Christmas Uncut: What really happened and why it really matters... By Carl Laferton. Epsom, Surrey: The Good Book Company. pp. 64. 2012. ($3.99 Softcover | $2.99 Kindle)
Many of us are quite familiar with the Christmas story. From school and church plays, to decorations and children’s play sets, to live-action film, we’ve seen the story played out again and again. Yet most of these presentations get the story wrong. Donkeys are added. Timelines are compressed. A fat man in a red suit somehow ends up kneeling before a manger in a strange amalgamation of secular mythos and biblical narrative.
Carl Laferton is here to set the story straight. Using humorous mishaps from children’s nativity skits as a springboard, he launches into the real story about what went down. Of how a pregnant teenager was in a ripe position to be executed. Of how a wicked king murdered little children in the streets. Of how a Savior and King was brought into the world.
Christmas Uncut is a useful resource this holiday season for acquainting people with what really transpired before, during, and after Jesus’ birth. It points to the reason why God took on human flesh and how Jesus was and is Savior and King. The humor at the beginning of each chapter is both heartening and disarming, and is followed by a look at the biblical text and a brief explanation of what was happening and why it’s important.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who may not remember all that clearly the difference between the real story and the one we see played again and again by our smiling (and sometimes crying) young children. I would also recommend it as a witnessing tool to share with our non-Christian friends and neighbors about what we really believe and how they can be a part of what God’s doing in this world.
My lone caveat is that Laferton for some reason places Jesus' dedication at the temple (40 days after his birth) as occurring after his flight to Egypt and return to Judea. I’ve never read anything apart from this book that would place it in this order.
I received this book from the publisher for purposes of review.