I came across an idea yesterday which may not be new to some of my readers but was certainly new to me. What if, rather than trying to convince people of the high and deep theology of the Bible, we simply issued a challenge based on the minimum a text could mean?
So the birth narratives, rather than being a challenge to accept a seemingly unlikely historicity, become an invitation to consider how important people must have thought Jesus to have been to tell these stories (true or not) about his birth?
What do you think is important about Jesus, bottom line? Think of the sort of answers you could write on the back of a postage stamp.
The quote that got me thinking?
If, in short, we assume the words of Christ to have meant the very least that they could mean. His words must at the very least mean this - that rich men are not very likely to be morally trustworthy. Christianity even when watered down is hot enough to boil all modern society to rags.
(G. K. Chesterton, quoted in the Guardian Weekend, Saturday 20th December)