Incarnation provides the model or paradigm for the church’s involvement with culture. The gospel accounts present Jesus’ life as a simultaneous full participation in and critique of culture. The incarnation provides a metaphor for the life of the church in the world. The terminology for addressing liturgy and culture, in fact, closely parallels theological interpretations of the incarnation . . . . The church, as the body of Christ in the world, mirrors this christological pattern. It is constituted not as a timeless, bodiless idea but rather as an embodied, concrete, worldly reality. The church is a full participant in culture, a cultural agent that both reflects and shapes a local cultural environment. As such, the church need not shy away from critical engagement with every aspect of a local cultural environment. At the same time, it must not be reticent to question and critique cultural practices that devalue creation, that restrict a sense of God’s redeeming activity in the world, and that deny eschatological hope.

John D. Witvliet, Worship Seeking Understanding.