Their can be no question that our world is increasingly an urban world. Even thhose who did not previously live in urban centers are being grafted into such centers simply by their quickly expanding sprawl. Areas that were once near cities, by still rural now are shaped and overwhelmed by population increases. It is also true that Christianity is increasingly an urban religion, especially in foreign nations.
But the movement is also true in the U.S. especially as it applies to immigrant and minority populations. So how can we bring the gospel to these contexts?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 Urban Ministry: The Kingdom, the City, and the People of God, 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, yet simple 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.