Soothing 'Christmas messages' have become practically unavoidable, says Simon Barrow. But most of them are bland beyond belief. In truth the birth of Christ confronts us with something much more demanding - a choice between two ways of living in a world dominated by empire.
Traditional categories of right and left don't always work when applied to faith, says Giles Fraser. Yet there is no comfort for the 'religious right' in the Christmas Gospel, which is about giving not consuming and love not power-mongering.