The fall of Rome in 410 saw the world many people thought was unshakable, collapse. In light of this, Augustine of Hippo wrote about the city that would never be destroyed – the City of God. In outlining human history as a conflict between the City of God and the City of the World, Augustine presents the true church of Christ as being independent from any place or state. Civic peace in the earthly city can help to further the City of God. But even those who dwelt within the City of God would still face trials and tribulations, until the return of Christ.
In this lecture Nick Needham focuses on Jeremiah 29:7: “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Dr Needham helpfully draws out the parallels between the exiled Jews in Babylon and Christians today.
John Nevin was one of the most significant American theologians of the 19th century. The favourite student of Charles Hodge at Princeton University, he went on to become a professor of theology at the German Reformed Seminary at Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. He argued against the prevailing revivalist theology of Charles Finney and the individualism of his day. He helped Protestants nurture a high view of the Lord’s Supper. He also worked alongside his close friend and colleague Philip Schaff to promote the vital importance of church history.