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Bulgakov. Meaning of history Category: History Bulgakov. End of history

History. Progress
According to Fr. Alexander Schmemann

Мечтания о грядушем «рае на земле»

Since it has no other life but Christ, by rejecting and killing Christ the world condemned itself to death.

Its only ultimate reality is death, and none of the secular eschatologies in which men still put their hope can have any force against the simple statement of Tolstoy: "And after a stupid life there shall come a stupid death."

But "know you not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death?" (Rom. 6:3). Baptism — the gift of the "newness of life" — is announced as "the likeness of death." Why? Because the new life which Christ gives to those who believe in Him shone forth from the grave. This world rejected Christ, refused to see in Him its own life and fulfillment. And since it has no other life but Christ, by rejecting and killing Christ the world condemned itself to death. Its only ultimate reality is death, and none of the secular eschatologies in which men still put their hope can have any force against the simple statement of Tolstoy: "And after a stupid life there shall come a stupid death." But the Christian is precisely the one who knows that the true reality of the world — of this world, of this life of ours — not of some mysterious "other" world — is in Christ; the Christian knows, rather, that Christ is this reality. In its self-sufficiency the world and all that exists in it has no meaning. And as long as we live after the fashion of this world, as long, in other words, as we make our life an end in itself, no meaning and no goal can stand, for they are dissolved in death. It is only when we give up freely, totally, unconditionally, the self-sufficiency of our life, when we put all its meaning in Christ, that the "newness of life" — which means a new possession of the world — is given to us. The world then truly becomes the sacrament of Christ's presence, the growth of the Kingdom and of life eternal. For Christ, "being raised from the dead, dies no more; death has no more dominion over him." Baptism is thus the death of our selfishness and self-sufficiency, and it is the "likeness of Christ's death" because Christ's death is this unconditional self-surrender. And as Christ's death "trampled down death" because in it the ultimate meaning and strength of life were revealed, so also does our dying with him unite us with the new "life in God."

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