Tim Keller, Senior Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, is known for his love for the city. By "the city" I used to think he meant the city of New York (primarily the borough of Manhattan). And that always made me feel a bit guilty about living not only not in NYC, but not in what I would have defined as a city, because it seemed like, at least to the breed of Christian he represents, I had somehow failed in my Christian mission.
But his talk at the recent Q conference helped dispel my previous assumption of what the definition of a city is and why it is important, and to clarify what is the crux of Keller's passion for the city and the people who reside there. And I discovered through his talk that the reasons for caring for the city apply wherever one may live.
Keller said, "Donâ€™t stay away from the city because you are a coward, selfish or clueless." Rather, we should approach the city in terms of grace of, in and for the city.