(PUBEerdmans)Because of racism, poverty, crime, corruption, and other reasons, our inner cities continue to decay. Here's the hope-filled, compelling story of Baltimore's New Song Community Church and the innovative gospel strategies it has developed to help overcome social blight. 280 pages, softcover.
Foreword by Miroslav Volf
Preface by LaVerne Stokes
How are Christians to understand and respond to our distressed inner-city communities? Building on both the perspective of God's new creation and the view from the neighborhood, Mark R. Gornik'sTo Live in Peace shows how the life of the church, the strategies of community development, and the practices of peacemaking can make a transformational difference.
Centering the book is the story of Baltimore's New Song Community Church, a church that stands as a witness to what can happen when the risks of the gospel are taken. Engaging with a wide range of theological and missiological perspectives, Gornik demonstrates how placing blame for the current conditions of life in the inner city on the residents themselves fails the test of critical analysis and the witness of Scripture. Yet his proposals also show ways that the church can work with the community to overcome structural obstacles to human flourishing.
Mark R. Gornik is director of City Seminary of New York. He served previously as the founding pastor of New Song Community Church in Baltimore and is also the author of To Live in Peace: Biblical Faith and the Changing Inner City.
"This groundbreaking book offers us the most pervasively theological account to date of community building in an urban context. Like Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Cost of Discipleship and Martin Luther King Jr.'s Strength to Love, Mark Gornik's To Live in Peace is theological writing born of intense human struggle and conviction, a stunningly imaginative and powerful work. Gornik shows us, through both theological analysis and gripping narrative, that biblical faith matters greatly to the social existence of Christians: to the way we locate ourselves in towns and cities as well as to the way we respond to the challenges of civic responsibility and the brokenness of creation. . . I regard Gornik as one of the church's most exciting theological thinkers, the kind of organic theologian we academics dream about but very rarely find. He's the real thing."
"Mark Gornik is a practitioner who has served faithfully in communities of need. He is also prophetic in his lifestyle and writing because he speaks for the God who embraces the poor. This volume is superior sociologically and theologically, both in its sociological understanding of the city and in its biblical theology for urban ministry. This will be a great resource for both scholars and practitioners for many years to come."
John M. Perkins
"To Live in Peace is a book that needs to be read by all who work in urban communities and by those who have a concern for the quality of life of people, especially people who live in our urban communities."
"A fascinating work! Gornik masterfully weaves together a beautiful and hopeful narrative of inner-city redemption by way of a socio-theological grammar of great sophistication. Focusing on the city, the gospel, and discipleship, he calls for (using the words of J?rgen Moltmann) the Spirit-led 'restoration of disrupted community and the communication of life.' This is an inspiring and informative text that challenges us all to indeed 'seek the peace of the city' (Jer. 29:7). It will be a required text in my courses on urban ministry."
"This is the best urban ministry book to be published in at least the last decade. It contains solid urban theology, good program ideas, excellent understanding of the history and sociology of cities and the most exhaustive and contemporary urban ministry bibliography available."