George Weigel on books for Christmas:
The most intellectually exciting book I read this past year was Richard Bauckham’sJesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony (Eerdmans). Unfolding his research like a detective story and deploying the most contemporary scholarship on what actually counted as “history” in the ancient world, Professor Bauckham makes a powerful case that the gospels may in fact put us in touch with those who knew the Lord, and certainly put us in touch with those who knew those who knew the Lord. Give it to any priest or deacon you know who preaches out of the “that didn’t really happen”/historical-critical playbook; but get yourself a copy, too.
Also today, Samuel J. Aquila on cultural despondency and cultural motherhood:
Today the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. On Saturday, we celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and in just two short weeks we will celebrate the Feast of the Incarnation: Christmas. The Immaculate Conception, the Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe, and even Christmas are particularly maternal feasts. They recognize the key role that women—especially Mary—have played in the history of Christianity. And they recognize the degree to which the Church reveres the feminine genius, and the genius of motherhood.