The Incarnation lies at the heart of the early church’s wrestling over what it meant to be the church in specific cultures. The concrete, material revelation of God in Jesus Christ was the basis of their thinking and practice. This is why the character and identity of those leading the church were articulated in terms of participation in God. But this participation was not about some private, otherworldly, spiritual practices having nothing to do with the public, political, social life of a people. it was in fact the very opposite. Participation in God meant forming a community of God’s people whose lives often challenged the political and social institutions of their day.