Though Christendom has come to an end, it appears that old habits die hard. Jesus promised his followers neither safety nor affluence, but rather that those who come after him should expect persecution. Christian discipleship and tribal nationalism, however, despite any legal separation of church and state, continue to be co-opted into the nation-state project of prosperity and security. This co-option has made it diffcult for the church to recognize her task to be a prophetic witness both for and against the state. That only a small pocket of Christians bear witness against such an accommodation of Christian practice is disconcerting; and yet, it breeds hope.
In Living on Hope while Living in Babylon, Tripp York examines a few 20th century Christians from varying religious traditions who lived such a witness, including the Berrigan brothers, Dorothy Day, and Eberhard Arnold. These witnesses can be viewed as anarchical in the sense that their loyalty to Christ undermines the pseudo-soteriological myth employed by the state. While these Christians have been labeled pilgrims, revolutionaries, nomads, subversives, agitators, and now, anarchists, they are more importantly seekers of the peace of the city whose chief desire is for those belonging to the temporal cities to be able to participate in the eternal city – the city of God. By examining their ideas and their actions, this book attempts to understand how the politics of the church – an apocalyptic politic – is necessary for the church to understand her mission as bearer of the gospel.