Register to Receive the Advent Ebook
Each Friday during Advent, we will deliver a special email in addition to our daily BreakPoint commentaries. This email will include the latest reflection on Advent from our team. Register to receive the BreakPoint commentaries and the Advent Ebook below:
Advent: The Incarnation
Join Us In The Anticipation of Christ's Coming
This anticipation of Christ's coming, marking The Incarnation and fulfillment of prophecy, isn't just something to look at historically, but it is an event the shapes culture and our worldview.
When most Christians think about worldview (if they think about it at all), they think about it in terms of ideas. Now worldview isn't less than ideas, but it is more.
Bill Brown, Gary Phillips, and I define worldview as the framework of basic beliefs that give us a view of and for the world. That framework includes ideas, but also our imagination, our habits, and the basic stories—both cultural and personal—that shape our lives.
We live out of these stories—they give us, as N. T. Wright puts it, "a way-of-being-in-the-world."
Years ago, the historian Robert Louis Wilken wrote in the journal First Things that "The Church is a culture in its own right. Christ does not simply infiltrate a culture; Christ creates culture by forming another city, another sovereignty with its own social and political life."
According to Wilken, three hallmarks of this "way" were the distinctive Christian uses of space, time, and language. As Wilken writes, "We should not underestimate the cultural significance of the calendar and its indispensability for a mature spiritual life. Religious rituals carry a resonance of human feeling accumulated over the centuries."
Wilken continues, "The season of Advent . . . is a predictable reminder that the Church lives by another time, marked in the home by a simple ritual, the lighting of a violet Advent candle set in an evergreen wreath on a dark evening in early December."
"Sacred seasons" like Advent, "run at right angles to the conventional calendar [and] they offer a regular and fixed cessation of activity." They become "times of reflection and contemplation that open us to mystery and transcendence."
As a guide through this season of Advent, our writing team is creating reflections on the themes in Advent. To have a copy of these reflections, a beautifully illustrated ebook, and to receive our weekly commentaries through this season, visit BreakPoint.org/advent. We'll send you readings that will guide us through Advent together.
Introduction: How Advent Shapes Our Worldview
“Sacred seasons” like Advent “run at right angles to the conventional calendar [and] they offer a regular and fixed cessation of activity.” They become “times of reflection and contemplation that open us to mystery and transcendence.” What’s more, they provide the “gift of leisure,” a much-needed respite from “the world of work and money and minding our p’s and q’s.”
Only if we truly understand those cultural forces that shape our worldview can we intentionally open ourselves to the possibility that there is a way of being in the world that is both countercultural and transformative.