Christ + City: Why the Greatest Need of the City Is the Greatest News of All

By Jon Dennis

Christ + City

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Christ + City: Why the Greatest Need of the City Is the Greatest News of All

By Jon Dennis

Why does God seem to be calling so many people to cities? How should we think about and engage with the cities of the world?

This book not only reveals to us a revolutionary opportunity, but also explains why God loves cities, how and why we should live in them, and what we can do to reach them for his glory. Speaking to practical issues such as sex, ethnicity, and raising children in an urban setting, this stirring treatise helps us to take seriously the majesty and authority of the risen Christ.

Anyone who wants to follow God more deeply and radically in this new generation will benefit from Christ + City. It’s written to show us all—urbanite or non-urbanite, Christian or skeptic, single or married, city-lover or city-hater—a vision for growing spiritually and for joining in God’s global movement to bring true, lasting, gospel-centered change.


Jon M. Dennis (MDiv, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; MLA, University of Chicago) is the founding pastor and senior pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Chicago, Illinois. He has helped to establish the church's four congregations and various ministries including Hope for Chicago, the Charles Simeon Trust, and the Chicago Partnership for Church Planting. He is the author of several books and is currently working to complete his doctorate of ministry at Westminster Theological Seminary. Jon and his wife, Amy, have five children.


“Thoroughly biblical in its scope and treatment, Jon Dennis has gifted the people of God with a manifesto that will inspire the reader to be a part of what God is doing in cities. Incredibly timely, astoundingly pertinent, and convincingly prophetic, this is a book you will want to come back to over and over again.”
Bryan Loritts, Pastor for Preaching and Mission, Trinity Grace Church, New York City; Founder and President, The Kainos Movement; Editor, Letters to a Birmingham Jail

“Jon Dennis provides a pastorally sound and culturally engaged response to questions the church is now asking in the face of rapid global urbanization. More commendably, he answers these questions with an eye toward the application of the gospel to the heart of the ‘urban generation.’ No matter the geographic location—city or suburb, high-rise or homestead—Christ + City will serve those hoping to broaden their perspective while deepening their commitment to the gospel.”
Stephen T. Um, Senior Minister, Citylife Presbyterian Church, Boston, Massachusetts; coauthor, Why Cities Matter

“Jon’s book will equip Christian urbanites to reach cities for the gospel. He covers a broad spectrum of topics ranging from ambition and sex to ethnicity and children with twenty-first century relevance and biblical insight. My prayer is that it will lead to gospel clarity, encourage gospel living, fuel gospel prayers, and fire up gospel proclamation across the world from Chicago to Christchurch.”
Denesh Divyanathan, Founding Pastor, The Crossing Church, Singapore; President, Project Timothy

“Jon Dennis is a pastor, mentor, and visionary leader who has embraced Christ’s call to the city. His dynamic ministry in Chicago and his outreach to other global cities across several continents give him a deep understanding of the opportunity that today’s urban generation has to reach the city for Christ. In this pervasively gospel-centered book, Dennis combines the faithful exposition of central biblical texts with wise pastoral guidance to help people who live, work, serve, and worship in urban communities to honor God’s redemptive purposes for the city.”
Philip Graham Ryken, President, Wheaton College; author, Loving the Way Jesus Loves

“Is our view of the city simplistic? Is it overly positive, overly negative? Will our proclamation of King Jesus rise to the challenge of our cities? With evident love for the Lord and His Word, Jon Dennis skillfully helps us answer these questions with clear biblical exposition and straightforward applications, which spur on godly aspirations and zeal for the Gospel. This book is well informed theologically and sociologically, yet practical and compelling. Wholeheartedly recommended.”
Paul Harrison, Pastor, Rue de Sèvres, Rue des Ternes, Paris, France

“Jon Dennis has crafted a compelling vision for reaching and restoring our cities. He writes from scripture, he writes from his heart, and he writes from his life. He and his family were already blessing our city day-in and day-out while so many of us were still just thinking about it. Read Christ + City and you will be inspired, equipped, and challenged to follow his lead.”
Jon Ferguson, Founding Pastor, Chicago Network Leader, Community Christian Church; author, The Big Idea, Exponential: How You and Your Friends Can Start a Missional Church Movement, and Discover Your Mission Now

“Jon Dennis loves Chicago and the cities of the world—because such are what Christ loves. And in Christ + City he calls the church not to an Exodus, but a gospel-driven Eisodus back into the city. Pastor Dennis’s years of experience since founding Holy Trinity Church and it’s numerous congregations and ministries; his profound theological understanding of the church and its ‘ultimate urban future;’ and his knowledge of the modern city and the writings of the urban philosophers and theorists, have given us a book that is radically biblical and, therefore, prophetic and visionary. Between these covers lie nothing less than the essential strategy for world evangelization.”
R. Kent Hughes, Professor of Practical Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary

“Jon has done a remarkable job of weaving the blessing and benefits of ministry in the city. He hits many of the difficulties head on with honesty and integrity. This is a great book for all Christians.”
Wayne L. Gordon, founding pastor, Lawndale Community Church; President, Christian Community Development Association

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Table of Contents:

Part 1: Foundations of City Understanding—Our Direction
1.  Where Are We Going?
2.  Ambition and the First City
Part 2: God’s Heart for the City—How Cities Change
3.  Prayer and the City
4.  The City Transformed
5.  Faithfulness in the City
Part 3: Issues in City Living—Learning to Thrive in the City
6.  Sex and the City
7.  Ethnicity and the City
8.  Children in the City
Part 4: Strategic Principles and Actions—Reaching the City
9.  The City within a City
10. Global City Gospel Movements
Conclusion: Cities and the Future of the World


Category: Culture & Social Issues
Evangelism & Missions
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 208
ISBN-10: 1-4335-3687-0
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-3687-8
Size: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
Weight: 8.9 ounces
Published: April 30, 2013