This Christmas, Why Not Read about Santa’s Broken Nose?

We all know that there’s a real someone behind “Ole’ St. Nick.” There was in fact an actual St. Nicholas, but I had never looked to find out what he was like until I bumped across a real gem of a book.

The Saint who would be Santa Claus: The True Life and Trials of Nicholas of Myra

This book is such a Christmas gift! Adam English brings us into the story of Nicholas of Myra, a man who lived during a truly fascinating period in Christianity! Including:

313 AD – the moment when Christianity became no-longer-illegal under the reign of Constantine

325 – The convening of the council of Nicea… Nicean Creed anybody… Ok big thanks to the three people who whooped when they read that. But seriously, it gave us THIS, which I am certain you will recognize.

Consider the thought, the time, the prayer, and… well… the argument that went into putting Christian theology into such a succinct, well written tool. Churches have been using it for centuries!

This book is well worth your Christmas time, and a very large thank you to Mr. English for helping bring the life of an historical saint into a fun, fascinating, and readable format.

A Word about Saints in General

Working for so long in the Protestant tradition, I’ve always had a little side-project of getting people excited about the lives of those we’d historically call saints. I firmly believe that the lives of the saints are worth our study, and I have a couple of fantastic Seminary professors to thank for that.

For me, when I study the life of a saint I claim scriptures like the end of Matthew 12, and Hebrews 11 (and the beginning of 12) which encourage us to consider all of Christianity to be a family that we’re a part of. I hold onto the wording in scripture that encourages us to call one another brother or sister in Christ, and… as cheesy as it sounds…

When I open up the story of a saint I think: “This is a story of one of my older sisters, or older brothers.”

You know… someone I would look up to, someone who got here before me and walked this faith walk before I did. I am blessed to get a chance to study their life, learn from their successes, and maybe even from their mistakes. And I’ll get a chance to see how they related to God, and maybe it’ll help me.

My study in the lives of the saints has led me to some real favorites, and Nicholas is one of them! When you pick up The Saint who would be Santa Claus you’ll find something Ho Ho Holy (oh my gosh that one hurt me just writing it)… But seriously, it’s a great read, and a compelling challenge to radical Christlike generosity. Best thing (outside of scripture) that you’ll read this Christmas!

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