Their biblical argument (I'm sure you'll correct me if I'm wrong) is as follows:
- Man began in a garden but ended in a city (Revelation) and that's as God intended it
- The early church succeeded in winning whole regions because like Paul they concentrated their mission on cities
- Cities are the cultural centres and when God told Adam and Eve to work the garden that is a mandate to create culture and so logic says Christians must prioritise cities.
- God created people in a garden and sin expelled them where they built cities.
- Jesus' mission and strategy virtually ignored cities for the whole of his three years of public ministry
- Cities are not independent. I know this is a shock to a lot of city dwellers but food needs growing and not just picking from a supermarket.
Positives would be God's concern for Ninevah (Jonah 4:11), His love for Zion (Ps 48:2) and of course the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:2). Jesus said his disciples should be light, like a city on a hill.
But God does seem to spend a lot of his time judging cities such as Babel (Gen 11:8), Jerusalem (Is 1:21 e.g.).
True Heb 11:16 says God has prepared a city for us, the city of God but that's why on earth we don't have a city (Heb 13:14).
Some cities are like Jerusalem and others are like Sodom. Choose carefully would be my advice. I guess I'm unconvinced by Keller's thesis on this one. He argued that to culturally win a region you first needed to win the city. Militarily of course the opposite is also true. Capture the countryside and the cities will starve. Biblically, cities are important but then so are places like Nazareth.