This book review is brought to you by Cross Focused Media. They send me a book. I read the book. I write a review. The folks at CFM do not know if I will like the book or not, and do not insist that I speak highly of the book. So, book exchanged for review and that’s it.
Most of us have our own understanding of the Christmas story. Usually it is an amalgamation of both the Biblical story and various storybooks, movies, and Christmas plays. Admittedly, some of our information is warped. There are things that we honestly cannot know and other fragments of the story get filled in by guesses and historical estimation.
Into this milieu is where the book Christmas Uncut by Carl Laferton comes. Here’s a look at the cover and a link for more sales info:
What do we find here?
1. This is a short book. 62 pages. Which is good, given the price. Also, the length makes it easy to include this book in a tight reading schedule. Obviously, brevity cuts the other direction: the detail-hungry among us will finish this book wanting more. That cannot be helped, though.
2. The book is easy to read: it is structured as if presenting several acts of a play. This cuts the story down into bite-size chunks, each focusing on a different portion of the Christmas story.
3. The book finishes the story: there is a closing section that addresses how the Christmas story fits in with the fullness of Biblical Christianity. That’s valuable: the book’s best use is as a giveaway or discussion book. This closing section gives a follow-up: Christmas is about more than a baby in a manger, but about the coming of the Lord Jesus, who came to be not just a baby in a manger but also to be the man on the Cross.
4. The book runs with a tagline of “What really happened and why it really matters…” The “why it really matters” part is a win. However, for me, the “What really happened” part is a bit oversold. This may be more due to my line of work as a pastor and Bible-nerd: I have already seen and heard many of what Laferton puts forward as surprising: the scandals and the mayhem. That does not do much damage to the work: the reminder hurts no one and some may have never heard this, so it’s valuable information.
5. Christmas Uncut also feeds in a cute story of a children’s play. These little vignettes really put a light-side into the story and make it a great read.
In all, if you want a brief look at Christmas, one that will hold the attention of a reader that may not want to ferret the details from the midst of the whole Bible, pick this up. If you have a small Bible study/inquiry group that wants to dig in, this makes a good pick up in bulk-pricing direct from the publishers, TheGoodBook Company.
Reminder: I got one free from the publisher in exchange for reviewing it.