In his latest book, (released in time for Christmas) Rex A E Hunt, a retired Uniting Church minister suggests the festival called Christmas is a celebration still “under construction”. He describes it as “a weaving of story, myth, customs and ritual, which since its inception has been debated, ignored, celebrated, banned and from the mid 1800s, reinvented”.
The early chapters of the book explore Christmas as experienced through the events of popular culture. In comparing the birth/nativity narratives Hunt draws on the work of Borg and Crossan and writings from other progressive contemporary biblical writers to tease out his stance.
In conclusion, Hunt asks: are we prepared to have our understandings challenged including how we see Jesus, rather than just be guardians of the traditions we have always followed?
While Hunt’s book will add to the progressive Christian literature, more importantly it will contribute to a greater understanding of the festive season for everyone who reads it and seeks to explore, question and rethink the meaning of Christmas today.