Urban Ministry: The Kingdom, the City & the People of God

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9780830838707: Urban Ministry: The Kingdom, the City & the People of God
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No. 3 in the 2002 Academy of Parish Clergy Top Ten Books of the Year! The city presents serious challenges that cry out for answers: poverty, racism, human exploitation and government corruption. How can the church move ahead in the midst of these demands with the gospel of hope? Here, in one comprehensive volume, Harvie Conn and Manuel Ortiz, two noted scholars and proven practitioners of urban ministry, address the vital work of the church in the city. Their dual goal: to understand the city and God's work in it. Through four great waves of development, Conn and Ortiz trace the history of the city around the world. Then they tackle the critical issue of a biblical basis for urban mission. How does the Bible view the city? Are we closer to God in the country than the city? Does the Bible have an anti-urban bias? These questions are given a thorough analysis that unveils God's urban mandate as reflected in both Old and New Testaments. From this foundation the authors unpack the multifaceted nature of the city as place, as process, as center, as power, and as a place of change and stability. They move us beyond fragmented stereotypes to a new way of seeing that is holistic enough for a fully biblical ministry to develop. In addition, Conn and Ortiz lay out what the social sciences have to offer urban mission, including ethnographic and demographic studies and they focus on the particular issues and needs of urban leadership, including a plan for developing and mentoring leaders while equipping the laity for ministry in the city. This is the essential text for bringing God's kingdom to the city through the people of God. Now in paperback!

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About the Author:

Conn was emeritus professor of missions at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, before his death in 1999. He served as a missionary in Korea for twelve years and joined the faculty of Westminster in 1972. Conn was for ten years editor of Urban Mission. He also wrote Evangelism: Doing Justice and Preaching Grace and Eternal Word and Changing Worlds.

Review:

"Urban Ministry . . . is a pivotal resource for those interested in understanding God's perspective on ministering within urban contexts of the 21st century." (Ken Castor, The Journal of Youth Ministry, Fall 2011)

"As a refreshingly exhaustive, provacative, relevant, and practical opus, though, Urban Ministry will serve many current and future urban church workers quite well as both a textbook and a reference book for grappling with the various complexities of and ripe opportunities for ministry in twenty-first century urban contexts." (Dien Ashley Taylor, Concordia Theological Quarterly 74 (2010))

"Conn and Ortiz in Urban Ministry set out with the goal to understand the city and God's work in it. They undertake this task with a thorough examination of the urban milieu historically, psychologically, sociologically, ethnographically, demographically, and biblically. Not being an Evangelical, I still highly recommend that every Christian who is involved or interested in urban ministry read this book." (Frank Mills, Borderlands Review, (frankamills.com), October 2008)

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