The City of God and the Children of Men

Apocalypse is frustrating; paradise even more so.
Peter Leithart has some interesting reflections up on his 'blog right now: this one (actually a quote from Wilken, who is in turn reflecting on Augustine) caught my eye:

This peace for which the city of God yearns is a 'perfectly ordered and harmonious fellowship in the enjoyment of God,' a peace of 'enjoying one another in God.' Notice that Augustine's language is social, not individualistic. He does not say, 'fellowship with God,' but enjoying one another in God, or as one translator has it, a 'mutual fellowship in God.' Augustine's controlling metaphor for the new life that God creates is not, for example, being born again, but becoming part of a city and entering into its communial life.

On the one hand, I'm firm in my belief that we should, as Christians, live a life of faithfulness in the present day. That means building, that means re-contextualizing Christianity to work in our present situation, as Christ re-contextualized the Old Covenant into something new. Our call is to bring good news to the nations.

On the other hand, as my Pastor has been reminding me the last several weeks, Apocalypse is coming. Armageddon means an end to what we know and how we know it. Not a re-contextualizing of our beliefs; rather a re-structuring of our being. The creed of Satan is simple: I do what I want, and I don't let anyone stand in my way. What, then, is our response? How can holy war ever be avoided? I wouldn't say that God will re-make the world to fit our Christian beliefs; I'm sure we'll all be surprised by how much we've got wrong in our time here. There will be a judgment, and a grace, and a change in the way humanity works.

How do we live, then? Can we make peace, knowing that our peace is a transient mockery of the more permanent Peace which is promised? Aren't we children playing games? Aren't we all living in the consequences of our short-sighted selfishness? Satan's sin is our sin; so we can only be saved by deferring and surrendering to Christ. That's mostly a private act, but there has to be a public side to it as well.
What does that look like?

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