A Biblical View of the City

New Philly Hongdae (video streamed to Sillim, Itaewon, Busan; one week delay for Sydney)
Preached by Christian Lee on March 8, 2015, Sunday.
Duration: 69 minutes (audio)
Theology of the City: Part 2

NP Hongdae


Discussion Questions

The Duality of the City

  1. What is your view of the city and what is your attitude toward it?
  2. According to the Bible, what are the three characteristics of the city as mentioned in the sermon?
  3. The Bible has a balanced view of the city. It describes both the good and evil that can be found in the city. The city is both better and worse, both easier and harder to live in, and both inspiring and oppressive. What word does Tim Keller use to describe this duality? In your own experience of the city, how have you experienced this tension?
    A Tale of Two Cities

  5. Read Genesis 11:4-5. Why is the city and tower of Babel seen in a negative light?
  6. According to Keller, Babel (later called Babylon in the Bible) comes to serve as the archetype for a city culture built on rebellion against God. Where Babel was a city whose purpose was “to build a name for ourselves,” what city becomes the city where God’s Name dwells? Read Psalm 48:1-3. How is this city described by the psalmist?
  7. As the OT comes to a close, we can be tempted to conclude that the only cities that God cares for are the cities of Israel. Read Jonah 4:10-11. What do we learn from the book of Jonah about God’s heart regarding the city?
    Build Houses and Pray for the City

  9. Once the Jews were exiled into Babylon, what does Hananiah prophecy over the Jews? Read Jeremiah 28:3-4.
  10. What does Jeremiah prophecy instead? Read Jer 29:5-7, 10. How long does Jeremiah say it’ll take before the Jews can return to Jerusalem and how would’ve the Jews felt toward Jeremiah’s instruction to pray for the prosperity of the city?
  11. As Christians we lean toward being disengaged with the city either because of a negative view of the city or because of our longing for a better city when Christ returns, the new Jerusalem. But what can we learn from Jeremiah’s prophecy to the Jewish exiles that ought to challenge our passive attitudes toward the city?



  1. David Ahn says:

    Good: The sermon was a great introduction to the “theology of the city” sermon series. My CG members felt challenged to know why they are called to the city, especially as members/leaders of New Philly. Personally, I thought the amount of bible study and intensity of the questions were very balanced. For example, I felt like I didn’t have to rush to get through all the questions.

    Bad: Some of my CG members felt that the sermon had too strong of an assumption that most of the audience had a negative view of the city. For the majority of my CG members who didn’t grow up in the city (or didn’t have a negative view), they felt some parts of the sermon were not relatable.

    Overall, I felt it really challenged the CG to reconsider why they are called to the city. I encouraged the CG to prepare the hearts for the series as this teaching will be crucial for the DNA of the house.

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