Since reposting Mark Driscoll’s article on redeeming Santa Claus, I’ve had a lot of good conversations. I was also sent the following article from Dr. James Parker. I had the privilege to sit under his teaching in a Philosophy of Religion course at Southern Seminary. In addition to being brilliant, he just might well be the funniest person I have ever listened to in my life. This article has been posted in a couple of different places, and I thought it was a fantastic, enlightening read. Enjoy:
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) — In reflecting on this season of the year, I have often wondered how a Martian reporter would write a story about Christmas in the United States. If one only had the dominant cultural icons of TV, movies, news media and retail stores, my guess is that the Martian-viewing audience wouldn’t have a clue as to what Christmas is about.
They might think it has something to do with snowmen or reindeer or retail store sales. And if any particular person rose to the top in the public’s awareness, it would be a jolly secular guy at risk for stroke or cardiac arrest who likes to dress in red and let his beard grow.
Rather than just bemoan this fact, I assert that we need to reimage the myth of the modern-day Santa Claus.
Most people simply do not realize the rich ancient heritage behind the Santa Claus story. The secularized and sanitized contemporary version pales in comparison with the deeply Christian ethos and content of the original.