I read somewhere where Cicero, decades before Christ was born, professed that it was Ok to believe in myths in the days of Homer, but that men of his day were too sophisticated to believe in Gods, because there was too much scientific knowledge. . ..
Then there were the debates over Aristotle’s incompatibility with the Bible.
Then there was that guy Galileo
Now, they talk about the possibility of aliens.
Each new epoch in scientific discovery is somehow seen by a vast minority as discrediting religion in general, and Christianity in particular.
God is not a proposition to be proven; God is not a proposition at all, but if we were to reduce Him to a mere proposition, God would be a proposition to be disproven. There are basically three sorts:
1) your honest agnostic–“I don’t have any particular religion, and I’m not sure what I think about organized religion or whether God exists.”
2) Your basically-an-atheist agnostic. Like the guy on an episode of Bones, speaking sarcastically to Dr. Brennan: “Like any rational person, I’m an agnostic.” (I’ll take for granted that he’s misusing rationalism and confusing it with radical empiricism).
3) the full-blown atheist.
For the latter two, the proposition is not proving that God exists but proving God does not exist. Even when they claim no proof, either way, they obviously side with each other. You’re less likely to see a radical agnostic criticizing an atheist than you are to see him or her criticizing a Christian.
Jesus’ birth still matters. Say what they will about the apparent discrepancies in the Scriptures (most of which are discrepancies in how we’ve read into the Scriptures, not what they actually say), the advent of Jesus Christ changed the world. There is a significant difference in the world pre-Christ and the world after Christ.
Even the secularization of Christmas is itself a sign. “Christmas is a season of Hope.” “Christmas is a season of love.” “Christmas is about peace on earth.” “Christmas is about family.”
“Who do you say that I am?” Jesus asked His disciples, and today, there are many answers to “What is the real meaning of Christmas?” VeggieTales illustrates this in the new Saint Nicholas video. But all those answers beg the question: “Why?” “What makes it so special? Why do these values become so special at Christmas?”