Day 4: Incarnation

Day 4: Incarnation

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We plunged into the theological deep end today as we contemplated the incarnation.

At a Glance



Faculty Speaker:

Dr. J. Kameron Carter, Associate Professor in Theology and Black Church Studies

Lectionary Texts:

Exodus 3:1-15; Philippians 2: 5-11; Luke 2:1-20; John 1:1-18

Reflections on the Lecture

We plunged into the theological deep end today as we contemplated the incarnation. Dr. Carter’s lecture “Christmas in July” was broken into three parts: the truth, the story, and the ethic of God’s divine humanity. First, Dr. Carter explained that the truth and power of the incarnation is fundamentally in the person of Jesus Christ and not some credible philosophy. Second, that the revelation of God, the story of incarnation, is one of reconciliation and restoration. And third, that speaking Emmanuel, God with us, is to affirm an ethic of partnership, solidarity, and shared power. Finally, Dr. Carter moved the discussion from the academy to the world, from our heads to our laps, when he narrated the Church’s failure to understand and be the true incarnation as evidenced in colonialism and the slave trade.


“To speak of truth is not to speak of what, to speak of truth is to speak of who.”
— Dr. Carter during plenary

“If you want to go to Jesus, go to the people that everyone else tells you not to be around.”
— Dr. Carter during plenary

“I think I’m going to take a vow of silence.”
— A student during an arts workshop on storytelling after considering the seemingly infinite number of ways an audience might hear a single spoken phrase.

“God intends to act with us rather than on us.”
— Fr. Rowell

Other Activities

Today brought our second arts village session, followed by some free time to relax on campus.  During free time, some students took a class on Haitian dance, others talk with the director of admissions at Duke Divinity about college and graduate work, still others enjoyed Frisbee on the lawn or ice cream at the Bryan Student Center.  We also began our first small-group planning sessions for leading worship next week.  Fr. Andrew Rowell joined us for worship and helped us to better understand some of the rituals and practices of highly liturgical Christian traditions.

Looking Ahead

It’s hard to believe it’s already the end of week one.  Tomorrow’s theme of “Christ’s Passion” will bring a somber mood to the community as we explore what it means that Christ lived and died for us.  We’ll again visit the arts village and will also participate in our first prayer practice session, in which we’ll taste a few of the ways Christians have prayed over time.  We’ll welcome Dr. Edgardo Colón-Emeric in plenary and will explore the Stations of the Cross in evening worship.