Imagine you are a Christian living near Rome in the year 411, when the barbarians sacked the seat of the Empire, an empire which had become identified with the City of God upon the earth. For so long the center of the universe for pagan Romans, the city of Rome continued as the center of the universe for the Christians as well. The city of man had at last been converted into the city of God. Here Paul nurtured the small community of Jewish and Gentile Christians, and here Peter was martyred. But now, the City of God had been taken by the heathen and the apparent collapse of the Roman Empire was equivalent in many minds to the fall of the Christian church itself. How could God allow this? How were the Christians to make sense of this catastrophe?
-Michael Horton, “Augustine and Jerome”, Modern Reformation Magazine
How do we react to violence in an age of global terror? Are things on the brink? How do we make sense of this moment in history?