Dear Folks -
In the "life talk" I gave this week in Ordinary Life, I dealt with the need to think and live outside the box in both our religious and spiritual lives. I used the birth stories of Jesus as an example of doing this.
The two birth story we have are very different from each other and we must get "outside the box" to hear them correctly. Most approaches to these stories consider them as either factually true or as fables. There is a third approach and that is the one I suggest taking.
Because of the Enlightenment, people have confused truth with factuality. They are not the same. We suffer from "fact fundamentalism."
This talk is about what kind of literature these stories are and what do they mean. I contend, along with most contemporary biblical scholarship, that these stories are parables. They were and are intended to turn the world view of those who heard them and those who hear them upside down.
These stories are about joy, gratitude, hope and meaning.