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New Advent videos seek to ‘unwrap’ Christmas

07 September 2018

FOCUS

Callum and Lucy Johnstone present a trailer for the new Advent series

Callum and Lucy Johnstone present a trailer for the new Advent series

A VIDEO series created for this Advent by the Christian charity Focus is to explore “common challenges” to, and “popular misunderstandings” of, the Christmas story.

A 30-second trailer for the series Unwrapped was released last month on YouTube.

In it, the presenters Callum and Lucy Johnstone ask: “What is Christmas all about? Is it just trees, presents, candles, and eating too much? The heart of Christmas is the birth of Jesus, the Son of God, born to rescue his people from their sins. But, for a lot of people, Christmas is just a fairy story.”

Focus has been producing media content on Christianity since the 1970s. Its latest series of 30 two-minute videos will be released from 21 November for 30 days in an attempt to challenge commercially driven perceptions of Christmas.

The director of Focus, David Couchman, said on Wednesday that the videos would explore common challenges to the historical narratives of the Gospels, such as the different genealogies in St Matthew and St Luke, and the “historically unknown” census under Quirinius.

It will also address “popular misunderstandings”, including the number of kings, whether Jesus was born in a stable, and the “real meaning” of Christmas, he said. “This is a great moment to publish a series that explores why we can take the birth narratives seriously — and why it matters.

“While many people enjoy a time of feasting and families at Christmas, the story of the birth of Christ seems to be just a pretty fable — like Robin Hood, but with candles and tinsel.

“Even many practising Christians who take the Gospel accounts of Jesus’s life seriously are not so confident when it comes to the accounts of his birth. Unwrapped aims to help people see why the Christmas story matters, and why we can be confident that it’s true.”

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