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Both Newsweek and Time have Jesus on their covers, and neither article quotes an evangelical scholar in its attempt to narrate how Christians concocted the story of the birth of Jesus.

Newsweek's piece says, "We live in an age of great belief and great doubt, and sometimes it seems as though we must choose between two extremes, the evangelical and the secular. 'I don't want to be too simplistic, but our faith is somewhat childlike,' says the Rev. H. B. London, a vice president of James Dobson's conservative Focus on the Family organization in Colorado Springs. 'Though other people may question the historical validity of the virgin birth, and the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we don't.'

A Newsweek poll found that most Americans side with London. It "found that 84 percent of American adults consider themselves Christians, and 82 percent see Jesus as God or the son of God. Seventy-nine percent say they believe in the Virgin Birth, and 67 percent think the Christmas story—from the angels' appearance to the star of Bethlehem—is historically accurate." As Nicholas Kristof, columnist for The New York Times, likes to point out, more people believe that stuff than evolution.

Newsweek says they want to find the middle, somewhere between London's childlike faith and severe skepticism. Then, author Jon Meacham goes on to report only what those scholars say who do not believe what the Gospels report about Jesus' birth. "The first followers, we should always remember, believed that the Risen Lord was going to return and usher in a new apocalyptic age at any moment."

But when Jesus didn't return, these followers decided they'd better write down the story of Jesus' life, says Meacham. This Gospel story, Newsweek says, cannot ...

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's managing editor for news and online journalism. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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