Advent, Christmas, and the Miraculous, Part 1

David F. Watson

This is the first of a few posts (I hope) on Advent, Christmas, and the miraculous. To get at the these topics, though, I have to lay down a basic framework for discussion. So… if you can make your way through this geeky first post, you might find it helpful in thinking about the miracles we affirm in the Christmas story.


This semester I read through Charles Taylor’s massive opus, A Secular Age (Belknap, 2007). In this work, Taylor spends nearly 800 pages tracing Western intellectual history over the last 500 years. He describes his task in this way: “[T]he change I want to define and trace is one which takes us from a society in which it was virtually impossible not to believe in God, to one in which faith, even for the staunchest believer, is one human possibility among others” (3). This statement defines the notion of secularism…

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