Christmas and the Sting of Personal Loss: An Interview with John Piper and Paul Maier
We talk with Maier to discover just how tightly interwoven into the Nativity story tragedy is found. We read there of a paranoid king named Herod, who unleashed the tragic killing of young boys in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16). Who was Herod? And is his violent outburst in Bethlehem historical truth or fictional myth invented by Christians? And if it is true, why is there no historical corroboration that it happened?
Matthew 2:16 also provides the background for John Piper's illustrated poem The Innkeeper, and we ask him why in this season of celebration and giving for many families Christmas is an annual reminder of loss — the loss of parents, spouses, brothers, sisters, friends, daughters, and sons. Why do those losses sting so sharply at Christmastime?
From these various angles we see why Christmas and tragedy are inseparable, and ultimately why Christmas is inseparable from the tragedy-turned-triumph of Christ’s finished work.
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Previous Authors on the Line episodes —
- The Trinitarian Shape of Jonathan Edwards' Theology: An Interview with Michael McClymond
- Union with Christ in Paul’s Theology: An Interview with Constantine Campbell
- God’s Work and Ours: An Interview with Timothy Keller
- Christians Leading in the Secular World: An Interview with Albert Mohler
- Same-Sex Temptations in the Church: An Interview with Robert Gagnon
- The Church in a Homosexual Culture: An Interview with Robert Gagnon
- Delighting in the Trinity: An Interview with Michael Reeves
- Charity and Its Fruits: An Interview with Kyle Strobel