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New Releases

 

City Shaped Churches: Planting Churches in a Global Era (September 4, 2018)

Linda Bergquist and Michael D. Crane

Yes, there certainly are many obstacles to urban church planting. The challenge of refraining from insisting on suburban models for urban settings, the soaring cost of living expenses in global urban settings, the challenges inherent in diverse over homogenous contexts, the continual shifting of people moving in and out of cities, the multiplicity of global religions and worldviews— these things can sometimes seem formidable. However, God, who loves cities, and the promise of Kingdom come are truly worth the struggle. Our urban church planting work will be more effective if it is intentional about being both responsive to what is going on around us and in the world and proactive to the possibilities God has placed before us. It is Linda and Michael’s hope that this book will help its readers become more willing to experiment and more willing to be hopeful about the possibility for starting thousands and thousands of vibrant urban churches.

 


 

 

The Gospel of Luke on Poverty and Ministry: An Interactive Workbook (August 23, 2018)

Aaron Smith

The focus of this book is on issues of poverty and urban ministry addressed by Luke’s Gospel. The goal is to help you grow in your walk with God as you learn more about his character while reflecting on the Gospel of Luke in light of today’s complex world where cities and poverty are two dominant features. This book is mainly for those ministering among the poor and vulnerable as well as for those involved in urban ministry. It is also a useful resource for all followers of Jesus to know God’s heart for the poor a little better. As an interactive workbook, it is intended that you pause and reflect on the questions that are incorporated into the text in each lesson. The questions posed in this study do not have easy answers. They are designed to get you thinking about the complex issues of today. This study does not present all the answers. Rather it is intended to help you to reflect on your own life in relation to faith, the poor, and the city.

 


 

 

Genesis 1-11: Volume 1a (Polis Bible Commentary) (August 1, 2018)

John C. Nugent and Sean Benesh

This volume is part of anticipated 30-volume set of commentaries for the entire Bible. Each volume will have Bible Exposition written by a capable Bible scholar and Urban Ministry Commentary sidebar insights written by an urban specialist. We have titled this series the Polis Bible Commentary, using the Greek word "polis," the ancient designation for a city. Ancient cities were centers for commerce, manufacturing, government, the arts, architecture, religious sites, and education. While the cities of Bible times had none of the technological features of modern cities, the difference between urban settings and rural settings was just as huge. Talent, ideas, and trends flowed to the urban centers from the rural world, with the urban influence coming back to rural residents with the city’s stamp of influence. This commentary series is written from the perspective that much of the Bible was written with cities in mind and intended for an urban audience. Urbanists today have taught us that the cities of our world have great similarities and commonalities as opposed to their surrounding rural areas. Missions endeavors originating in the Western churches have long targeted rural populations in Africa and Asia. Now, the demographic trends that are building the urban populations have turned this focus to cities. It is the desire of the authors and editors of this series that the intentional inclusion of an urban perspective will better serve those who serve and live in these dynamic cities.

 


 

 

The Soul of the City: Mapping the Spiritual Geography of Eleven Canadian Cities (July 21, 2018)

Len Hjalmarson. Editor

How do we get to know our cities? How do we identify the spirit of a place? What theological and social frameworks will contribute to our understanding? As a church we have lagged far behind in our understanding of the city. Very few congregations see themselves as communities wrestling with what it means to be salt and light in the urban landscape. We have not been intentional around thinking about the places where we are located and how we might engage them. As you work your way through this book, you will see a wide range of approaches and definitions to the question of the soul of the city. We have gathered thirteen theological practitioners to reflect on the spiritual topography of their city. These writers each contribute one chapter of five thousand words on the place they live.

 


 

 

Reflecting Jesus in the City: Christlike Ministry in Urban Immigrant Contexts (May 12, 2018)

John D. Trotter

If most of the world lives in cities and God loves the world, we have to figure out what it means to reflect Jesus there. Much of the world has come to the gates of American cities, and we want to walk and dwell among its people just as Christ modeled. Understanding the tremendous opportunity and holy privilege before us, we long to demonstrate and announce his beautiful Kingdom in the heart of the city in order that the glory of God be visible to our neighbors. Jesus stepped into neighborhoods in and around Jerusalem and showed his disciples how to live. Through the life of Christ, we learn what it means to be salt and light, to bear truth and hope. Regardless of our background or how we got to the city, we are here. Some of us have come by choice, others by default. The mission of Jesus and the call of God remain.


The book follows a straightforward format as each chapter identifies a trait or practice of Christ and puts it in historical and contemporary contexts. Using camera imagery (Zoom-In, Zoom-Out, Capture His Image), the title and chapter sections are set up to give readers a chance to look at the words and deeds of Christ in depth, to reflect on the current urban mission scene, and to practice each character trait in their own communities. A dual focus on theological reflection and practical application makes the book useful for individuals, ministry teams, and students involved in the urban immigrant context.

 


 

 

Urban Spirituality: Embodying God's Mission in the Neighborhood (May 3, 2018)

Karina Kreminski

Do we have a positive theology of the city so that an urban spirituality can emerge from this place? We have for too long focused on quick fixes, pop up churches, and strategic solutions which have left us malnourished and emaciated, yet bloated from our over-consumption of these unsatisfying approaches. Spiritual formation is something that we need to pay closer attention to today. How do we live this kind of holy life in the city?