The modern way is to disallow the inescapable, to allow latitude, wiggle room or even rejection in the interest of fairness. Which is no problem in certain daily matters (What kind of job do I want? Whom shall I marry?), but a big problem, indeed, when the very nature of things is the question with which we wrestle. How'd we get here in the first place? What do we do while here? Where next? And so what? These are the nature-of-things questions; the ones with heft and weight, not to say imponderable consequences. To get the wrong answer is probably not a good idea.
The December "Christmas Wars," centered on how to wish someone a jolly, old time lack relevance; likewise, Christmas is viewed as secular entertainment: turkey, wassail, Black Friday, the lot. There's always a place in life for entertainment, but look, either the Son of God came among us or he didn't. If he didn't, so what? If he did, wouldn't the churches want to tell us about it in the firmest, proudest, most decisive terms? Should the mystery be laid out as something to experience for just a moment, such as mulled wine, or rather as something to love and conceivably die for?
There was, religion aside, a lot to admire about Hitch and his rude, broad-shouldered journalism. The Christian culture into which he was born in 1949 might have done better by him by engaging the mind of the world with every peaceful weapon at its disposal: insisting, insisting, insisting on the factuality of a message too often muddled by anxious concession and embarrassment over allegedly non-credible details.
Might the churches start over, even now? Do things differently and right? Of course, it's Christmas.
William Murchison writes from Dallas. To find out more about William Murchison and to see features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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