Wednesday, May 19, 2004


From An Unstoppable Force, ideas about urbanization:
Like many cities, Los Angeles inhales the nations and has the potential of exhaling the gospel. Ralph Winter has proposed that the last great frontier for the gospel is the cities. It is impossible to talk about the future without mentioning the cities. While human history began in a garden, it ends in the city. This is a planet of great cities.
The suburban church is in many ways the natural development of the county-seat church, maintaining it's focus on family, community, and rural values.
It's ironic that the word pagan finds its roots in a word meaning 'country dweller.' Where once the pagan lived in the country and the danger of the city was to be Christianized, now Christians tend to live away from the cities and view the urban dweller as the true pagan.

I started really talking about the whole urbanization thing with my students that went off to college last summer. An original idea that I really liked (I don't have many original ideas that I like) was to write them a letter instead of get them a gift for their graduation parties. So in the letter was a list of things they should do during college. And for each one of them, I wrote that they should go on an inner city missions trip sometime during college, simply because of this idea of urbanization. And the fact that, if you know about Howard County, Maryland, it's just about the epitmoe of suburbia. If anything, these kids need to get out and experience life in the city for real. They need to live it and not just see it on TV. An experience like that would do so much for making them more full, more able to engage the world around us, more in touch with compassion, justice, mercy.

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