Thursday, March 8, 2007

QUESTIONS FOR URBAN MINISTRY

CITIES AND CHURCHES. Clifford J. Green's book Churches, Cities, and Human Community (Eerdmans, 1996) has been helpful to me as I have continued to seek the shalom of the city. Green, also one of the leading scholars on the work of Deitrich Bonhoeffer, raises some important questions for churches at the end of a chapter titled "Seeking Community in the Metropolis."

PUBLIC REDEMPTION & PERSONAL SALVATION. "Ministry to cities needs, on the one hand, research that yields intentional, systematic, and analytical conceptualization of what modern American cities are... Ministry to cities needs, on the other hand, a renewal of faith vigorous enough to meet the challenge of the urban context. Will biblical faith be revived that is as hopeful of public redemption as of personal salvation, of social justice as of peace of mind?"

MATCHING CHALLENGE WITH CAPACITY. "Will churches order their priorities to meet the challenges of contemporary urban life? Will a new and enduring practice of lay vocation in public life arise? Will theological education meet the challenge that the crises of urban, national, and international disparities reveal? Will a new ecumenism be born to serve teh new millenium?"

GOD HELP US. "The formidable challenge of renewing American cities exposes the equally formidable task of renewing the American church. Veni Creator Spiritus!"

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