From Energion author Bruce Epperly, a post from 2012.
Progressive Christians struggle with the stories and theology of the incarnation. Following Rudolf Bultmann, most progressives see the angelic visitation to Mary and the virgin birth as myths reflecting the early church’s affirmation of Jesus’ uniqueness not unlike stories of other political and savior figures. Moreover, most progressives also question Jesus’ metaphysical uniqueness and relationship to God – that is, the belief that he was not only different in degree of God consciousness from us, but also different in kind, truly God and truly human.
We progressives celebrate Christmas, but often see it primarily as a reflection of God’s presence in the marginalized and powerless. Many pastors gloss over the magi, shepherds, and angels, telling the Christmas story, but keeping their fingers crossed. Deep down, they no more believe in the traditional Christmas stories or God’s extraordinary presence in the manger than they do in Santa Claus.
Still, the child in us — and perhaps our deepest self — wants to believe in the incarnation and uniqueness of this innocent and humble child.