Although I didn’t grow up observing Advent, we instituted the tradition at City Life when we planted the church in 2008. Year after year, I marvel at depth, promise, wonder, complexity of the notion that God would become a baby. It is, as Kierkegaard said, “an absurd idea, the strangest of all happenings.” Over the years I’ve tried to look at this strangest of all happenings from various perspectives: biblical, theological, philosophical, skeptical, and literary. My wonder grows year by year. Here are a five standout books from five categories I’ve found especially helpful:

Biblical

The God Who Became Human, Graham Cole

Theological

The Man Christ Jesus, Bruce Ware

Philosophical

Philosophical Fragments, Soren Kierkegaard

Skeptical

Christ Actually: The Son of God for a Secular Age, James Carroll

Literary

On Fairy Stories, J. R. R. Tolkien (free)