Monday, December 8, 2008


Even though I have been overwhelmed lately and unable to post on the blog, I have somehow managed to find time to post comments on this blog and another (, both of which have been controvesial subjects. Both have also been fun discussions showing the love and charity brothers and sisters in Christ can have when they disagree on theological issues. In light of the Jamie's last post (see below "Santa is Dangerous) I have decided to stir the pot a bit more than I already have and give a couple of links on this subject. The first is on Justin Taylor's blog and summarizes two helpful articles. The second is by one of my favorite theologians, R.C. Sproul, exhorting us not to be a "Scrooge" at Christmas. While we do this in fun, I want to state my love and respect for my brothers on this blog. They are men of integrity that love Jesus, their families and their churches. My prayer is that healthy debate done in love and respect would be modeled on this blog of brothers!


Joshua Owen said...

John, all I can say is that we study mythology with our children. Caleb and I are reading an abridged version (he's only 8 years old) of the Iliad and D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths. We also talk about the Santa Claus myth. But I'm not going to play Santa off as real, nor reenact his story with my family.

Myths can expand the imagination and enrich the mind and help us understand our culture. But what the mind preeminently needs is to be renewed by the Spirit and the Word. I'm not anti-Santa. That would be somewhat ridiculous. There is simply so much to be gleaned from the Nativity that I want to harness the energy of this season to orient my family around it.

I am not in the group that Sproul is contending with. I find myself in substantial agreement with him. As for the other blog, the issue for me is not whether my children will know the Santa story, but what part will it play in our traditions. I'd hate to think that I would be considered a Scrooge by Christians for putting all the emphasis on Christ! If that sounds like a boring or sad Christmas then Christmas traditions are the least of one's problems.

John, I am not suggesting that our practice should be law. I have no problem with anyone who incorporates Santa into their celebration. So, please don't think I'm against your tradition.

I love you brother.


John Lucas said...

I don't in any way brother, and have nothing but respect for you and your family traditions. I simply choose to disagree in my family practice. I would not refer to you or Jamie as a "Scrooge." I am uncomfortable with the rhetoric used and how it can alienate believers in Christ who can use the myth of Santa and focus on the central place of the cross. I don't see it as mutually exclusive.

Maybe I have split hairs, but this is important. Most people in the local church incorporate Santa into their family tradition each year. We need to be careful with the charge of idolatry. I do not think it stands to reason that b/c a home allows Santa's visit it is allowing idolatry. It is one thing to warn against the potential of idolatry, it is another to state this is an idol of the heart. I am willing to be wrong here. I love you brother and appreciate your sharpening.