It’s time for the people of God to rise up and take these cities back and become a city honoring our Creator.

For the past 10 years I have been leading walking tours2 of the famous Royal Mile in Edinburgh. What a joy it is to weave our way around the old streets where people can discover our extraordinary Christian heritage. Here St Columba and St Cuthbert preached, as did John Knox and the Scottish Reformers; here the Covenanter Christians bled and died for their faith. Amidst the years and turmoil of the ages revival has broken out to transform the world from this very street, and a host of famous preachers have played their part, from John Wesley and George Whitefield, to Charles Finney and Dwight L. Moody.

City of God

Many leaders of revival movements of the past here have understood that we need a Christian worldview; we need a message that is robust and that transforms every part of society. It is not surprising, then, that Christians often were the pioneers of science, education, social reforms, law, medicine, and health care. Out of this city Christians rose up to pioneer democracy during the Reformation, and the human rights movement during the century later. They sought to build the City of God here in Edinburgh and even adopted a biblical motto to help them focus on their vision: Nisi Dominus Frustra (‘Unless the Lord in Vain’)3, taken from Psalm 127:1. Among our great scientists, here were Christian giants: John Napier (the Reformer, who invented logarithms), Thomas Young, Sir David Brewster, James Clerk Maxwell, Lord Joseph Lister, and Sir James Young Simpson.4

City of the world

Of course there has been great opposition to this City of God and many have arisen to challenge it. Edinburgh’s history is full of witchcraft, false religion and the philosophies of men. During the 18th century we saw the Enlightenment movement centre on the Royal Mile; David Hume, influenced by the French philosophers like Voltaire and Buffon, began the task of dismantling Christianity, regarding it, and especially the idea of miracles, as being childish and inept.

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