One may well choose to resonate with the concerns of our post-modern despisers of established religion. But surely the best way to promote any such agenda is not to deny what virtually every sane historian on the planet has come to conclude.
I want to suggest that the country club image for the Christian faith, its salvation culture, no matter how historic and vital to the Christian church's identity, inadequately frames what might be called its true "gospel culture."
While theories vary on who the "historical" Jesus really was, there's general agreement that Jesus was not born in Bethlehem. So why was it so important for the gospel writers to claim Bethlehem as Jesus' birthplace?