Thursday, November 18, 2010

Advent Conspiracy

I first heard about this a few years ago from on an on-line video (this one, I think), so when I saw the book Advent Conspiracy by Rick McKinley, Chris Seay, and Greg Holder, I figured I should check it out. I knew the gist of the book already: change the way you celebrate Christmas.

And in many ways, the book delivers on that premise. They point out that we don't spend any amount of real time in the true story of Christmas. Oh, we're aware of it. And yes, we do spend time in church leading up to Christmas. But the sad thing is, the miracle of the Christ child's birth doesn't impact the way we celebrate Christmas. Worship is just an extra hour we take out of our busy schedule, one dominated with giving gifts that nobody really needs or wants. The challenge of the Conspiracy is to stop buying into the consumerism mentality of a secular Christmas and return to the simple joy of living in the incarnational love of God.

It's a good message and a good challenge, to stop buying so much stuff and instead using that money to change the world for the better (the authors' chosen charity is Living Water International, an organization that seeks to bring safe drinking water to people around the world). The problem is, the book itself is a bit light. It's not that thick in terms of pages to begin with, and over half the book is a small group discussion guide for a DVD Bible study series (the DVD for which did not come with the book).

Basically it boils down to a quick read that lays a good challenge on its readers, but it could have maybe been developed a little bit more. But it's certainly given me something to think about for this Christmas and beyond.

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