With Presbycast On Christmas, Pictures, And Ricky Bobby

When it comes to Christmas it gets, as they say, complicated for confessional Presbyterian and Reformed Christians. On the one hand, we heartily affirm the Scriptures and the ecumenical creeds on the incarnation of our Lord. We confess that Mary was the “God bearer” and that Jesus became and remains true man. To the extent that Christmas reminds us of these truths, it has value. Further, no one is against joy, gift-giving, and Linus reciting the Christmas story. On the other hand, however, there is much about the modern celebration of Christmas that is not salutary. Let us begin with “Black Friday.” Then there are the Christmas hymns and the apparently P&R slide away from the Patristic and Reformed “rule of worship” (that we do only in worship what God has commanded) toward sentimentalism and an alien principle of worship (e.g., “we do what is not forbidden”). The latter is the only justification for much that goes on during the Christmas season, including the P&R adoption of the “advent season.” We laugh and cringe at Ricky Bobby’s table prayer but why? Last night the Presbycast guys and I spent some time talking about these issues.

Here is the episode in its native environment.


  1. The HB library on images of Christ
  2. P&R Ambivalence About Christmas
  3. A Brief History of Christmas
  4. Calvin’s Response to Being Forced To Observe Christmas
  5. The DPW on Christmas
  6. First Book of Discipline on Christmas etc
  7. Vicar Bans O Little Town But For the Wrong Reasons
  8. The Death of Santa
  9. What Is The RPW?
  10. With the Presbycast On the RPW

    Post authored by:

  • R. Scott Clark
    Author Image

    R.Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.

    More by R. Scott Clark ›

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One comment

  1. Thanks Dr Clark. I normally look forward to your annual postings on the topic. This year you’ve been extremely generous and given us a hamper of your collected thoughts.. Not quite 12 days worth but that’s fine. You’re no Ebenezer Scrooge, Dr Clark. Thanks for the postings and bringing before us our confessional stand points.

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