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Blog // Thoughts
November 28, 2006

Why Blog Christmas Films During Advent?

This week I received a very erudite email questioning my upcoming Advent Christmas Film Blogging idea. Why am I choosing to blog Christmas films during the season of Advent? Shouldn’t I be blogging on films that deal with Advent themes instead? Very good questions! Maybe I’ll do that next year. Outside the few cultural contexts […]

This week I received a very erudite email questioning my upcoming Advent Christmas Film Blogging idea. Why am I choosing to blog Christmas films during the season of Advent? Shouldn’t I be blogging on films that deal with Advent themes instead?

Very good questions! Maybe I’ll do that next year.

Outside the few cultural contexts where the church’s liturgical calendar is still influential, Advent really doesn’t exist as a separate season any more. Even within the church, especially the low church, Advent is seldom celebrated except for maybe the lighting of candles as some nod to tradition. I never heard the specifics of Advent mentioned in a church service until AFTER I had finished theological college.

Advent has been cannibalised by Christmas, especially the commercial side of Christmas which seems to start earlier and earlier each year – currently early November.

However, I do believe the church should reclaim the season of Advent, both as a response to the rampant consumerism of contemporary Christmas as well as for its own educational ends. IT worries me that there is so much cynicism towards Christmas in the progressive and creative end of the church. Viewed historically, Advent represents a vast store of teaching and reflection upon core theological and missiological concerns. Being countercultural and simply disavowing the voracious consumerism of Christmas will only ever get us so far to recovering its true meaning. The archeological and experimental task of mining the tradition of Advent will do a lot more us as we seek to reinvest Christmas with theological significance.

But the present reality, the outside the walls of the church reality, is that Christmas trumps Advent in the cultural imagination. Therefore, if we want to do the task of Cultural Theology in an engaging way, we need to work backwards from Christmas to Advent, creating a new sense of the two seasons – breaking them apart in fresh ways. That’s why I’m blogging about Christmas films during Advent.

[tags] Christmas, AFBCT [/tags]

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