A striking feature of Urban Harvest is Joslin’s emphasis on the doctrine of creation and the importance of general revelation as a prelude to gospel proclamation.
Tower block estates are not really concrete jungles; they are grey deserts. The homes of the people have no character or individuality about them. They are like a mound of boxes piled high in the sky. Slabs of dull grey concrete reach high and heavenwards. Down at ground level people scuttle to and fro as though surrounded by some ‘technological Stonehenge’. But the visible symbols of the ‘concrete age’ kindle no spark within the soul. They crowd the skyline and hem us in. They restrict our ration of God’s blue sky. (39)
Regrettably, the resident in the big city is still more aware of what man has manufactured than of what God has created. Urban dwellers on post-war high-rise estates are, so it seems, surrounded by monotonous mountains of greyness. This matter exposes a major factor of spiritual deprivation as well. The scriptures teach that before a person acquainted with the truth revealed in God’s Word he has to rely on God’s general revelation in creation for his inner awareness of the Maker to whom he is accountable. (144-145)
We tend to associate the presence and power of God with the glory of the heavens and the beauty of the countryside. But God’s highest creation is more in evidence in the bustling din of a city rush-hour than in the relaxing peace of a rural landscape. ‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God He created him’ (Gen. 1:27). This is the summit of God’s creative achievements. This is God’s marvel of miniaturization. (225)
Urban Harvest is available here from amazon.com and amazon.co.uk. In October IVP are publishing my latest book, Unreached: Growing Churches in Working-Class and Deprived Areas, was written with the Reaching the Unreached network.
This article was originally published on Tim Chester’s blog.