Book review of Because of the Messiah In A Manger by Brad Wilcox
I have long been of the opinion that Wilcox is a fusion of Jeffrey R. Holland and Neal A. Maxwell. He fuses doctrine and application in a way that sticks in the mind and I have enjoyed running across his works since hearing him at a BYU Easter symposium years ago.
“Because of the Messiah in a Manger” is no exception. I approached the book with the expectation that it could not be digested in small chunks and that I would have to commit a single long reading session to get through it or I would lose my place. Instead, each section feeds into the next in the way that individual episodes of a television series form a season-spanning story arc. Each chapter recapped a truth from the previous one, but explored the theme along a different path. Wilcox is not grandiose, but sets profound truths in the context of very human experiences.
The result of this style is both captivating and accessible. It reminds me of several books written for Advent in which there are daily devotionals throughout the month of December, but you will not be cheated of that experience if you read the entire thing in a few sittings. Rather, you may come away with many small moments of clarity and a larger appreciation for the doctrine of salvation.
Kaki Olsen is Boston-raised and BYU-educated. Her serious writing ranges from nonfiction to science fiction, but she writes academic papers on geeky things for fun and has been a finalist in the Mormon Lit Blitz.