Redeeming the City

Resurgence Conference
Teacher: Tim Keller, Pastor Redeemer NY

Being the Church in our Culture was a great session at the Resurgence conference. Much of what was said I had heard from Keller prior, but what stuck with me was the idea of Redeeming the City. Keller said, “No other religion [except Christianity] has hope for this world.” Keller spoke about the type of eschatology that allows you to inspire people at their jobs, such as investment bankers, as to how this is intricately connected into the dominion mandate given by God to take care of this world. “Unless you see the Creation, Fall, Redemption and Restoration as declared in scripture, you will not have a theology to redeem this world through work.”

This drum beat of “Redeeming San Diego” continues to resonate with me. This last week, while I was on vacation, I continued to consider what it would look like to be a church focused on redeeming San Diego. How would we act? What would we value? What activities would our people be involved in? I’ll have to post more on this after I’ve spent more time reflecting‚Ķ

Keller presented 6 points to effectively reaching the cities for Christ.

1. More Christians Living Long-Term in the Cities – Even at the cost of the American dream of white picket fences in suburbia. Keller argues that Christianity owes much of it’s spread to the Holy Spirit led focus on converting cities. “By 300 AD 50% of the urban population of the Roman empire were Christians, while over 90% of the countryside was still pagan,” writes Keller. Today, “Christians live in cities in far smaller percentages than the rest of the country, despite the fact that cities are disproportionately important to the future of our society.” Keller summarizes, “God made the city for his purposes, and though sinned has harmed it, we should use the resources of the gospel to repair broken cities.”

2. With a better Understanding of the Gospel – Keller’s thoughts on the Gospel vs. Religion is critical thought for people to think through the fullness of the gospel.
3. Living as Dynamic Counter-Cultures in the city
4. Integrating their Faith & Work
5. Radically Committed to the Good of the City as a Whole
6. Contextualizing the Gospel Message

[After presenting all this, in any crowd someone ends up asking Keller, ‘What about prayer’. Keller’s response is all of this is bathed in prayer. It would do prayer a great injustice to make it one of these points. None of this means anything outside a commitment to fervent prayer over the city.]

I’ll post more on points 2-6 later…