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5 Cities that Ruled the World by Douglas Wilson

November 29, 2009

When I saw this book, I knew I wanted to read it. My instincts were right; this was a great book. Douglas Wilson takes a look at five cities (Jerusalem, Athens, Rome, London, and New York City) and explains how their histories build on each other, overlap and affect each other, and intersect with the growth of God’s kingdom on earth. One of the best things that Wilson does is talk a little about the legacy each city leaves and that these legacies have liberty in common. Jerusalem’s legacy is primarily spiritual, ultimately allowing for spiritual liberty through the death and resurrection of Jesus at Jerusalem. Athens’ legacy is primarily in the areas of reason and democracy. Many of our current democratic principles originated in Athens, although they looked very differently there. The pursuit of reason is a noble one that has largely continued in the Christian west. The primary legacy handed down by Rome is justice under the law. The existence of the empire provided a stability under which justice could be administered. It was a rough justice, but it was recognizable as justice. The legacy of London is one of literary freedom. Some of the greatest literature ever produced has historically come from London, including Tyndale’s Bible and the King James Version Bible. New York’s legacy is one that is still being determined, but by all accounts must include economic or financial liberty.

5 Cities that Ruled the World is a great overview of the histories of these cities. It is easy to read and full of great stories. If you are a preacher, teacher, or other public speaker, there are a number of things that would make great illustrations. I whole-heartedly recommend this book. I already have some friends that want to borrow and read it. After that, it will hold a continued place on my shelf.

More information about 5 Cities that Ruled the World can be found at Thomas Nelson’s product page. I am a member of Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Blogger program.


From → Book Reviews

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