The City of God and the Goal of Creation

By T. Desmond Alexander, Series edited by Dane Ortlund, Miles V. Van Pelt

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“For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.” –Hebrews 13:14

At the very heart of God’s plan for the world stands an extraordinary city. Beginning with the garden of Eden in Genesis and ending with the New Jerusalem in Revelation, the biblical story reveals how God has been working throughout history to establish a city filled with his glorious presence. Tracing the development of the theme of city in both testaments, T. Desmond Alexander draws on his experience as a biblical scholar to show us God’s purpose throughout Scripture to dwell with his redeemed people in a future extraordinary city on a transformed earth.

Part of the Short Studies in Biblical Theology series.

Read Chapter 1


T. Desmond Alexander

T. Desmond Alexander (PhD, The Queen’s University of Belfast) is senior lecturer in biblical studies and director of postgraduate studies at Union Theological College in Belfast. Alexander is the chairman of the Tyndale Fellowship for Biblical and Theological Research, served as coeditor of The New Dictionary of Biblical Theology, and has written many volumes in the area of biblical theology. T. D. is married to Anne, and they have two adult children.

Product Details

Category: Theology
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 192
Size: 5.25 in x 8.0 in
Weight: 7.1 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-5574-3
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-5574-9
ISBN-UPC: 9781433555749
Case Quantity: 68
Published: January 31, 2018

Table of Contents

Series Preface

  1. The Godless City 
  2. The Temple-City
  3. The Holy Mountain City
  4. The Royal City
  5. Envisaging a Transformed Jerusalem
  6. Hope for Jerusalem beyond Divine Judgment
  7. Seeking the City That Is to Come 
  8. Anticipating New Jerusalem

For Further Reading
General Index
Scripture Index


“Marked by T. Desmond Alexander’s typically careful scholarship and sound exegesis, The City of God and the Goal of Creation is a beautiful work of biblical theology that sets forth how the narrative of Scripture culminates with the New Jerusalem, where God’s people will enjoy a life of fellowship with God. Get this book for yourself and get it for others too.”
L. Michael Morales, Professor of Biblical Studies, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary; author, The Tabernacle Pre-Figured and Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord?; editor, Cult and Cosmos: Tilting toward a Temple-Centered Theology

“At a time when worldwide urbanization—the movement of people from country to city—is at full flood, many think of cities not only as centers of jobs, culture, and government, but as sinkholes of iniquity. This interesting book competently introduces us to the theme of city in the Bible, tracing out its trajectory through Scripture and its promise for the future, and takes us finally to the New Jerusalem from which sin and all its effects are forever banished.”
D. A. Carson, Theologian-at-Large, The Gospel Coalition

“This fascinating short study provides a splendid overview of the Bible’s teaching on the city of God, tracing its early beginnings in the garden of Eden and following it all the way to its culmination in the New Jerusalem. This is biblical theology at its best. A magnificent study!”
Andreas J. K√∂stenberger, Theologian in Residence, Fellowship Raleigh, North Carolina; Cofounder, Biblical Foundations

“Readers are helped to grasp not only the significance of a key biblical topic but also how Scripture contains a coherent storyline and consistent message. Filled with numerous theological insights, this is a must-read for anyone looking for an informed and reliable discussion.”
Paul Williamson, Lecturer in Old Testament, Moore Theological College, Sydney, Australia; author, Sealed with an Oath and Death and the Afterlife

“New believers trying to make sense of Scripture for the first time, as well as believers who have studied the Bible for decades, will find insight and encouragement in these pages. The City of God and the Goal of Creation is a feast for those who love the Word of God.”
Keith A. Mathison, Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformation Bible College; author, From Age to Age; Given for You; and The Shape of Sola Scriptura

“Alexander has achieved something marvelous here: many who study the big picture are skimpy on the details, while many who focus on the details miss out on the big picture—but here we have someone knowledgeable, thoughtful, judicious, and persuasive on the details and the big storyline.”
C. John Collins, Professor of Old Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary

“This book brings together an astonishing number of Bible passages into a clear and coherent overview of the great narrative of the Bible.”
Douglas J. Moo, Kenneth T. Wessner Professor of New Testament, Wheaton College; Chair, Committee on Bible Translation (NIV); author, The Epistle to the Romans and An Introduction to the New Testament

The city of God is a central biblical theme, and T. Desmond Alexander masterfully guides us as he follows the theme from Genesis to Revelation. His study is a marvelous demonstration of the organic coherence of the Bible’s message. I enthusiastically recommend this book to all Christians.”
Tremper Longman III, Distinguished Scholar and Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies, Westmont College

“I love this book! It may be short, but it packs a big punch. It is a book to savor—small in size, but bursting with biblical insights.”
Jason C. Meyer, Lead Pastor, Urban Refuge Church, Minneapolis

“Despite the depressing state of the world, T. Desmond Alexander’s biblical theology of Jerusalem provides a biblical basis for hope for the future. This is an irenic, fair, and easily accessible study of Jerusalem, the city of God.”
Michael Rydelnik, Professor of Jewish Studies and Bible, Moody Bible Institute; Host and Bible Teacher, Open Line with Dr. Michael Rydelnik, Moody Radio

“We are seeking the city that is to come, and there is no one I would rather read on the topic than T. Desmond Alexander. Read this book, then buy a stack of copies to give away.”
James M. Hamilton Jr., Professor of Biblical Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment