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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.
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.
Rapid urbanization and globalization processes worldwide have changed the landscape of our times. In Asia and Africa the number of urban dwellers increases by an average of one million per week, according to the United Nations. More than half of the globe's seven billion human beings now live in cities. These realities have far reaching implications for mission in urban contexts at the start of the third millennium. Reaching the City: Reflections on Urban Mission for the Twenty-first Century seeks to address the missiological challenges associated with this new world order. Each author in this collection respectfully builds upon the significant contributions of seminal writers such as Ray Bakke, Jacques Ellul, Basil of Caesarea and others, while making new and creative proposals for urban mission in our world today. Beginning with the bigger picture of the global challenges of urbanization, and moving through theological, historical, and educational perspectives, this volume concludes with a rich bevy of case studies engaging these new realities of both North American and international cities to encourage a missional thrust to reach these communities.
Why is the city a battleground of hostile principalities and powers? What is the mission of the church in the city? How can the church be supported in accomplishing that mission? These are the questions that Robert Linthicum treats in his comprehensive and probing biblical theology of the city. In the Bible the city is depicted both as a dwelling place of God and his people and as a center of power for Satan and his minions. The city is one primary stage on which the drama of salvation is played out. And that is no less the case at the end of this pivotal century as megacities become the focal point of most human activity and aspirations around the world. This is a timely theology of the city that weaves the theological images of the Bible and the social realities of the contemporary world into a revealing tapestry of truths about the urban experience. Its purpose is to define clearly the mission of the church in the midst of the urban realities and to support well the work of the church in the urban world.
Our nation used to look at violence, poverty, and gentrification and assign those problems to urban centers. Today, these issues concern the suburbs, too. The Christian community is responding to this reality. Churches and parachurch ministries are actively working to transform lives and restore communities throughout the city and suburbs. In A Heart for the Community: New Models for Urban and Suburban Ministry, you will be challenged by a collection of voices seeking community renewal. These individuals are involved in creative church planting initiatives, and they are serving the growing Hispanic and Muslim populations. Additional endeavors include serving racially changing communities, economic development strategies, and more. As anyone who has been in ministry for any length of time can attest, tackling some of the most challenging issues of our times is no mere academic exercise. The voices within these pages write from experience and offer workable, vibrant models of ministry that make a difference.
Paris. Nairobi. Tokyo. Chicago. For the first time in history, over half of the world’s population lives in cities, and yet evangelicals make up only 2% of many major urban populations. In this “urban manifesto,” pastor and author Jon Dennis argues that the greatest need of our day is for the transformative news of the gospel to enliven the cities of the world. Dennis powerfully highlights God’s special love for cities, exploring important issues related to city-dwelling and offering real-world advice for reaching urbanites. With Christ-exalting, biblically based insights, this book serves as a rallying cry for a new generation of Christians who are passionate about seeing the kingdom of God take root and flourish in some of the darkest, yet most strategic, places on earth.

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