Here is Part 1
And here is where it gets good:
We must neither cower in illusions of perfection nor capitulate to unrighteousness. Rather, continually recognize the contradiction into which we have been thrust, the true intolerable confluence we embody. We must throw ourselves into the struggle for it is in the very midst of this struggle that we are a witness. It is here that the judgement of eternity falls with creative power on the sin of the world. This is living redemption, subversive and creative.
To give an image from parenting: an example of perfection is of no value to our children since they themselves are not angels, as well, capitulation to destruction is a disservice to them since they are alive. Rather, they deserve to see the struggle and learn to fight the fight of a forgiven sinner, of a wounded soldier who will not leave the battle because they are the breath of God in a broken mind, the fiery core in a wayward heart, the very presence of God in a suicidal world.
We live the struggle in full (though through a mirror dimly) view of eternity. That fundamentally alters our current reality. The pain of the struggle becomes not something to be reflexively avoided but rather a powerful elixir to be wisely engaged, like climbing a mountain or giving birth. We embody the brokenness of the world and the light of eternity, birth-pain is inevitable and in it we are born along with the new heavens and the new earth.
God, in his love and wisdom, has placed us in the world, in this intolerable situation. He has however called us to not be of this world. What can this possibly mean? We are sent neck deep into the quagmire in order to be an actual presence here that is not of this place.
What can this subversive redemption be while we remain active if unwilling participants in the brokenness of that which we are sent to redeem?
We embody the contradiction, the intolerable confluence of life and death and it is in and out of this struggle that redemption becomes concrete, that the love of eternity comes into the very dirt of this world.