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TitleChristmas and a Condescending God
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsPeterson, Daniel C.
JournalInterpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship
KeywordsChristmas; Jesus Christ, Birth of

As religious holidays go, Christmas has been domesticated unusually well — and effectively commercialized — among people and even whole cultures that don’t accept (or even care about) the central theological claim that Christmas asserts. After all, who doesn’t like cute little babies, at least when they’re not crying? But that theological claim is stunning. Radical. It’s radical in the strictest sense of that word, because it goes down deep, to the very root (Latin radix). Beyond the pleasant and comfortable sentimentality of favorite holiday foods, scenes of carolers in snowy villages, and warm family gatherings, Christmas dramatically distinguishes Christianity from every other major world religion.