From a Garden to the City?

There is a considerable movement within evangelical churches to focus ministry efforts on urban areas. Many churches are encouraging their congregations to move into cities and to work to transform and redeem cities. Dr. Tim Keller summed up the underlying concept well in his article, “A Biblical Theology of the City,” “[w]e began in a garden but will end in a city; God’s purpose for humanity is urban!” Carl Trueman took a somewhat different approach in an article over at Reformation 21 about the current urban focus. Here is an excerpt from his article:

One thing Paul and I did discuss was the current nonsense about cities being special which so dominates the popular evangelical imagination. Not that cities are not important: as areas where there are the highest concentrations of human beings, they are inevitably significant as mission fields. Rather, we were thinking of the “from a Garden to a City” hermeneutic which jumps from scripture to giving modern urban sprawl some kind of special eschatological significance. Was there ever a thinner hermeneutical foundation upon which so much has been built? OK, there probably has been, but this is still a whopper. Continue reading