Incarnation

The Surprising Overlap of Heaven & Earth

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Published November 2013

Heaven and earth interlock in the person of Jesus, a Jew from Nazareth.

Jesus defies simplistic, effortless, undemanding explications. To be sure, Jesus often communicated his truth in simple, homely, direct ways, but his truth was anything but apparent and undemanding in the living. Common people heard Jesus gladly, not all, but enough to keep the government nervous, only to find that the simple truth Jesus taught, the life he lived, and the death he died complicated their settled and secure ideas about reality. The gospels are full of folk who confidently knew what was what—until they met Jesus. Jesus provoked an intellectual crisis in just about everybody. Their response was not, "Wow, I've just seen the Son of God," but rather, "Who is this?" -from the Introduction The church uses the concept of “Incarnation,” (from the Latin word for “in the flesh”) to help us understand that Jesus Christ is both divine and human. The Incarnation is the grand crescendo of our reflection upon the mystery that Christ is the full revelation of God; not only one who talks about God but the one who speaks for and acts as God, one who is God. About the Series: Belief Matters is a series of easy-to-understand books designed to show that by thinking more clearly about faith, persons can love God more fully, live with confidence, and change the world. Conversational in tone, these books are reflections on major theological topics and are suitable for individual or group study.

About the Author

William H. Willimon

Feeling most at home behind a pulpit, Will Willimon’s deepest calling is to be a preacher and truth-teller of Jesus Christ. He is Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry at Duke University Divinity School and retired Bishop of the North Alabama Conference of The United Methodist Church, after serving for 20 years as faculty member and Dean of the Chapel at Duke University. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

Will Willimon has published many books, including his preaching subscription service on MinistryMatters.com, Pulpit Resource, and Fear of the Other: No Fear in Love, both published by Abingdon Press.