December 3, 2018

Christmas Reads

I really enjoy reading Christmas books in December. Here are a few books I've read and I am reading for this 2018 Christmas season.

Mr. Dickens and His Carol - I recently finished this one and really loved the writing style, it was very beautiful and gave that wonderful Victorian feel. I'm not sure how much of this story is real to Charles Dickens life, and how he came to write 'A Christmas Carol', but it was captivating non-the-less.

There was a hint of his infidelity to his wife and children throughout the book, which didn't sit well with me, though there wasn't anything inappropriate written. Overall it was an enjoyable read.

Christmas: A Biography - Unfortunately I didn't get to far in this one. Only a few chapters. It really didn't have anything to do with the Christmas of the Christian faith, but rather how non-believers have celebrated it through the years. It focused on a lot of feasting, particularly over indulgence, secular traditions and rituals of the royals of times gone by.

After three or four chapters of this it got mundane and meaningless. Though it had the odd interesting fact, overall I wouldn't recommend it, especially to those looking for a biography of what Christians celebrate each Christmas.

Christmas at Carnton - I am enjoying this novella! It's set during the civil war era, which is one of my favorite time periods to read about. I've enjoyed other books by Tamera Alexander and looking forward to finishing this one.

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus - I'm thoroughly enjoying this one so far! It's an 'anthology of Advent readings collected from the writings and sermons of 22 classic and contemporary theologians and Bible teachers.' (taken from the description).

Some of the writers include George Whitfield, Randy Alcorn, John Piper, J.C. Ryle, Charles Spurgeon, Joni Eareckson Tada, Francis Schaeffer and Saint Augustine. It's edited by Nancy Guthrie.

Here is a quote from the first chapter by George Whitefield (1714-1770) which sums up the true meaning of celebrating Christmas:

"...let us celebrate and keep this festival of our church with joy in our hearts; let the birth of a Redeemer, which redeemed us from sin, from wrath, from death, from hell, be always remembered; may this Savior's love never be forgotten! 

But may we sing forth all his love and glory as long as life shall last here, and through an endless eternity in the world above! May we chant forth the wonders of redeeming love and the riches of free grace, amidst angels and archangels, cherubim and seraphim, without intermission, forever and ever! 

And as, my brethren, the time for keeping this festival is approaching, let us consider our duty in the true observation thereof, of the right way for the glory of God, and the good of immortal souls, to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ; an event which ought to be had in eternal remembrance."

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