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"If God's way in the world can be described as cruciform and covenantal, so can the ministry to which we are summoned in urban settings. For urban churches are called to covenant with God and others at the intersection of the places where God is bringing life out to the death-tending ways of our urban realities." --from the introduction
What, pray tell, does a faithful urban ministry require if not a triadic relationship of prayer, justice, and hope? Could such a theologically conjunctive relationship of prayer, justice, and hope fortify urban ministry and challenge students and practitioners to ponder and practice beyond the box? Frequently, justice is collapsed to charity, hope into wishful thinking or temporarily arrested despair, and prayer a grasp at quick-fix interventions. An urban ministry's steadfast public and prophetic witness longs for the depth and width of this triad. Via three countries' decades of endeavors, one chapter brainstorms urban ministry practices while another's literature survey signals crucial convictions. Amid many, seminal theologians are summoned to ground urban ministry intimations and implications: Niebuhr on justice, Moltmann on hope, and Merton on contemplative prayer. Evident is passion that fuels compassion in the service of justice, hope that engages despair, and prayer that draws from the contemplative center of it all--thankful resources for long haul ministry. The triad presses to illumine a concrete ministry's engagement of relentless, forced option issues yet with significant networks resourcing. Contrast-awareness animates endurance. The summary exegetes the original grace-based serenity prayer. Hence, hope vitally balances realism's temptation to cynicism. Realism saves hope from irrelevancy.
In the first of a three-volume work, Daniel Patte presents three very different critical exegeses of Romans 1, arguing that all are equally legitimate and hermeneutically plausible. By expanding upon and respecting the exegeses of many erudite scholars of the last two centuries, Patte concludes that three families of vastly different critical interpretations are fully justified: traditional philological and epistolary studies; rhetorical and sociocultural studies; and figurative studies of the "coherence†? of Paul's teaching. Arising from a long-standing interdisciplinary investigation of many receptions of Romans in light of recent diversification of exegetical methodologies, Patte concludes that the interpretation of a scriptural text necessarily involves making a choice among equally legitimate and plausible alternatives; and second, that this choice is always contextual and ethical. When these points are denied (by failing to respect the interpretations of others and absolutizing one's interpretation), instead of being a scriptural blessing, Romans becomes a deadly weapon against others – heretics, Jews (Shoah), and many others. The result is a threefold commentary of Romans 1 that is unique in its scope and thorough-going exegesis.
A comprehensive introduction to the particular challenges and opportunities of congregational ministry in urban settings. Urban ministry has long been a part of seminary curricula, but a basic and definitive understanding of what students should know as they prepare for congregational ministry in the city has remained elusive. Too often it is assumed that the theological resources developed for ministry in other settings are adequate for urban ministry, but these resources fail to account for the unique challenges and opportunities of the urban setting. Ronald Peters clarifies the nature of urban ministry as a theological discipline by showing how its core values of love, justice, community, and reconciliation (among others) engage the issues of economics, education, family life, public health, ethnic relations, and religious life in the urban environment. Arguing that the city has always served as an arena of God's activity, Peters articulates a theological rationale for urban ministry that is both hopeful and yet realistic, affirming that God loves the city and its people and encouraging practitioners to do the same.
Leaders of ten denominations analyze the history of their churches' ministries in American cities since World War II and convey positive insights for future ministry work in metropolitan areas.
This reader contains 48 key texts by theologians, sociologists, psychologists and ministers on the extremes of wealth and poverty, and power and powerlessness, to be found in cities all over the world. This book has been designed for use by: community workers, teachers and clergy working in urban priority areas; those living outside urban areas; and clergy in training, whether they plan to work in the city or not.
Although history is replete with tales of revenge, Christian forgiveness provides an alternate response. In this volume, Pentecostal scholars from various disciplines offer their vision for forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration. The essayists offer long-overdue Pentecostal perspectives through analysis of contemporary theological issues, personal testimony, and prophetic possibilities for restoration of individual relationships and communities. Though Pentecostals remain committed to Spirit-empowered witness as recorded in Luke-Acts, these scholars embrace a larger Lukan vision of Spirit-initiated inclusivity marked by reconciliation. The consistent refrain calls for forgiveness as an expression of God's love that does not demand justice but rather seeks to promote peace by bringing healing and reconciliation in relationships between people united by one Spirit.

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