Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the 2021 Birth outlet sale of Christ outlet sale

Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the 2021 Birth outlet sale of Christ outlet sale

Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the 2021 Birth outlet sale of Christ outlet sale

Description

Product Description

From pastor and New York Times bestselling author Timothy Keller comes the perfect gift for the Christmas holiday—a profoundly moving and intellectually provocative examination of the nativity story

Even people who are not practicing Christians think they are familiar with the story of the nativity. Every Christmas displays of Baby Jesus resting in a manger decorate lawns and churchyards, and songs about shepherds and angels fill the air. Yet despite the abundance of these Christian references in popular culture, how many of us have examined the hard edges of this biblical story?

In his new book Timothy Keller takes readers on an illuminating journey into the surprising background of the nativity. By understanding the message of hope and salvation within the Bible’s account of Jesus’ birth, readers will experience the redeeming power of God’s grace in a deeper and more meaningful way.

Review

“[A] great gift book . . . Keller achieves his pastoral goal of teaching Christmas’ most important message—‘God alone has the life, truth, and joy that we lack and cannot generate ourselves’—and in doing so, provides solace for those who seek it.”
—Publishers Weekly

Praise for Timothy Keller and his other books:


“Superb . . . we should be grateful to Keller for his wisdom, scholarship, and humility.” 
—The Gospel Coalition

“Tim Keller’s ministry in New York City is leading a generation of seekers and skeptics toward belief in God. I thank God for him.” 
—Billy Graham

“Unlike most suburban megachurches, much of Redeemer is remarkably traditional. What is not traditional is Dr. Keller’s skill in speaking the language of his urbane audience. . . . Observing Dr. Keller’s professorial pose on stage, it is easy to understand his appeal.” 
The New York Times

“Fifty years from now, if evangelical Christians are widely known for their love of cities, their commitment to mercy and justice, and their love of their neighbors, Tim Keller will be remembered as a pioneer of the new urban Christians.” 
Christianity Today 

About the Author

Timothy Keller was born and raised in Pennsylvania and educated at Bucknell University, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Westminster Theological Seminary. His first pastorate was in Hopewell, Virginia. In 1989 he started Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City with his wife, Kathy, and their three sons. Today, Redeemer has nearly six thousand regular Sunday attendees and has helped to start more than three hundred new churches around the world. He is the author of Making Sense of  God, The Songs of Jesus, Preaching, Prayer, as well as The Meaning of Marriage, The Prodigal God, and The Reason for God, among others.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Christmas is the only Christian holy day that is also a major secular holiday—arguably our culture’s biggest. The result is two different celebrations, each observed by millions of people at the very same time. This brings some discomfort on both sides. Many Christians can’t help but notice that more and more of the public festivities surrounding Christmas studiously avoid any references to its Christian origins. The background music in stores is moving from “Joy to the World” to “Have A Holly, Jolly Christmas.” The holiday is promoted as a time for family, for giving, and for peace in the world. “Christmas is a wonderful, secular holiday,” wrote one enthusiast at the popular Web site Gawker.

On the other hand, nonreligious people can’t help but find that the older meaning of Christmas keeps intruding uninvited, for instance, through the music of traditional Christmas carols. It can be irritating to have to answer their child’s question, “What does that music mean—‘born to give them second birth’?”

As a Christian believer, I am glad to share the virtues of the day with the entirety of society. The secular Christmas is a festival of lights, a time for family gatherings, and a season to generously give to those closest to us and to those in greatest need. These practices are enriching to everyone, and they are genuinely congruent with the Christian origins of the celebration.

Because of the commercial indispensability of Christmas, it will remain with us as a secular festival. My fear is, however, that its true roots will become more and more hidden to most of the population. The emphasis on light in darkness comes from the Christian belief that the world’s hope comes from outside of it. The giving of gifts is a natural response to Jesus’ stupendous act of self-​giving, when he laid aside his glory and was born into the human race. The concern for the needy recalls that the Son of God was born not into an aristocratic family but into a poor one. The Lord of the universe identified with the least and the most excluded of the human race.

These are powerful themes, but every one of them is a two-edged sword. Jesus comes as the Light because we are too spiritually blind to find our own way. Jesus became mortal and died because we are too morally ruined to be pardoned any other way. Jesus gave himself to us, and so we must give ourselves wholly to him. We are, therefore, “not [our] own” (1 Corinthians 6:19). Christmas, like God himself, is both more wondrous and more threatening than we imagine.

Every year our increasingly secular Western society becomes more unaware of its own historical roots, many of which are the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Yet once a year at Christmas these basics truths become a bit more accessible to an enormous audience. At countless gatherings, concerts, parties, and other events, even when most participants are nonreligious, the essentials of the faith can sometimes become visible. As an example, let’s ask some questions of the famous Christmas carol “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” heard in malls, in grocery stores, and on street corners. Who is Jesus? He is “everlasting Lord,” who from “highest heaven” comes down to be the “offspring of the virgin’s womb.” What did he come to do? His mission is to see “God and sinners reconciled.” How did he accomplish it? He “lays his glory by,” that we “no more may die." How can this life be ours? Through an inward, spiritual regeneration so radical that, as we have seen, it can be called “the second birth.” With brilliant economy of style, the carol gives us a summary of the entire Christian teaching.

While few of the most familiar Christmas songs and Bible readings are that comprehensive, it remains that one season a year hundreds of millions of people, if they would take the trouble to ask these kinds of questions, would have this same knowledge available to them. To understand Christmas is to understand basic Christianity, the Gospel.

In this book I hope to make the truths of Christmas less hidden. We will look at some passages of the Bible that are famous because they are dusted off every Christmas, at the one moment of the year when our secular society and the Christian church are, to a degree, thinking about the same thing. In the first chapters of the book, looking at the Gospel of Matthew, we will learn about the gifts God gave us at Christmas. In the following chapters, focusing on the Gospel of Luke, we will consider how we can welcome and receive those gifts.

My hope is that, when the reader is done, the true meaning of Christmas will no longer be hidden.

Product information

Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Videos

Help others learn more about this product by uploading a video!
Upload video
Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Customers who bought this item also bought

Customer reviews

4.8 out of 54.8 out of 5
1,014 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

C. H. Cobb
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The Gospel wrapped in the Christmas Story
Reviewed in the United States on October 26, 2016
Two things impressed me most about this book: the warmth and engaging call of the gospel in every chapter, and Keller’s skillful way of handling complex theological topics with wonderful precision. Keller’s treatment of the favorite Christmas passages is complete with God’s... See more
Two things impressed me most about this book: the warmth and engaging call of the gospel in every chapter, and Keller’s skillful way of handling complex theological topics with wonderful precision. Keller’s treatment of the favorite Christmas passages is complete with God’s sovereign grace, man’s corruption and sin, the need to respond in faith, the fact that faith is something only God gives, the Lordship that salvation demands, and on and on. I’ve never seen it put so humbly, so gently, so clearly, so accurately, so concisely. But the average reader won’t even know he’s reading a theological tour de force—it’s just the Christmas story, well told, suffused with the gospel. Keller writes like a modern-day C. S. Lewis, wrapping profound theology in the language of Everyman. There is no jargon in this book.

Keller manages to get beyond the matters that divide in our current social scene and strikes right to the heart of our brokenness and sin. You can hand Hidden Christmas to the most radical leftist, or to a Constitutional conservative, and neither will be offended by anything but the presentation of the cross itself.

I’ve read a few, not all, of Keller’s books. This is the best so far, which is saying a lot since the others have been so good. In Hidden Christmas the author takes the Christmas texts from Matthew and Luke and carefully unfolds their meanings. A Liberty and Westminster grad, I’ve been preaching and teaching since 1978, and in every chapter Keller is writing about things I’ve never noticed in these passages of Scripture, and they are powerful and profound!

Hidden Christmas is the gospel presentation you’ve been waiting for. Get a copy, enjoy it yourself, and then pass it on to a loved one.
155 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Jack Kruse
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Kruse''s Key: Read "Hidden Christmas" to Understand the True Gravity of Christmas
Reviewed in the United States on January 7, 2018
Tim Keller stepped down as the senior pastor at the reknowned Redeemer Church in NYC in early 2017--the church he built into 5000 strong members in one of the most unchurched areas of the United States. Along the way, he’s published an array of books (one of them, Prodigal... See more
Tim Keller stepped down as the senior pastor at the reknowned Redeemer Church in NYC in early 2017--the church he built into 5000 strong members in one of the most unchurched areas of the United States. Along the way, he’s published an array of books (one of them, Prodigal God, is on my yearly re-reading list) and Hidden Christmas falls in among them.

Hidden Christmas is the product of a lifetime of Keller’s Christmas sermons. This amalgamation covers the breadth of the Christmas story beginning with its roots in the Old Testament, as the Israelites yearned for the freeing savior King promised to them. Whether a believer (in Jesus) or not, a reader will find much of interest in this short read. And I think that’s really the strength of this book: Keller covers so much that there’s bound to be something in it that will give you pause to consider what Jesus’ birth in a manager means.

Personally, I finished Hidden Christmas with a newfound understanding for just how significant it was that God became man (i.e., the incarnation). The Old Testament contains volumes on the just how carefully the people of Israel had to approach even the presence of God in their temple. There are literally pages and pages, in fact, that detail the cloth, the spacing, the colors, the time of day, the season, the sacrifices, the materials, all the prerequisites just for the Israelite priests to commune with God and atone for their people’s sins.

Then God (i.e., Jesus) becomes a baby in a manager. Now all that has to happen for the people of Israel to approach God is to merely COME. Come and adore him...in a manager, as a defenseless baby. That’s changes--that changed everything. We take the ability to talk to, to pray to, to approach God ourselves for granted today and the Christmas story should remind us of how incredible this is.

Key Takeaways:
God has experienced the depth of humanity: despair, death, pain and suffering. He has come alongside us.
We have more info today than Mary did because we know the Gospel story. But her faith was amazing because she accepted her role without knowing the scope and breadth of what her son Jesus would do. She didn’t know then that he would die on a cross, be raised again and save humanity. How much more then should we have faith in His promises.
God/Jesus became man, God laid aside his glory for vulnerability instead. Think to the Old Testament passages and all the precautions Israelites had to take just to approach God in the temple...then boom, Jesus comes and he’s lying there in a manager for all to see (48-9)
The Old Testament lineage and parallels are fairly significant and all point to Jesus’ coming. It’s worthwhile to read this section of the book for how concisely Keller lays it all out (76).

Key Quotes:
“Such in outline, but even more purposeless, more void of meaning, is the world which science presents for our belief... That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the débris of a universe in ruins—all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.” (9)
“Christmas shows [God] knows what you’re going through.” (14)
“Christmas is not “Once upon a time story that happened that shows us how we should live better lives.” No! He broke into the world to save us. Christ the savior is born!” (39)
“Two questions for professing Christians: “First are you willing to obey anything the Bible clearly says to do, whether you like it or not? Second, are you willing to trust God in anything he sends into your life, whether you understand it or not.” (91).
“The [Bible’s] lesson is that the medium is not the message, that we must not ignore uncomfortable truths just because they come through an unimpressive messenger.” (104)
“Thy word is like a deep, deep mine;//and jewels rich are rare//are hidden in its mighty depths//for every searcher there.” (107)
“The manger at Christmas means that, if you live like Jesus, there won’t be room for you in a lot of inns.” (119)
52 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
SmileCo
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Classic Keller Packaged in Fresh Look at Christmas
Reviewed in the United States on November 3, 2016
Quick Tip: If you have read many of Keller''s previous books, you aren''t likely to find any ideas here that are new or novel. What you will find is classic Keller thoughtfulness and apologetically minded application applied to the Christmas story. If you haven''t read much... See more
Quick Tip: If you have read many of Keller''s previous books, you aren''t likely to find any ideas here that are new or novel. What you will find is classic Keller thoughtfulness and apologetically minded application applied to the Christmas story. If you haven''t read much Keller before, you might as well start here. This isn''t his best book in my opinion - but it is a solid addition to his ever-growing body of work.

Detailed Description: I am a real Tim Keller fan. His books have been revolutionary for my ability to articulate difficult matters about the Christian faith. Like other brilliant writers, he is able to take complex theological and philosophical tensions and state them with clarity and simplicity. As a result, I am eager to read anything he publishes. So, I was quick to purchase Hidden Christmas when it was released.

I wasn''t disappointed. In Hidden Christmas, Keller looks at the traditional Christmas texts - texts that honestly can get "old" when you think you''ve heard them a thousand times. But Keller has a way of putting a new light on old texts so that you see them with fresh eyes. That was exactly what I was hoping for - and I walked away with renewed excitement about the Christmas story. My favorite chapter was called The Mothers of Jesus, a chapter that looked at the women mentioned in Matthew''s genealogy of Jesus. It is both shocking and deeply encouraging that women were mentioned at all when you understand the cultural setting of the original writings, and then to see that Jesus'' resume included outcasts, social rejects, and people of low repute... it renews your appreciation for grace and gratitude for a humble God.

In the end, Keller clearly wants to once again make you amazed and grace and filled with gratitude in response to such a generous God. And, as usual, he hits his mark.

There are eight chapters in the book and it is an easy and enjoyable read. The whole book can be read 2-3 hours. It is, as everything Keller writes, encouraging to those who are already followers of Jesus and engaging for those who are not. So, it could make a great Christmas present for either your pastor or your unbelieving neighbor.
45 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Holly
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
One of the best books ever about Christmas as a religious holiday
Reviewed in the United States on January 21, 2018
My small-group bible study selected this book for our most recent book and, as with previous Tim Keller books, I loved it. Tim Keller is a master teacher. He takes the bible, helps the reader understand what passages mean (particularly in their historical... See more
My small-group bible study selected this book for our most recent book and, as with previous Tim Keller books, I loved it.

Tim Keller is a master teacher. He takes the bible, helps the reader understand what passages mean (particularly in their historical context), the backs up what he states with supporting documentation (either bible passages or an explanation of how certain words lost their original meaning in the various translations over the years). This book is deceptively simple and short, coming in at 149 pages. The eight chapters are also short, but dense and with lots of meat. He doesn''t waste a lot of time with flowery language but packs this book with biblical teaching about the meaning of Christmas. The reader is best served by taking it a chapter at a time and slowly digesting each one rather than racing through the book.

Love his teachings and this book is no exception.
7 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Lauren
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great reminder of the reason for the season :)
Reviewed in the United States on December 11, 2020
I absolutely LOVE this book!! And I''m not even done yet. Timothy Keller is an inspiration as always. During the Christmas season, it is so easy to lose track of what we''re truly celebrating. The reason I love this book so much is because it reminds us WHY Jesus came. Every... See more
I absolutely LOVE this book!! And I''m not even done yet. Timothy Keller is an inspiration as always. During the Christmas season, it is so easy to lose track of what we''re truly celebrating. The reason I love this book so much is because it reminds us WHY Jesus came. Every chapter ties in to the sacrifice of Jesus because that is the true reason why he came to the earth. Because I grew up in the Church and attended Christian schools, this book hasn''t had any new information for me, but that in no way diminishes it''s significance to me. It is a wonderful reminder and presented in a new and powerful way. It has really helped me keep my focus during this season and I am truly thankful to have found it.
Helpful
Report
Stutteringhand
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS
Reviewed in the United States on January 9, 2021
You can count on Timothy Keller to give us another fabulous read. You may think that this is just something to read around Christmas time. But this is a book that can be read year around. Keller uses the Christmas story as a platform to describe many aspects of a life in... See more
You can count on Timothy Keller to give us another fabulous read. You may think that this is just something to read around Christmas time. But this is a book that can be read year around. Keller uses the Christmas story as a platform to describe many aspects of a life in Jesus. I''d recomend this book to Christians and non-Christians...a great read.
One person found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Own It
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
If you want a blessed and merry Christmas read this Excellent book. I loved it.
Reviewed in the United States on January 16, 2020
I''m adding this to my annual Christmas reading list along with "A Christmas Carol" and "A Child''s Christmas in Wales." Truly and beautifully explains the meaning of the birth of our Lord Jesus. Timothy Keller will help you rediscover the joy of Christmas you may have... See more
I''m adding this to my annual Christmas reading list along with "A Christmas Carol" and "A Child''s Christmas in Wales." Truly and beautifully explains the meaning of the birth of our Lord Jesus. Timothy Keller will help you rediscover the joy of Christmas you may have thought was lost. Next year I''m giving a copy to each household of my extended family... you''ll want to share this with everyone you love.
Helpful
Report
Gail
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Clear Gospel Message
Reviewed in the United States on November 7, 2017
Tim Keller is one of my favorite pastors, as he conveys the gospel in an insightful and loving way. He is honest - most people will not embrace Christ, and we Christians should not expect approval from the world. Christmas provides the means and message of eternity with God... See more
Tim Keller is one of my favorite pastors, as he conveys the gospel in an insightful and loving way. He is honest - most people will not embrace Christ, and we Christians should not expect approval from the world. Christmas provides the means and message of eternity with God - it is much more than a holiday. We plan to buy this book for many people on our list this year and send it in lieu of a Christmas card!
4 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report

Top reviews from other countries

Dave
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 11, 2017
Excellent. Go and buy Shortish chapters, not difficult to understand and follow. I first read a friends copy and then decided that I must have one of my own.
9 people found this helpful
Report
Olive Blake
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A really worthwhile read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 20, 2019
Keller is easy to read and has some really interesting takes on how we generally think about Christmas. Important, helpful message! Christmas revisited in a powerful manner. Thanks!
4 people found this helpful
Report
MR STEVEN A GREENOW
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Superb Christmas Reading
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 3, 2018
This book is simply brilliant! A great read over Christmas, but ultimately a book that could be read any time of year to give an insight into why Jesus came and how this applies to our lives. It''s well written, easy to read and full of great application!
5 people found this helpful
Report
Jane Grey
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
a wonderful book!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 25, 2020
If you doubt Christianity, read this challenging remarkable book!
3 people found this helpful
Report
Big Dog
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A memorable Christmas
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 11, 2018
Having enjoyed the story of Christmas over more than 60 years, this book has brought to life in a new way the familiar readings and carols of the season. A life enriching read and a Christmas gift that will live long beyond the holidays.
4 people found this helpful
Report
See all reviews
Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Customers who viewed this item also viewed

Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?

Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Pages with related products.

  • artisan books
  • bethlehem books

Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the 2021 Birth outlet sale of Christ outlet sale

Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the 2021 Birth outlet sale of Christ outlet sale

Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the 2021 Birth outlet sale of Christ outlet sale

Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the 2021 Birth outlet sale of Christ outlet sale

Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the 2021 Birth outlet sale of Christ outlet sale

Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the 2021 Birth outlet sale of Christ outlet sale

Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the 2021 Birth outlet sale of Christ outlet sale

Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the 2021 Birth outlet sale of Christ outlet sale

Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the 2021 Birth outlet sale of Christ outlet sale

Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the 2021 Birth outlet sale of Christ outlet sale

Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the 2021 Birth outlet sale of Christ outlet sale

Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the 2021 Birth outlet sale of Christ outlet sale

Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the 2021 Birth outlet sale of Christ outlet sale

Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the 2021 Birth outlet sale of Christ outlet sale

Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the 2021 Birth outlet sale of Christ outlet sale

Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the 2021 Birth outlet sale of Christ outlet sale

Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the 2021 Birth outlet sale of Christ outlet sale

Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the 2021 Birth outlet sale of Christ outlet sale

Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the 2021 Birth outlet sale of Christ outlet sale

Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the 2021 Birth outlet sale of Christ outlet sale

Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the 2021 Birth outlet sale of Christ outlet sale

Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the 2021 Birth outlet sale of Christ outlet sale