It’s just that I was recently sent Sinclair Ferguson’s book Child in The Manger: The True Meaning of Christmas, and enjoyed it so much that I couldn’t keep back my commendation until next December. So here are five reasons to read it now.
1. It’s timeless. Although it has Christmas in its title, it’s also a book for January to November. Why limit study of Christ’s enfleshment to December?
2. It’s educational. As we mature in the faith, it gets harder to find books that will teach us new things, that will give us fresh insights. No matter how mature you are as a Christian or how many Christmas sermons you’ve heard, you will learn new and fascinating truth about your Savior. I gained at least ten “new” insights into Scripture and was fascinated by the parabolic diagrams Sinclair used to outline incarnational passages.
2. It’s conversational. Over the years, Sinclair has perfected the gift of conversational theology. Instead of just spitting out facts or dumping data, you feel he is sitting in an armchair just casually chatting with you over an open Bible. I know of no writer whose writing voice so closely matches his speaking voice.
3. It’s personal. I was recently advised to include more of myself in my writing as people want to know the writer as well as what he’s writing about. Sinclair has mastered this art, including enough of his biography to illustrate his teaching but not too much as to obscure the person of Christ.
4. It’s relevant. Throughout, Sinclair is interacting with cultural problems and modern falsehoods, skillfully using Scripture to expose the fault lines in our society and its thinking, but also to show the Scriptural remedy for so much of the pain that afflicts so many lives.
5. It’s doxological. Well-known hymns and Christian poems pepper the book helping the reader not just to fill his mind but to lift up his heart. Innumerable pithy turns of phrase live long in the mind and heart. Above all, the person of Christ comes alive in multiple warm pages of devotional writing.
Child in The Manger: The True Meaning of Christmas by Sinclair Ferguson.