“Love (Your City)”
By Jacob Bloemberg

Summary of Chapter 4

Chapter 4: The Principles

Chapter four is when author begins deep dive into what book is all about, covering four principles:

  1. Theology of the city p42 to 45
  2. A Theology of Placemaking  p46  to 48
  3. A Theology of Shalom   p 49 to 54
  4. A Theology of the Kingdom  p 55 to 59

The city is at the heart of these Biblical principles which intertwine throughout Scripture and find their final integration in the new creation. These principles inform us how we think about our cities, our mission, and how we relate to those around, below, and above us.

Theology of the city

Bible starts in a garden Genesis 1-2 and ends in a city Revelation 21-22, both created by God, the builder and architect. Scripture doesn’t move backwards to the garden, but forwards to the city. What then is this vision of a godly city?  What could be done to contribute to our cities today? The question is do we want to be consumers or contributors in our city? How do we do this? Is our role just Bangkok or is it wider?

Theology of Placemaking

Placemaking and city-building have always been God’s Plan: creating sacred spaces where God and humanity would dwell together in God’s  presence. “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”

Theology of Shalom

Shalom is a holistic peace, wholeness in the true sense of the word, something that the English peace falls short of: “peace and prosperity”  “welfare” (“well-being”). Its the full and abundant life Jesus referred to in John 10:10  Shalom as essentially relational, standing for peace in relation to “God, others, self and nature.” Shalom “means just, harmonious, enjoyable relationships.  In Isaiah 65:17-2  , God further describes His vision for the peaceable city:

  • Public celebrations and happiness (v. 17-25)
  • Public health for children and aged (v. 20)
  • Housing for all (v. 21)
  • Food for all (v. 22)
  • Family support systems (v. 23)
  • Absence of violence (v. 25)

How can we be part of this shalom? What is our mission?

A Theology of the Kingdom  735-750

The gospel of the kingdom is not just one of salvation, but also of salvaging: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me  to proclaim good news to the poor.He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners  and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,  to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)

We are to be a community called out of the world to accept responsibility for the world.

Many churches have been inward focused. Are we ready to be inward or outward?

*Next chapter: Chapter 5: Posture