Saturday, December 30, 2006

Some more thoughts on the Incarnation

As I said in my previous post, the Incarnation is mind-boggling. If we believe God has come in the flesh it sort of challenges a lot of pop-evangelical assumptions about "images" and "spirituality". My brother was an evangelical Christian and he would always solemnly warn me about the crucifix over the altar in my church. I believe this is a fundamental misunderstanding of the Incarnation. When the Logos became man in the person of Jesus Christ, he sanctified all the material things of our bodies. Matter matters. Another way to say it is that the human form is holy and good because, though fallen, it is created by God and it is sanctified by the Son's assumption of a human form. So to give a nod to the enfleshed God is not idolatry, but a rightful veneration of of the One who is God in the flesh.

The Incarnation also is a safeguard against an over-spiritualization of our faith. Because matter matters it is not true that "only spiritual things really matter" or "we can only understand the Words of Institution spiritually". With the advent of our Lord in the flesh we have God's promise that the material world matters too.

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