March 14th, 2012 02:00 PM
Host Book, Movie & CE forums
Ellul, Jacques - The Meaning of the City
This is a classic text for urban ministers, written in the late 1960's. Ellul traces the biblical concept of city from the first city (built by Cain in an attempt to protect himself and assert human control) to the final city (the picture of redemption and life in Revelation.
While some of Ellul's conclusions and assumptions leave something to be desired, I found his exegesis and biblical scholarship to be extraordinary. The idea of the city as a symbol of human self-sufficiency is not something I'd encountered before, but it makes a great deal of sense in Ellul's explanation.
He also includes the idea of humanity's part in creation - that God allows us to deviate from God's course, but then uses our creation and incorporates it into the plan of redemption.
It's dense and very academic; it takes a lot of time to work through, but well worth the read.