I am an agrarian and have always been. I think the modern city is unredeemable and itself seeks no redemption. I have seen cities where the sewage is up to the ankles, bureaucrats control the money and jobs, and Soviet-style apartments dominate the landscapes. When Reformed Constitutionalists and Federal Visionists challenge me on this, I simply point to the crime reports as counter-evidence.
There is one line of evidence, though, that gives one pause. The Bible does seem to speak of the eschaton as a garden city. And if we are to pray thy kingdom come (a premise not entirely admitted by Westminster Seminary), then it seems that an urban vision is somewhat normative. Yet, I ask, what is the nature of this vision? Is it simply the urban world we see today, where gangsters and drug lords shoot up the neighborhood? Is it the vision, like in Chicago, where city cameras dominate the entire landscapes, literally ushering in Orwell’s vision? The Federal Visionist and evangelical cultural warrior has to answer “yes.”
But there is “another way.” An urban vision can exist. It can be beautiful, but only if it repudiates everything it sees today.
(sorry, I couldn’t embed this video).
It is a vision that seeks beauty, poetry, and glory–not the market.