James Jordan: From Land to City

What follows are some notes from this excellent lecture by James Jordan.

After A.D. 70 we have the city. In Revelation the city appears. From A.D. 30-70 the Bride is made ready, goes through tribulation, and the city comes at that point. A.D. 70 is the first coming of Jesus.

The shift from land to city is not a mere symbol but a cultural phenomenon.

In the city you have foreigners, you don’t have that in the country. There are different kinds of food in the city. Out in the country the eat the same stuff more or less.

In the Old Covenant, cities were for foreigners. Land was divided up for Israel. There was no land for the foreigner. You could maybe rent or lease land, but in the Jubilee year it goes back to God and then back to those he gave it to. 

Numbers tells you about the city. 1000 cubits out from a walled city is city space, you can grow crops in those areas. Cities are slightly more holy. Leprosy out in the land doesn’t mean anything. In the city, something has to be done about it. Slightly more holy in that system.

Deuteronomy 13. Foreigners are there seducing you. They don’t do that in the country.

The city anticipates the new creation already in the Old Testament. The city is not under the Jubilee laws. You can buy and sell land permanently, like the New Covenant.

Jerusalem itself is already becoming this new place. City life is not under the elementary principles–when we were children and angels were teaching us.

Angels instructed us using stars and animals. We worshiped bringing animals, they carried us to heaven. Proverbs, learn from the animals. Cherubim ox, lion, and eagle. Animals are first in the world. 5th day and first half of the 6th day. They precede us in the world. The animal trails leads you to the good water. They discover what’s good to eat and where the water is before we do. Now Jesus blazes the trail for us, not animals.

In the city you don’t live by the almanac or with animals, but with other people. 

Division of labor in the city. High culture as opposed to folk art. Temple orchestra, Temple choir.

When the new creation happened, the world changed.

Passover was not a family meal. Do it with someone next door or later it was done in the Tabernacle. Made into a family meal after AD 70. The Jewish animal-centric system was forced to end.

Pagans were terrified of their gods, New Age is playing games, playing paganism. Nobody has taboos, nobody has fear and dread, such as not eating foods. Modern paganism is Humanism with frosting on top.

A.D. 30 to 70 is a type of what happens everywhere over the world when the Gospel arrives. The horsemen of Revelation:

It conquers.

Opposed to each other.

Old things starved out. Bread, wine and oil protected.

Green horse kills off the old ways, continue in Christ or come into Antichrist, you cannot go back to where you were before. 

It brings city. We have to learn to live with each other, can’t avoid it anymore.

City becomes manifest over time. Bible is truth given to exorcise us and de-mythologize us. The Bible purges out all mythic thinking. It never uses mythic language or categories. It is pure history. It has its own chronology.

Gods are sucked out of human fears and consciousness by exorcism and technology results. Technology is the extension of human beings as governors and transformers of the world. It enhances our hands, our feet, our ears. We are extended by this. No longer afraid to do it.

No longer in bondage to be a farmer in the USA. Any return to the land today is voluntary. The whole world is citified. Farming is citified. Garden in your backyard is for fun. 

Folk music disappeared replaced by commercial music. World becoming city. Money economy. Globalism. Increasingly universal noosphere.

Confessions of faith written 500 years ago in a largely agrarian society. What questions do we have that they did not? Not to change the facts but how they are expressed. Have to change or we become little sects over here on the side.

Rebellion of the old against the new. Country life is better. How much incest is there in country life? It is just different, not better.

Big reaction against the city in the 20th century Europe was against it. Germany, Austria, Romania, folk movements, land and blood. A reaction against city and city life.

Nazism: using Wagner with gigantic displays with people in squares. City stuff going on trying to go back to blood and land. Agrarian ideal. Volk. Pure race. Reaction against what Jesus has done. What He has done can’t be stopped. Those reactions fizzle out. It can’t work. The world is mixed and cosmopolitan. USA is on the forefront, pioneers. More kind of people in one place. Not a pat on our back. What Jesus has put in front of us. Europe tried to stop it. Didn’t want Jews and got Muslims. Neo-pagan movement in USA agrarianism. Universities. People are discipled by working in soil with animals. Discipled better. Vanderbilt. An ivory tower thinking that blacks and poor whites should live that way when you yourself would never do it. Nature doesn’t disciple people, the Holy Spirit does it. Angels and spirits used nature to disciple people in the Old Cov. Agrariansim failed. Familism still around in some Christians and it has failed.

Gal 4: 8-11

Church calendar is our choice, not imposed on us. 

We don’t live by the almanac in the church. The old world had to know the seasons, sun, moon, stars, etc. to plant their crops.

We no longer have lunar months. We are free from that.

The Church as city is the heart of the New Covenant. It starts in the church and flows out. It undergirds everything. The Alpha form of the Kingdom, not the Omega form. 

Acts 2, all languages in one faith. Koran only in Arabic. Hebrew Bible only in Hebrew in older days. Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirt comes and speaks in every language EXCEPT Hebrew.

The Bible can be translated into every language accurately.

All languages, one faith.

Not one language, one faith.

Jew and Gentile have to come together. Circumcision tore the world in half, Jew and Gentile. The resurrection puts them together. The distinction is gone. Be mutual to one another and esteem one another better than ourselves. Baptists are better than us, Pentecostals, etc.

Get along, mutuality in the city. Everybody is the same in justification. By acting in the right way the Church patterns it for society.

Islam is a huge international tribal religion with an idol at the center, the meteorite. It’s written in a book. Arian Christianity gone to seed. Another form of the perversion of the gospel. 

Is the city bad in the OT? Cain and Nimrod’s cities, Nineveh, Babylon, premature cities. The pagans get there first. No polemic against the city as such. Jacques Ellul agrarian, city life is dangerous. In reality city life is tough, but it’s a grown up problem. More challenges, more fearful than the countryside. The city isn’t bad, the city of man is bad.

Counterfeit cities. 






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