A New Kind of Urban Christian

 Tim Keller explains why Christians should strategically choose to live in cities. A few highlights:

  1. More Christians should live long-term in cities.
  2. Once in cities, Christians should be a dynamic counterculture. 
  3. Christians should be a community radically committed to the good of the city as a whole.

This strategy (if we must call it that) will work. In every culture, some Christian conduct will be offensive and attacked, but some will be moving and attractive to outsiders. “Though they accuse you — they may see your good deeds and glorify God” (1 Peter 2:12, see also Matt. 5:16). In the Middle East, a Christian sexual ethic makes sense, but not “turn the other cheek.” In secular New York City, the Christian teaching on forgiveness and reconciliation is welcome, but our sexual ethics seem horribly regressive. Every non-Christian culture has enough common grace to recognize some of the work of God in the world and to be attracted to it, even while Christianity in other ways will offend the prevailing culture.

So we must neither just denounce the culture nor adopt it. We must sacrificially serve the common good, expecting to be constantly misunderstood and sometimes attacked. We must walk in the steps of the one who laid down his life for his opponents.

Read the whole article here.

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