I noted earlier, I was accepted as part of the launch team of the book and received an advance PDF copy of the book to review. I must say I was impressed. My expectations were surpassed time and again. Firstly, I must correct my earlier, partial, review. The book is not written by Bodie Hodge, although he did write several chapters and collaborate on others. This book is a collection of shorter articles written by the well-known people at Answers in Genesis. Continuing in their habit of well researched journalism, they each tackle a common or tough topic related to Christmas and provide solid research to back up a reasoned response for Christians.
The 144 page book is beautifully laid out with colour backgrounds on every page and beautiful photographs and illustrations on almost every page. The text is laid out in 3-column, magazine style, layout which makes it very easy to read. The technical level of the information is approachable to all readers which there is sufficient meat for a deeper reader and ample references for those who wish to pursue the topic even further. The 23 Chapters are divided into 5 different sections ranging from “Confusion and Misconceptions” to “How Christmas Came to Be”.
I especially enjoyed, as it seems several of my fellow reviewers did, the chapter to pastors and church leaders: “Making the Christmas Sermon Relevant for Today’s Culture”. It unabashedly trys to focus all of our attention where it belongs, on Christ and his reason for coming. This return of focus onto the fundamentals of the faith is where the Lord has been leading me these past two years so this chapter really hit home for me.
I found reading the book was exciting and sometimes it was hard to put down. The only bump in the road for straight through reading is that it is a collaborative work so, chapter to chapter, the writing style changes. Some authors are much more technical, others more logical, others more descriptive but all of them cover the topics well. Each chapter seems to flow naturally to the next, emphasizing the logical basis for Christians continuing to celebrate Christmas, even needing to continue celebrating. Bodie Hodge has done an excellent job of arranging each chapter and melding them into a cohesive package.
I must admit that the timing of this book couldn’t be better. I have experienced attacks on Christmas personally these past few years so I have been researching many of the topics covered in this book. I came to the same conclusions in the book but it is very convenient to have them bound in one place, illustrated beautifully, and stated more eloquently that I ever could have. I can’t wait to let my father read this book as he too has had to field questions about Christmas and whether Christians should be celebrating it or not.
In summary, I highly recommend every Christian home get a copy of this book. Read it, individually, and together, and decide how your family, your church, your community, could best remember and celebrate the birth of our Savior. We should not just blindly follow tradition when we remember our Lord. We need to base our traditions on fact and work to create traditions that are filled with meaning and are effective at helping us remember. As Bodie says: