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Friday, June 09, 2006

Christians and The City

Tim Keller has an article called A New Kind of Urbanism that is really worth reading. In it, he tackles the issue of how Christians should be engaging culture. Here's a brief snippet to whet your appetite:
My first strategic point is simple: More Christians should live long-term in cities. Historians point out that by A.D. 300, the urban populations of the Roman Empire were largely Christian, while the countryside was pagan. (Indeed, the word pagan originally meant someone from the countryside—its use as a synonym for a non-Christian dates from this era.) The same was true during the first millennium A.D. in Europe—the cities were Christian, but the broad population across the countryside was pagan. The lesson from both eras is that when cities are Christian, even if the majority of the population is pagan, society is headed on a Christian trajectory. Why? As the city goes, so goes the culture. Cultural trends tend to be generated in the city and flow outward to the rest of society.
Keller goes on to make 3 more points:
  • Once in cities, Christians should be a dynamic counterculture.
  • It will not be enough for Christians to form a culture that runs counter to the values of the broader culture. Christians should be a community radically committed to the good of the city as a whole.
  • There is another important component to being a Christian counterculture for the common good. Christians should be a people who integrate their faith with their work.
The whole thing is well worth your while.
(HT: Justin Taylor)

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