I mentioned Ray Bakke's The Urban Christian, in my sermon on Sunday. This book was published in 1987, the year I graduated from high school. It has helped me think theologically and practically about my calling to live as a Christian in an urban context. Here are a couple of quotes:
"Early urbanologists classified cities by place and form, but later ones, led by Louis Mumford, defined them by functions - the roles they play in the larger society. There is one aspect of the form of cities which Mumford regards as unique. Cities contain and transmit cultures; by bringing together all the separate parts (as racial groups find themselves living side by side) they enable direct relationships that become engines and catalysts of cultural change." (37)
"The question is - who loves these cities?" (51)
"We cannot work in our city unless we love it - its architecture, sewer system, politics, history, traditions and neighborhoods." (63)
"We must flesh out the gospel by having Christians deliberately and strategically moving into the run-down neighborhoods. There they can make relationships and share the gospel. The bigger the city, the more personal we must become." (59)
"The whole church must take the whole gospel to the whole city." (185)
I recommend this book for those seeking to live an lead in gospel ministry in an urban setting.