A serious point. Grace does not transform nature. It restores nature (ultimately it perfects nature but not until the eschaton). The early Christians did not try to transform pagan culture but to sanctify it, preserving what was best and slowly extinguishing what was worst. They did so by preaching the gospel and dying for it. The Christian faith is not revolutionary. It requires submission to the powers that have been ordained by the hand of providence…. ruler, master, husband, ect. It is the paradox of Christian culture that those who focused on the Kingdom caused Rome to bow the knee.So things are good in and of themselves. It is our job to defend them...from ourselves. As the world finds more ways to abuse its goodness, we need to struggle to guard against those abuses, struggling and dying all the way, knowing that redemption is around the corner.
Noting that grace restores and sanctifies allows us to see culture as extremely nuanced. There was no need to transform all things pagan. The greatness of the West is the synthesis of the Greek, the Roman, and the Jewish into the Christian, imperfect though it has always and will always be in this age.
Our day is different. Grace must continue to sanctify and restore nature. For sons of the West this does not mean transformation but conservation. We have much to preserve and defend.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
From the combox over at De Regno Christi: