“The storyline of the Bible may begin in a garden, but it ends in a city.”
One of my favorite gifts was a year-long subscription to Time Out New York – It comes to my mailbox once a week packed with events and hard to find nooks in the city that both inspire my free weekends (what are those again?) and somehow makes me feel connected to the greatest city in the world. The book is about the importance of cities, a description of communities and the task of the church both global and local to change the world by transforming cities.
I’m really picky about books – I really like this book because it combines sociology, group psychology, theology, Biblical studies and the Gospel in a way that both instructs and motivates the Church to be a force for the gospel in the communities where people live.
Eric Swanson and Sam Williams describe city/community dynamics helpfully – nothing new but I’m not sure where I’ve seen all of their information in one place. They do a good Biblical-theology of the Kingdom and how scripture tells the story about God’s power at work. They go on to tell the story about how God’s vision is to change the world – a world where people are – many of whom found in cities. After surveying the social studies about city, and a Biblical Theological take on Kingdom, they talk about cities in Church history – from Tertullian to the Reformation to the Black Church to the odd (premillennialist?) reversal where evangelicals abandoned social concern. The remaining chapters address the breadth of the Church, the width and depth of the Gospel and the challenge laid out for church members and leaders to change the world.
I recommend this book. It is a fresh reminder to me of my responsibility to be a part of God’s mission to change the world by engaging the culture of our great city with the truth and action of the whole Gospel.
This is part of a Blog Tour over at Engadging Church Blog.
(heads – I was given this book free to review by Zondervan)