Ethos Blog

Shopping Cart


Christmas collection

Sunday, 24 December 2017  | Ethos editor

Here's our selection of Christmas offerings from the mainstream and Christian media in December 2017. Want to suggest other articles to add to the list? Email me. Have a blessed Christmas!

Tis the season for online shopping – which means a month of shipping. David M. Herold suggests 4 Rs of reducing your delivery footprint.

Andrew Hamilton writes: The embroidery on the Gospel stories shows that, like the painter and the refugees treading through the dust and heat of the road to Egypt, God dreams of a peaceful world in which people and nature live at peace, villages are well watered, trees cared for, grapes hang in bunches, refugee children are fed, and angels help make art.

Fatima Measham writes: The meaning of Christmas is found at Easter after all. What if time does have a moral arc, to borrow the words of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, and that it must be actively bent? What must give way? What must be born and reborn again and again in us?

Craig Greenfield writes: The real war on Christmas is waged by those who claim the name of Jesus, while embracing the values of the Empire. And Mary's Magnificat - or the Freedom Song for the Poor - has only occasionally been recognized by the church for what it really is - a direct challenge on Empire - a letter of warning that the clock is ticking on our status quo. Yet, it has been banned all over the world by oppressive dictatorships.

Stephen Keim writes: The "war on Christmas" is a right-wing cultural tactic to suggest there's a conspiracy to change society as we know it.

Part 1 -,11047

Part 2 -,11049

Laura Rademaker writes: Aboriginal missions were notorious for their austerity, but Christmas was a brief time of joy. While celebrations had a sinister assimilationist edge, Aboriginal people often adopted traditions into their own culture.

Robyn J. Whitaker writes: The inn, the shepherds, angels and animals: pretty much everything we think we know about the Christmas story is historically wrong.

I might be about to ruin your Christmas. Sorry. But the reality is those nativity plays in which your adorable children wear tinsel and angel wings bear little resemblance to what actually happened.

Larry Hurtado writes: The overwhelming body of scholars, in New Testament, Christian Origins, Ancient History, Ancient Judaism, Roman-era Religion, Archaeology/History of Roman Judea, and a good many related fields as well, hold that there was a first-century Jewish man known as Jesus of Nazareth, that he engaged in an itinerant preaching/prophetic activity in Galilee, that he drew to himself a band of close followers, and that he was executed by the Roman governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate.

Erin K. Wilson and Luca Mavelli write: The danger bound up with emphasizing people's identities as refugees is that we continue to see them only as labels or categories, which we fill with our own assumptions and preconceived ideas. In contrast, by emphasising their identity as human beings, we have more possibility of seeing them in their full complexity.

Would Christians today have deported Jesus? Daniel Jose Camacho writes that, for Christians who care about justice, it is easy for us to romanticize our own love and generosity towards "the immigrant" or "refugee" without further interrogating how we may indirectly contribute to their displacements.

Alison Milbank writes: Some Christians today find the doctrine of the Virgin Birth a difficult part of the Creed, worrying about DNA or seeing it as a denigration of sexual love. It flies against our modern world. Yet the Incarnation is even more incredible, more ridiculous, than the manner of its achievement. Christ hides where we would least expect to find him: in a manger, in a Virgin's womb.

N. T. Wright writes: "Miracle" - as used in controversies around the Virgin Birth - is not a biblical category. The God of the Bible is not a normally absent God who sometimes intervenes. This God is always present and active, often surprisingly so.

Barney Zwartz writes: It has been said that reconciliation is the virtue of the courageous, the response of the forgiven, the mercy of the just. From reconciliation more reconciliation can flow. But sometimes it seems too much to ask.

Justine Toh writes: Our move away from a world that admits the transcendent has left us naked when it comes to questions of absolute meaning and significance. And, as powerful and compelling as the rights discourse can be, it cannot do everything. It can guarantee tolerance and equality, but not love and embrace. And it cannot secure belonging and belovedness – a primal need that perhaps no earthly answer can fully satisfy.

Whether you adore them or can’t wait until they’re off the playlist for another year, the popularity of Christmas carols has proven remarkably enduring. CPX’s Simon Smart, Natasha Moore, and John Dickson discuss why people continue to sing them – and the stories and ideas behind their favourite carols.

Simon Smart writes: Our disenchantment with Christmas mirrors a broader disenchantment - with Christianity itself. Let's remember what Christmas is actually about to counter the stress and sadness.

Peace on earth, goodwill to all. If there’s any time and place to start building bridges between ideological camps, Christmas and family are surely it. Natasha Moore offers 3 ways to avoid dinner table conflict this Christmas.

The first Christmas was a particularly brutal one for the holy family, and the biblical account of Jesus’ birth and early years is one of discomfort, poverty, and violence. CPX take a closer look at the fraught first Christmas, and how this festive season also offers solace and hope for people struggling to find Christmas cheer.

Freya Higgins-Desbiolles writes: Bethlehem looms large in our minds with the approach of Christmas. But the reality for people living there now or tourists wishing to visit the ancient city remains deeply politically fraught.

Michael Frost writes: Cogniet’s Scène du massacre des Innocents asks us to examine ourselves, to consider why this woman would be so scared of us, to examine the ways we have been co-opted by the forces of empire, and sided with the powerful over the weak and the poor.

Lee-Fay Low writes: Christmas can be a stressful time for hosts and guests alike, and it's more so for carers of people living with dementia.

Ed Mazza writes: “I don’t think Jesus would care much about whether we say Merry Christmas or not,” said Jesuit priest, Rev. Kevin O’Brien. “More important than just saying ‘Merry Christmas’ is to live it.

Krish Kandiah writes: Here is the news: God deliberately planned to turn up at the wrong time in the wrong place. God is Immanuel. God is present. God is with us. But God is also hidden, set apart, unassuming.

Andy Flannagan writes: This Christmas, could we emulate my wonderful and mildly persecuted wife? Could we incline and train our ears to hear the political tone in the voice of the Christmas story? And moreover, could we refuse the easy answers of either abusing or eschewing power and instead walk the more complicated path of channelling it well? Much like the paradox of God as a baby.

Kaley Payne writes: “Even among Australians who practise a religion other than Christianity, 91 per cent are happy to see nativities, while 86 per cent of those who have no religious beliefs are also supportive, according to McCrindle.”

Mark Galli writes: if one believes that God is mighty enough to create the heavens and the earth and to raise Jesus bodily from the grave, how hard can it be for him to enable a virgin to conceive? Miracles happen. But was another miracle, one more gift of grace: Before Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary — without blinking, without doubt, without a moment’s hesitation — said yes.

Warwick Marsh writes: What is it about the Star Wars film series, conceived by George Lucas, that has made Star Wars the third highest grossing film series of all time?

Jen Pollock Michel writes: the best homes we make tell realistic, honest stories about the human condition on this side of heaven. They’re impermanent and imperfect, no matter how much we seek (or avoid) accumulation. Earthly homes are fleeting stars. Like the Wise Men, we follow them as a way to long “for a better country - a heavenly one”.

Warwick Marsh writes: What is it about the Star Wars film series, conceived by George Lucas, that has made Star Wars the third highest grossing film series of all time?


Got something to add?

  • Your Comment


Online Resources

subscribe to engage.mail

follow us

Latest Articles