Saturday, December 11, 2004

horoscopes and Christianity

so if the “wise” in Matthew 2 were star followers, and most likely Magi (magicians), does that not mean that horoscope reading and UFO spotting and magic is potentially a spiritual search?

and how can we keep the Christ at the centre, while encouraging such spiritual search that could lead people to the Christ?

and is this Christmas text therefore actually hugely subversively missional?

or am I making too many logical jumps?

Posted by steve at 04:26 PM


  1. Following Witherington one might argue that the story demonstrates a tension between those who should have recognised the birth of Christ (ie, those within a tradition that looked for it) and those who were outside that tradition yet were looking for something and somehow glimpsed that this was part of it.

    So it might serve as a critique of the Christian community. What things of God are we missing that others, somehow, are alert to? How is Christ drawing attention to himself in the world?

    Is the story missional? I think so in the sense of connecting with others through their spiritual quests, stories and ponderings. But I also think it’s subversive as it challenges us to listen to others who may turn up unexpectedly bearing “gifts”. Matthew doesn’t record them being turned away, nor their gifts to Christ being rejected. Maybe it was their recognition of who or what this child was that was important?

    Some thoughts for me to ponder while I watch the children act out the Nativity play tomorrow at church.

    Comment by StephenG — December 11, 2004 @ 7:53 pm

  2. Good points Stephen & Steve.

    Comment by Paul Fromont — December 12, 2004 @ 7:46 am

  3. you can never make too many logical jumps, if indeed they are logical (in this case, very sound!). Christianity sometimes doesn’t encourage the use of logic … it can be dangerous 😉

    Comment by me — December 12, 2004 @ 7:14 pm

  4. I think that this is a tricky one for a lot of Christians. I’m more inclined to systematics and for me the interest is in the issue of what it says about other faiths and the economy of salvation. Barebones of what I find in it is the idea that the Spirit is at work way beyond the borders of biblical realms and is prepared to use whatever is to hand to draw people tothe Christ. If one of them had died on the way there would he have been saved? I think the answer is ‘yes’ … And that is not to bypass the Work of Atonement [anymore that belieivng in Abraham’s salvation does]; it presupposes it. I think this principle applies to thsoe who are existentially BC too…

    Comment by Andii — December 12, 2004 @ 11:04 pm

  5. that resonates with something that we began discovering in our journey a while back. in our old alt. worship group we had a run of events that included the stories of jonah, then the magi, then ruth, and it was really interesting how many outsiders played such important parts in those stories – zoroastrian astrologers, the pagan sailors who cast lots and come to worship Yahweh after chucking jonah overboard, and ruth and boaz – a moabite widow and the son of a baal-worshipping prostitute…
    we found this great book [published by scripture union] called ‘skeletons in the messiah’s cupboard’ [or something similar] which looks at jesus’ genealogy and explores the dodgy characters and the often quite dodgy behaviour that occurs amongst the branches of His family tree…

    Comment by si smith — December 12, 2004 @ 11:13 pm

  6. I made a mistake once to hang a nice smiley sun on my wall. Apparently the New Age has all the rights to celestial images, bugger! So I was to suffer the scorn of the frown. Funny really, I thought He made them, …that makes them His.

    Comment by Garth — December 14, 2004 @ 8:57 pm

  7. I think that christians should NOT depend on horoscopes because God told us to look to him with our problems; not horoscopes. horoscopes i think are just stupid readings of the stars that don’t tell you anything! That’s why you should give it all to God; burdens, anything!! he’s listening to you!

    Comment by Tiffany — May 24, 2005 @ 11:13 am

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