“Brief and Engaging Evangelistic Booklet”
This brief evangelistic booklet is for people who aren't very familiar with the biblical Christmas story, and just have a cultural concept of it. Carl Laferton explains that there's a lot that doesn't show up in children's Christmas pageants, and he highlights elements that people typically gloss over. He shares parts of the story from the Bible in bold text, with his own commentary and clarifications in regular font. Each short chapter focuses on a different person from the Nativity story, and the final chapter explores the life of Jesus, contextualizing his birth at Christmas with his later life, death, and resurrection. At the end, the author also briefly addresses common questions that people ask about the credibility of the gospel accounts and the claim that Jesus rose from the dead.
This is an engaging, fast read. I enjoyed Laferton's writing style, and I laughed out loud at many of the real-life Christmas pageant anecdotes that he shared as chapter-openers. I read some of these to a family member when they were passing by, and they also laughed. Now I feel inspired to dig out the Christmas pageant mishap story that I wrote and illustrated in fifth grade, starring my stuffed animals. That definitely wasn't the author's intent here, but it's a nice byproduct, and I'm sure that other people will also appreciate Laferton's funny anecdotes, especially if they're reading this at a Christian friend's behest.
"Christmas Uncut" will appeal to people who are looking for a short introduction to what really happened when Jesus was born, what it means, and why it matters to us today. Whether someone is seeking resources about the Christian faith, wants to better understand what others believe, or is reading this because a friend begged them to, this is a great book that explains key details about Christianity in a concise, witty, and engaging way.
Note: I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.