Category: Cultural Commentary Written by Jim Denison
Over the weekend, more than 70 people were killed when a group loyal to al-Qaeda attacked a popular mall in Nairobi, Kenya, a city of more than three million. In Peshawar, Pakistan, a city of nearly three million, a pair of suicide bombers assaulted the historic All Saints Church. At least 85 people were killed in the largest-ever attack on Christians in Pakistan.
When you think of terrorist attacks, what comes first: cities or small towns? Are you more afraid in large cities or in rural communities?
I just finished Why Cities Matter: To God, the Culture, and the Church. Written by two church planters, one in Boston and the other in Silicon Valley, it is a fascinating read. Here is some of what I learned:
- The largest urban population explosion in history is occurring today. In less than 300 years we will have shifted from a world in which three percent live in cities to one in which 80 percent live in urban areas.
- Nearly 5.5 million people move into cities every month, creating the equivalent of a new San Francisco Bay Area every 30 days.
- More than 90 percent of all economic output in the United States is generated in metropolitan regions.
- The largest 40 cities in the world account for two-thirds of global economic output.
God cares about cities. Speaking of pagan Nineveh, he told Jonah, "Should I not be concerned about that great city?" (Jonah 4:11). Jesus wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41). God instructed his people in Babylon, "Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf" (Jeremiah 29:7).
How are you seeking the welfare of the place where you live? Will you "pray to the Lord on its behalf" right now?