Advent is one of the greatest and most mysterious seasons of the Christian calendar. Advent celebrates the incarnation, the mind-blowing reality of the God of the universe becoming a man: living, breathing, walking on earth as we do. But even as it celebrates Christ's arrival on earth and his rescue of it, Advent also looks patiently to the future return of Christ to bring all wrongs to right, once and for all. Advent accepts the tension of the already and the not yet. It welcomes waiting. It is merriment and melancholy together, beauty so sublime that, like the best art, it simultaneously comforts and rocks us to the core.
It is perhaps not surprising, then, that the mystery and magnitude of Advent lends itself so well to artistic exploration. Like Advent, the arts also accept tension and welcome waiting. The incarnation itself lends dignity to artistic and cultural pursuits. Christ didn't come as a cerebral concept or an ethereal force. He came as a physical man; a man who worked with his hands as a carpenter; a man who enjoyed eating and drinking with friends; a Jewish man who told stories and interacted with the cultural rituals, traditions, tropes and expressions all around him. Christ is a cultural being. That is one reason we launched the Biola University Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts. Christians are called to be countercultural, but not anti-culture. It's the world we live in. It's the world Christ lived in and the world that he redeemed.
— Barry H. Corey, President
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