Away in a Manger: Aberrant? Does it really matter?

I saw this article at Christianity Today and felt drawn to respond.

Look, as the orthodoxy police in my own family and “the guy most likely to become incensed when Joel Osteen opens his mouth,” I like to think I have the whole “contend for the faith once and for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3) covered.  I think the fact that this topic actually came up in a serious discussion may actually be a sign that there is someone more fickle and cantankerous than me.

I can’t tell you how many times I have silently chuckled at the idea of a human baby in a feed trough in the cold that would be totally silent when I sing the line “no crying He makes.”  I get it.  I have four kids.  Trust me, I know they don’t master the ability to be silent until they are in their twenties.  However, this song has never made me question my belief (well, since a human baby cries, and Jesus didn’t, is this made up?), nor has it caused me to become a docetist (Heretics who believe that Jesus had no human nature, only divine).  If anything, it has caused me to reflect on how I would feel if my son were going to do the things that had been prophesied of this child (honored beyond imagination and scared stupid at screwing up while parenting this child come to mind).

I am all for accuracy.  I am all for orthodoxy.  But come on!  If we spent the same energy talking to a skeptic that has been spent on this discussion, maybe someone else would be singing “Away in a Manger” with us this Christmas.


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