The City of God by Saint Augustine is one of his many influential writings that impacted Western philosophy and theology. Even though Augustine’s writings are over 1500 years old, the theology and exegesis still affect every seminary and theologian worldwide. The complex and sensitive issues discussed throughout the book are the same issues that Christians in our modern world still continue to struggle. The struggles of just war, systematic injustice, divide between City of God and City of Man, inheritance of brokenness from the previous generation, and many more ongoing battles between God and Satan continues to rage on even today. The Christian historical context of the early century is genuinely fascinating. How can a religion started by a couple of followers who claimed Jesus was the Messiah grow out to become a national religion of one of the most powerful empires in the history of humanity? But that once glorious and most powerful Roman empire collapses and comes to an end of an era. And as pagans are mad and blaming the Christians for the decline of Rome, Saint Augustine, the doctor of theology, defends the City of God from allegations and attacks from the City of man.
Alan Ryan, the author of On Augustine, the two cities, expounds on Augustine’s doctrine and theology presented in his book, The City of God. Alan highlights a question that every Christian must ask and meditate for their generation. “What is the city of God and who are its citizens, and what is the earthly city and who are its citizens?” Augustine concluded the city of God belongs to those who God saves by His grace, and the city of Man belongs to all the rest who are not saved. While the rest of all other creations stay within the boundary of the Creator’s design, the City of man continues to experience hate, evil, war, murder, and consequences of sin. Alan brings thorough insights and history into the context of 4th century Christians living in the times of decline of the Roman empire. The Christians at the time had to face many challenges and persecutions that ranged from refusing to bow to the Roman gods, dealing with lower social status, guidance in how to live out the civic laws according to God’s rules, and overwhelming pagan philosophies. The Christians were the minorities, and the pagan majority blamed and attacked the minority. I wonder if there ever was a time when Christians were the majority of a nation?
Just as Saint Augustine took the position to defend and expound on his faith in God, I believe we must also take the necessary steps personally and as the church to support and expound on our faith in God. I am not sure about the political and theological atmosphere of other states in America, but here in the bay area, evangelical Christians are the minority. The city of the bay area consists of a mix of all kinds of people who believe in God or a higher being. My church is located in Santa Clara County, where many fortune 500 companies are represented. We have apple’s newly built building right across from my church, 2 Buddhist temples, 1 Iranian Christian church, and a Hindu temple all within our cul-de-sac. The parking lots of Apple are full during weekdays, and all the other parking lots of religious centers are full and packed on the weekends. This is a good illustration of different people of faith living in the same city. Everyone in the city has some sort of faith and they are busy living out their faith. In recent years, I see that the political and social tensions arising within the people who live in two different cities of faith but living together in the same physical earthly space. Much of the differences in political and social perspectives are rooted in one’s theology and worldview on God and life. I asked this question to myself, ‘As a man of God, did Augustine live a silent, separated and indifferent life in the City of Man, or did Augustine proclaim, write, dream, and live to be a man of God in the city of Man?’
 Alan Ryan, On Augustine: The Two Cities. 1st edition. (New York: Liveright, 2015), 71.