Monday, December 31, 2012


Rating: 5 out of 5

It’s hard to know what to tell your kids about Santa Claus when you want the Christmas holiday to be about focusing on Jesus, why he came, and what he ultimately did for us. Santa can be used to promote a lot of self-centered focus and ideas that Christmas is really Santa’s holiday rather than the time we celebrate the birth of God in the flesh. However, I’ve always known that the Santa Claus myth that we know today evolved from the story of a real man named Saint Nicholas of Myra, and it is this man that can teach us a lot about who Jesus is and what Christmas is about.

In his fantastic new book THE SAINT WHO WOULD BE SANTA CLAUS, Adam C. English takes us on an historical journey into the life of the real life Saint Nicholas, and it’s a truly interesting story. Saint Nicholas was a wise and humble Christian leader most known for rescuing three girls from prostitution by secretly delivering money in a small pouch through their window at night. Nicholas was instrumental in the church Council of Nicea and the destruction of the temple of Artemis in Myra.

Though some of the legends surrounding Nicholas are a little unbelievable, the book lays out a genuine story of a man committed to Christ and his desires for the world. English’s research is impeccable, making this surely the best book on the subject. There’s not much focus on the modern Santa Claus myth other than a brief look at Coca Cola’s role in shaping our ideas about him. The focus is really on the real man, and I have to recommend this as one of the most interesting books I’ve ever read on a historical figure.

Review copy provided by Baylor University Press

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