Seeking a City with Foundations
David W. Smith
More than half the people in the world live in cities, including a growing number of megacities with populations exceeding ten million people. This trend means that an understanding of urbanization must be an urgent priority for Christian theology and mission across the globe. This updated edition of Seeking a City with Foundations, with an additional chapter, explores Christian responses to the city, ranging from rejecting the urban as evil, to embracing it as being central to God’s redemptive purposes.
Drawing from a wide range of disciplines, including history, social science, urban planning, and the history of art, readers are given a detailed text which confronts the challenges that contemporary urbanization presents to world Christianity. Looking at urbanism as a theme throughout Scripture, culminating with the great vision of the New Jerusalem, David Smith explains that God’s own future is revealed as urban, highlighting the need to identify modern-day idols as we share the gospel in cities and acknowledge the impact of global economic forces. The book also explores the causes of what has been called the divided city and traces the urban theme through the Bible to present an alternative vision of the urban future – a future in which the injustices in ever-growing slums and a crisis of meaning among the privileged might be overcome through the power of the reconciling message of the cross. This timely book proposes a way forward for urban mission, highlighting that transformation of our cities must be the focal point of Christian mission and hope.