This and That 12-22-12

Let’s Rethink Our Holly-Jolly Christmas Songs – We have a rich and complicated and often appropriately dark Christmas hymnody. We can sing of blessings flowing “far as the curse is found,” of the one who came to “free us all from Satan’s power.” – Russell Moore

Jonathan Edwards on the Problem of Evil – God’s awful majesty, his authority and dreadful greatness, justice, and holiness… would not shine forth as the [other parts of divine glory] do, and also the glory of his goodness, love, and holiness would be faint without them; nay, they could scarcely shine forth at all… There would be no manifestation of God’s grace or true goodness, if there was no sin to be pardoned, no misery to be saved from. No matter how much happiness he might bestow, his goodness would not be nearly as highly prized and admired…. and the sense of his goodness heightened. So evil is necessary if the glory of God is to be perfectly and completely displayed. – Jonathan Edwards

Go Overboard Celebrating Christmas:  A godliness that won’t delight in fudge and eggnog is no godliness at all. – Do not treat this as a time of introspective penitence. To the extent that you must clean up, do it with the attitude of someone showering and changing clothes, getting ready for the best banquet you have ever been to. This does not include three weeks of meditating on how you are not worthy to go to banquets. Of course you are not. Haven’t you heard of grace?  Celebrate the stuff. Use fudge and eggnog and wine and roast beef. Use presents and wrapping paper. Embedded in many of the common complaints you hear about the holidays (consumerism, shopping, gluttony, etc.) are false assumptions about the point of the celebration. You do not prepare for a real celebration of the Incarnation through thirty days of Advent Gnosticism. – Doug Wilson

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