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December 23rd, 2013
03:29 PM ET

A Christmas apology, and the seeds of hope

Opinion by Rachel Held Evans, Special to CNN

(CNN) - This week we celebrate Christmas, and as a Christian, I want to say I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that this season has become about fights over manger scenes on public property, about complaining when clerks say, “Happy Holidays,” instead of “Merry Christmas,” about rampant commercialism and faux persecution.

I’m sorry that Christians in the United States can be so entitled when we’ve long enjoyed majority status, when we can be so blind to our own privilege.

It is ironic, really, because in the church calendar, the seasons of Advent and Christmas call us to reflect upon and celebrate what Christians believe was the most radical act of humility of all time - the incarnation.

The doctrine of the incarnation holds that the God of the universe, in his love for humanity, emptied himself of his power and became human, like us, in the form of Jesus.

The word incarnation literally means “to make into flesh” and refers to the apostle John’s teaching that “(t)he Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).

“No one has ever seen God,” John explains, but Jesus “has made him known.”

In other words, if you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus -

Jesus, who was born as an oppressed minority in an occupied land,

Jesus who was an immigrant,

Jesus, who surrounded himself with the poor, the sick, the marginalized and the “untouchables,”

Jesus who was criticized by the religious for hanging out with sinners,

Jesus who treated women with dignity and respect,

Jesus who taught his disciples to love their enemies, to give without expecting anything in return, to overcome evil with love,

Jesus who suffered,

Jesus who wept,

Jesus who - while hanging on a Roman cross - said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Quaker theologian Elton Trueblood put it this way: “The historic Christian doctrine of the divinity of Christ does not simply mean that Jesus is like God. It is far more radical than that. It means that God is like Jesus.”

It means that God suffers, God forgives, God fellowships with the poor, God cares for the sick, God loves His enemies.

Even as a lifelong Christian, I struggle with doubts about God. I struggle to make sense of the violence in the world, the violence in the Bible, the violence in my own heart. I don’t have all the answers.

But even when there’s nothing left to my faith but a little seed of hope, that hope is in the incarnation, in the radical teaching that God loved us enough to become like us, and that when God wanted to show us what he was like, God showed us Jesus.

Rachel Held Evans is the author of "A Year of Biblical Womanhood" and "Evolving in Monkey Town." Evans blogs at rachelheldevans.com, and the views expressed in this column belong to her.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Christmas • Faith • Holidays • Opinion

soundoff (2,872 Responses)
  1. Privlig

    WHITE PEOPLE!!!!

    CHECK!
    YOUR!
    PRIVILEGE!!!!

    December 25, 2013 at 1:38 am |
  2. Sun-God your god

    Enjoy my day!

    December 25, 2013 at 1:06 am |
  3. bostontola

    Merry Christmas folks.

    December 25, 2013 at 12:58 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      And to you, bostontola.

      December 25, 2013 at 1:02 am |
    • Kev

      Happy Holidays to you too.

      December 25, 2013 at 5:10 am |
  4. Vic

    MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE

    http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large/2-merry-christmas-card-blair-wainman.jpg

    http://b.dryicons.com/files/graphics_previews/snowing_christmas_card.jpg

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_femhrxbNtS0/TOC1Ry6kCmI/AAAAAAAAIjc/OsR4ZHjm8zU/s1600/CHRISTMAS+CARDS+07.jpg

    December 25, 2013 at 12:00 am |
    • Reality # 2

      And a Merry Mythmas to all and to all a goodnight !!!

      December 25, 2013 at 12:18 am |
  5. Kev

    16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16 KJV)

    December 24, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
    • Reality # 2

      The Apostles' Creed 2013 (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (References used are available upon request.)

      December 25, 2013 at 12:20 am |
      • Greg

        However he existed and did try to teach us to not hate each other.

        December 25, 2013 at 12:35 am |
      • RB

        R2, I don't believe that stuff. What are your references?

        December 25, 2013 at 12:54 am |
        • Reality # 2

          1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.

          2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
          – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–and an extensive discussion of each.

          30-60 CE Passion Narrative
          40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
          50-60 1 Thessalonians
          50-60 Philippians
          50-60 Galatians
          50-60 1 Corinthians
          50-60 2 Corinthians
          50-60 Romans
          50-60 Philemon
          50-80 Colossians
          50-90 Signs Gospel
          50-95 Book of Hebrews
          50-120 Didache
          50-140 Gospel of Thomas
          50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
          50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
          65-80 Gospel of Mark
          70-100 Epistle of James
          70-120 Egerton Gospel
          70-160 Gospel of Peter
          70-160 Secret Mark
          70-200 Fayyum Fragment
          70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
          73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
          80-100 2 Thessalonians
          80-100 Ephesians
          80-100 Gospel of Matthew
          80-110 1 Peter
          80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
          80-130 Gospel of Luke
          80-130 Acts of the Apostles
          80-140 1 Clement
          80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
          80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
          80-250 Christian Sibyllines
          90-95 Apocalypse of John
          90-120 Gospel of John
          90-120 1 John
          90-120 2 John
          90-120 3 John
          90-120 Epistle of Jude
          93 Flavius Josephus
          100-150 1 Timothy
          100-150 2 Timothy
          100-150 T-itus
          100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
          100-150 Secret Book of James
          100-150 Preaching of Peter
          100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
          100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
          100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
          100-160 2 Peter

           4. Jesus Database, http://www.faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/intro.html –"The JESUS DATABASE is an online a-nnotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
          5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
          6. The Jesus Seminar, http://en.wikipedia.o-rg/wiki/Jesus_Seminar
          7. http://www.biblicalartifacts.com/items/785509/item785509biblicalartifacts.html – books on the health and illness during the time of the NT
          8. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
          9.The Gn-ostic Jesus
          (Part One in a Two-Part Series on A-ncient and Modern G-nosticism)
          by Douglas Gro-othuis: http://www.equip.o-rg/articles/g-nosticism-and-the-g-nostic-jesus/
          10. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
          Presented on March 18, 1994
          ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2

          December 25, 2013 at 8:32 am |
        • Reality # 2

          11. The Jesus Database- newer site:
          wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database
          12. Jesus Database with the example of S-u-pper and Eucharist:
          faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/jdb016.html
          13. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
          mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm
          13. http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/jesus.htmm- Historical Jesus Studies
          14. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/
          15. D-iseases in the Bible:
          http://books.google.com/books/about/The_d-iseases_of_the_Bible.html?id=C1YZAAAAYAAJ

          December 25, 2013 at 8:34 am |
        • Reality # 2

          21. Luke and Josephus- was there a c-onnection?
          in-fidels.o-rg/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
          22. NT and beyond time line:
          pbs.o-rg/empires/pe-terandpaul/history/timeline/
          23. St. Paul's Time line with discussion of important events:
          harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm
          24. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD Crossan's books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
          25. Father Edward Schillebeeckx's words of wisdom as found in his books.
          27. The books of the following : Professors Gerd Ludemann, Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
          28. Father Raymond Brown's An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
          29. Luke Timothy Johnson's book The Real Jesus

          December 25, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          19. JD Crossan's c-onclusions about the a-uthencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the c-onclusions of other NT e-xege-tes in the last 200 years:

          http://wiki.faithfutures.o-rg/index.p-hp?t-itle=Crossan_Inventory

          December 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          16. Religion on- Line (6000 a-rt-ic-les on the hi-story of religion, churches, theologies,
          theologians, eth-ics, etc. religion-online.o–rg/

           17. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT n-tgate-way.com/

          18 Writing the New Testament- e-xi-sting copies, o–r–al tradition etc.
          n-tgat-eway.com/

          December 25, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          A sampling as presented at http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

          :Jesus the Myth: Heavenly Christ
          Earl Doherty
          Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy

          Jesus the Myth: Man of the Indefinite Past
          Alvar Ellegård
          G. A. Wells

          Jesus the Hellenistic Hero
          Gregory Riley

          Jesus the Revolutionary
          Robert Eisenman

          Jesus the Wisdom Sage
          John Dominic Crossan
          Robert Funk
          Burton Mack
          Stephen J. Patterson

          Jesus the Man of the Spirit
          Marcus Borg
          Stevan Davies
          Geza Vermes

          Jesus the Prophet of Social Change
          Richard Horsley
          Hyam Maccoby
          Gerd Theissen

          Jesus the Apocalyptic Prophet
          Bart Ehrman
          Paula Fredriksen
          Gerd Lüdemann
          John P. Meier
          E. P. Sanders

          Jesus the Savior
          Luke Timothy Johnson
          Robert H. Stein
          N. T. Wright

          The studies of these NT scholars are also reviewed on the referenced web site. Peruse them well especially those studies that are well researched.

          December 27, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
      • Reality # 2

        20. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html

        December 25, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
        • Kev

          Nothing speaks facts like historical and theological THEORIES.

          December 25, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
        • Reality # 2

          And the weirdest theory is that Jesus was the product of the intercourse of an spirit god and a human. Might want look at the references to get more plausible scenarios.

          Added details:

          So after thorough analyses of the NT Christmas passages, what are a few of the conclusions of some of the top contemporary NT scholars?

          Matt 1:18-25: From Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 123-124, "The fathering of Jesus from the Holy Spirit and his birth from the virgin Mary are unhistorical". Ludemann gives a very detailed analysis to support his conclusions. One part being the lack of attestations to these events and the late time strata of said story.

          "Lüdemann [Jesus], (pp. 261-63) discounts Luke's account as a legend deriving from Jewish Hellenistic circles that were concerned to hold together the procreation of the Spirit, the authentic sonship of the Messiah and the virginal conception. "

          Then there are these additional conclusions:

          Bruce Chilton

          "In [Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography] (2000), Chilton develops the idea of Jesus as a mamzer; someone whose irregular birth circu-mstances result in their exclusion from full participation in the life of the community. He argues for the natural pa-ternity of Joseph and finds no need for a miraculous conception. In his subsequent reconstruction of Jesus' life, Chilton suggests that this sustained personal experience of exclusion played a major role in Jesus' self-ident-ity, his concept of God and his spiritual quest.

          John Dominic Crossan

          "In [Historical Jesus] (p. 371) Crossan treats this cluster, like 007 Of Davids Lineage, as an example of the interplay of prophecy and history in the development of the Jesus traditions.

          "In [Birth of Christianity] (pp. 26-29) Crossan uses Luke's account of Jesus' conception and birth to explore ethical issues concerning the public interpretation of the past. He notes the tendency of Christian scholars to disregard "pagan" birth legends while investing great effort in the defence of biblical birth narratives. He concludes:

          I do not accept the divine conception of either Jesus or Augustus as factual history, but I believe that God is incarnate in the Jewish peasant poverty of Jesus and not in the Roman imperial power of Augustus. "

          "The following ancient parallels to Jesus' miraculous conception should be noted:

          Birth of Moses (Exod 2:1-10)
          Birth of Plato (Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, 3.45) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 507]
          Birth of Alexander the Great (Plutarch, Parallel Lives, 2.1-3.5) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 502f]
          Birth of Apollonius (Philostratus, Life of Apollonius, I.4) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 505]"

          And some final words from Thomas Jefferson, not a contemporary NT scholar, but indeed a very learned man:

          "And the day will come,
          when the mystical generation of Jesus,
          by the Supreme Being as His Father,
          in the womb of a virgin,
          will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva
          in the brain of Jupiter.

          - Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
          Letter to John Adams, from Monticello, April 11, 1823.

          December 26, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
        • Kev

          Once again, nothing speaks facts like historical and theological THEORIES

          December 27, 2013 at 1:34 am |
        • Reality # 2

          A sampling as presented at http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

          :Jesus the Myth: Heavenly Christ
          Earl Doherty
          Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy

          Jesus the Myth: Man of the Indefinite Past
          Alvar Ellegård
          G. A. Wells

          Jesus the Hellenistic Hero
          Gregory Riley

          Jesus the Revolutionary
          Robert Eisenman

          Jesus the Wisdom Sage
          John Dominic Crossan
          Robert Funk
          Burton Mack
          Stephen J. Patterson

          Jesus the Man of the Spirit
          Marcus Borg
          Stevan Davies
          Geza Vermes

          Jesus the Prophet of Social Change
          Richard Horsley
          Hyam Maccoby
          Gerd Theissen

          Jesus the Apocalyptic Prophet
          Bart Ehrman
          Paula Fredriksen
          Gerd Lüdemann
          John P. Meier
          E. P. Sanders

          Jesus the Savior
          Luke Timothy Johnson
          Robert H. Stein
          N. T. Wright

          The studies of these NT scholars are also reviewed on the referenced web site. Peruse them well especially those studies that are well researched.
          +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

          December 27, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • RB

      Amen Kev & Merry Christmas.

      December 25, 2013 at 12:52 am |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Have a lovely Christmas, Robert. Your family and friends as well.

        December 25, 2013 at 1:00 am |
        • RB

          Thanks Tom, I hope you & yours have great Christmas too. Santas work is done. It will be very entertaining in the morning.

          December 25, 2013 at 1:23 am |
  6. Realist

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
    --------------
    ...................................................

    Christianity is built upon a LIE ...

    ................ because ....................

    ..... http://www.GodIsImaginary.com ...

    ... and thank goodness because he ...

    ............. emanates from the .............

    ...................... http://www.EvilBible.com

    -----------------
    .............................................................

    December 24, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
    • Al

      .......
      ...
      ....www.merrychristmastoyou.com
      ........
      ..........www.andahappynewyeartoall!.com......
      ....
      ...
      ______________

      December 24, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
  7. Vic

    Point of order:

    I noticed recurring criticism of Rachel's apology. I believe Rachel is being apologetic for "all parties," Christian and non-Christians for the irreconcilable differences.

    December 24, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • lol??

      Who is she apologizing to?? Does she think she is another mediator for the Mediator?? Sounds like RCC doctrines.

      December 25, 2013 at 1:00 am |
  8. Mike F

    To be honest, I find these apologies on behalf of other Christians tiresome. Who are you to apologize for things that people do and who have no desire to apologize for what they do? Its like saying " Sorry for what my crazy relative of here says, they aren't thinking straight and they don't really know any better or whatever." Sorry, it just makes you look like a pious and self-righteous snob and comes off looking like you are overly concerned with how people perceive you.

    December 24, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • Mike

      There seems to be a lot of tolerance in the world these days, with the exception of any Christian who holds what is considered to be traditional values. I agree, Rachel's Christian apologist shtick is getting tiresome.

      December 24, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
      • Observer

        Mike,

        Christians of "traditional values" frequently have no tolerance for gays and pro-choice supporters.

        December 25, 2013 at 12:07 am |
        • lol??

          Not a fan of Death, the last enemy.

          December 25, 2013 at 12:55 am |
      • Mike F

        Well, I am not a Christian anymore, I am an atheist so I certainly don't hold to traditional Christian values any longer. But when I was a Christian I was always frustrated with people like Evans and Claiborne always apologizing for other Christians, who do these people think they are? What gives them that right, its condescension wrapped up in piety, which is ironic for progressive Christians who claim to see through the faux piety of their fellow conservative religionists. And I don't think any differently as an atheist.

        December 25, 2013 at 12:26 am |
        • Mike F

          And on that cheerful note, Merry Christmas!

          December 25, 2013 at 12:30 am |
        • You can't stop Stepford

          I like your original comment

          December 25, 2013 at 5:33 am |
  9. Alex

    Denis Diderot summed it up nicely when he said, and I paraphrase, "Humanity will not be free until the last king is hung with the entrails of the last priest."

    December 24, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
    • lol??

      A man's home is his castle. He's king and priest of it. "Give me liberty, or give me death" Choose the Spirit of liberty or the spirit of the age.

      December 25, 2013 at 12:27 am |
    • lol??

      So you're a fan of Empress Catherine II of Russia?? The Monroe Doctrine didn't do you any gud.

      December 25, 2013 at 12:38 am |
  10. benjaminharry

    MERRY CHRISTMAS

    December 24, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
    • Vic

      MERRY CHRISTMAS.

      December 24, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Merry Christmas to you, and please enjoy a safe holiday season.

      December 24, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • Al

      A politically-correct, perfectly non-offensive fair day to you, sir.

      December 24, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
  11. Merry Christmas to all Jews

    Non-Jews are idiots

    December 24, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
    • Austin

      Talmudic or sephardic? Ya gonna decipher between orthodox or zionists?

      December 24, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • Counterpoint

      Nothing worse than a self-loathing Jew trolling the BB on Christmas Eve.

      December 24, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
    • 1/2 is better than none right?

      Thank you for the Merry Christmas, even though in your eyes I'd be a half wit. Looking forward to you wishing the Hindus a happy Ramadan next year.

      December 25, 2013 at 5:41 am |
  12. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Jesus was a mensch, no question. Too bad he had to be the atoning sacrifice for a God that demands sacrifice. Better he should have lived a long life, done a speaking circuit, corresponded widely and left a great body of literature. Now we argue about whether he existed at all and whether he said anything of what he is said to have said.

    December 24, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
    • Austin

      You do know the Way and the Life, and you will know the rest if you trust in the one Savior.

      December 24, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
      • sam stone

        if you desire eternity with your savior, austin, what are you doing down here?

        don't you have tall buildings where you live?

        December 25, 2013 at 6:54 am |
        • CNN troll

          It's no use he's probably opening gifts with the kids right now.

          December 25, 2013 at 7:01 am |
    • RB

      It is a miracle that the word has flourished for 2000 years.

      December 24, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
      • Reality # 2

        I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
        preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
        named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
        girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

        Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
        the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

        He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
        a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
        Jerusalem.

        Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
        many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
        ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
        Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
        grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
        and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
        called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

        Amen
        (References used are available upon request.)

        December 25, 2013 at 12:22 am |
  13. Satan claus

    I'm stuck in a chimney, please help me out!!

    December 24, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
    • Austin

      Numerical home just for you dear. Enjoy.

      December 24, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
  14. The x'mas tree

    I feel very hot with so many lights all over me. I'm afraid I could get on fire.

    December 24, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
  15. bostontola

    God is omniscient and omnipotent, yet the Great Flood was an abject failure. All sinners were killed, Noah a righteous man was saved. Yet his progeny were sinners. Why kill everyone to punish sinners when they would just spring right back. An omniscient God would have known that. The whole exercise makes no sense. Although I do like rainbows.

    December 24, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      "For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
      neither are your ways my ways,”
      declares the Lord.

      Nowhere is it said that God is sane.

      December 24, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
      • Kev

        Just all knowing unlike us speculators.

        December 24, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
    • RB

      Genesis 6: 5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

      We aren't told what this wickedness & evil was but I can't help but think is was worse than we can imagine. Think of the worst human you have ever heard of and then imagine all the people were that bad or worse. I think this is what led to the flood. So, yes we are all still sinners, but we could be a shade better than what was described.

      December 24, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
      • Vic

        The said wickedness was blasphemy/disbelief.

        December 24, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
      • rationalMN

        Classic. To paraphrase your comment...
        "I don't know what it was, but I can imagine something and, therefore, will base my life and actions on this imagined reality. I can now also justify believing in a flood that never happened. I'll even expect others to imagine the same thing and draw the same conclusions and believe what I believe simply because I believe it, not based on any reasoned logic or evidence."
        And that, folks, is religion in a nutshell.
        Happy holidays.

        December 25, 2013 at 12:49 am |
    • Reality # 2

      Taking the Christian and Muslim god down a notch:

      o From Schillebeeckx, Church: The Human Story of God,
      Crossroad, 1993, p.91 (softcover)

      "Christians must give up a perverse, unhealthy and inhuman
      doctrine of predestination without in so doing making God the great scapegoat of history" .

      "Nothing is determined in advance: in nature there is chance and determinism; in the world of human
      activity there is possibility of free choices. Therefore the
      historical future is not known even to God; otherwise we
      and our history would be merely a puppet show in which
      God holds the strings.

      For God, too, history is an adventure,
      an open history for and of men and women."

      December 25, 2013 at 12:25 am |
      • lol??

        And sumpin' to be ahem, PROUD of.

        December 25, 2013 at 1:02 am |
  16. bostontola

    "The doctrine of the incarnation holds that the God of the universe, in his love for humanity, emptied himself of his power and became human, like us, in the form of Jesus."

    If he emptied his power, how did he reincarnate after crucifixion?
    If he wasn't totally empty of Godly power, then there was no risk.

    I don't get it.

    December 24, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
    • Kev

      Where did you get emptied his power from?

      December 24, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
      • bostontola

        I read the article.

        December 24, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
        • Kev

          True, I wonder where that notion came from?

          December 24, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
    • Justice

      It's obvious she's been associating with too many atheists. She stopped just short of apologizing for being a Christian before going into a ridiculous spill of incarnation.

      People who write for fame cover all their bases for the masses... sad. But, atleast she's got those seeds of hope. I hope they grow.

      Merry Christmas!

      December 24, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
      • Realist

        --------------
        ...................................................

        Christianity is built upon a LIE ...

        ................ because ....................

        ..... http://www.GodIsImaginary.com ...

        ... and thank goodness because he ...

        ............. emanates from the .............

        ...................... http://www.EvilBible.com

        -----------------
        .............................................................

        December 24, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
      • Counterpoint

        Yeah? She's been hanging out with atheists too much? Based on what? Your opinion?

        She sounds genuine. You do not.
        You reap what you sow. Bet your field is poison.

        December 24, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
    • Kev

      So suffering for sins was a good time?

      December 24, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • Vic

      I believe she is referring to God the Son, the Second Person of the Triune God.

      Here is a quick reference on the Doctrine Of Incarnation:
      http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_femhrxbNtS0/TOC1Ry6kCmI/AAAAAAAAIjc/OsR4ZHjm8zU/s1600/CHRISTMAS+CARDS+07.jpg

      December 24, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
      • Vic

        Ooops...sorry. I was browsing Christmas Cards!

        Here is the correct link:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarnation_%28Christianity%29

        December 24, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
    • Austin

      No he was all powerful. He humbled himself as a man yet fully remained God.

      December 24, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
      • Kev

        To do all of that on our behalf.

        December 24, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
  17. el flaco

    You can always spot the Christians because they are so hateful and unforgiving

    December 24, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • Uncommonview

      You need help spotting Christians? Why? Christians will tell you they're Christians upon meeting them. They will walk up, introduce themselves and say something like "I grew up in a Christian family. It's a very important part of my life." Complete strangers. It happens to me all the time. I just assume its something the church tells them to do.

      December 24, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
  18. tonycoza

    I know you speak for yourself, but why are you apologizing to those who would resist allowing mangers in the public square that represent the holiday that we are celebrating? How is that "your" fault, as a Christian? And I don't know where you are from, but I have NEVER heard anyone complain about a clerk saying "happy holidays" instead of "merry Christmas", but apparently you have. Again, I know nothing about you, but if your "Christianity" has afforded you a place of privilege, you may be confusing your "privilege" as a Christian with the fact that you may be of some other group of "minorities" that are afforded "special" treatment (i.e. gays, illegal aliens and their children, lesbians, blacks, etc.). I am a white Christian man, and have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, really. And just one more thing, before you apologize for making a clerk say "happy holidays" instead of "merry Christmas" please note that the clerk is actually giving you a modified spelling of the word HOLY DAYS. You poor ('cause your rich), elevated, coddled, white, Christian woman.

    December 24, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
  19. tony

    Sorry, posted this in teh wrong place earlier

    I'd like to apologize for CNN running a faith blog and not an educational blog.

    December 24, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • Austin

      All Children should be educated about the Savior of All the world.

      not doing so is criminal in God's High Court.

      December 24, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
      • sam stone

        you have no authority to speak for god, you delusional d-bag

        December 24, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • Arthur the Atheist

      I'm sorry as an atheist for coming to a faith blog instead of going to the science blog. I just have no idea what those scientists are talking about.

      December 24, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
      • Paul the Pal

        Atheists books at the book store are located in the religion section, not science section, by the way. I learned that the hard way. Turns out science has nothing to do with atheism.

        December 24, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
      • Half a christian

        You're a sorry troll you mean. Atheist is lack of faith. If you could read you could discover that your skyfairy theory is not supported by any science. I guess you were truthful when you said 'I just have no idea what those scientists are talking about.'

        December 24, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • lol??

      Now the socies commandeer feelings!! They stop at nuthin'. With no personal boundaries they can't possibly understand the concept of limited gubmint.

      December 24, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
      • lol??

        I like pepperoni pizza with box red commie wine.

        December 24, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.