The Mighty City and the Holy City: John’s Apocalypse at the Intersections of Power and Praise
by Jean-Pierre Ruiz
The author presents the point that John sets before his audience visions of two imagined cities, one the mighty city that was a distant presence looming large through its local surrogates in Asia, the other a holy city descended from above. He urges them to choose between them, to decide their allegiance. This decision is a matter of who is the proper object of worship: the emperor or the Christ. John positions his readers at the intersection of power and praise.
Revitalizing an Urban Church: Biblical Foundations
by Chris A. Lawrence
Pastoral leadership and community organizing in East Harlem require patience and urgency. Jeremiah 29:5-7 and Isaiah 65:17-25, examples of “the city in the Bible,” can help shape our vision for contemporary urban church planting.
An Urban Interfaith and Ecumenical Exploration of Sacred Texts in Dialogue with Racism
by Campbell B. Singleton
This idea-filled article is based on a seven week, interfaith ecumenical community study held earlier this year designed to focus on issues of race, justice, and liberation led by Christian clergy, an Imam and a Rabbi. They each examined their own sacred texts to exegete each to discern and confront the erroneous belief that any one group has racial superiority and/or entitlement over another group. The participants learned some of the history and origins of racial discrimination. This article will serve any group wishing to expose the roots of discrimination to the harsh light of truth.
From the Ground Up: Rethinking Biblical Engagement in Urban Youth Ministry
by Tamara Henry
This brief essay explores some specific challenges and opportunities that accompany the study of the Bible within an urban youth context. In particular, it argues for rethinking biblical engagement in urban youth ministry and suggests three ways in which practitioners can attend more deliberately to the nuanced dynamics taking place in these contexts when teaching scripture.
Breakdancing for Jesus: The Ethics of Urban Culture and Faith
by Jill Schaeffer
The author offers us a challenge: to read and interpret for ourselves her unique rendition of how an imagined breakdance might be performed on a city street. Her style is rhyming poetry that gives the choice to go with it or hang back. Going with it can be interesting and revealing—hanging back is an opportunity missed.
Book Review: Latino Pentecostals in America: Faith and Politics in Action
by Samuel Cruz
This publication offers a wealth of information of Latino Pentecostalism within the Assemblies of God denomination, and of the denomination in general. One major contribution of the book is Espinosa’s emphasis and his providing documentation of the important and often-neglected fact of the instrumental roles played by Latinas in the origins and formation of the Pentecostal movement.
Introduction: Metropolis—The City in the Bible
by Efrain Agosto
What in the Bible relates or refers to, or constitutes issues of “the City in the Bible”? Where is the “urban” or urbanization evident in the First and Second Testaments, and what do those instances say and teach? This Fall issue of The Living Pulpit includes some of the October 2014 presentations plus several additional reflections in order to continue to explore how urbanization and urban issues depicted in the Bible helps us do ministry today.
by Bill Simpson
Here are thoughts on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma, AL, a day that shocked the nation and galvanized a process that transformed America.
Catalyst for Change
by Rhonda K. Kruse
Strong congregational leadership is needed to encourage the church to remind people that church is not just a place to go, but a way to live our lives; that Jesus calls the church to focus on discipleship not membership, on service not growth, on mission and ministry, not buildings and structure.
Toleration and Tolerance in the Middle Ages—Medieval Perspectives for Our Future
by Albrecht Classen
Many people regard the Middle Ages as a time when the people endured great stress, a time unique in history. The author disagrees with those sentiments and feels that what occurred in the Middle Ages was different from our contemporary stresses but neither worse nor better. This is an eye-opening read.
by Donna Schaper
The role of the swine in Mark 5 that cured the legion-filled demoniac is rarely discussed. The author asks if we really need a displacement to heal? Does the devil have to be put in an animal considered unclean in religious and hygienic terms–for change to come? These are among the questions designed to encourage pastors to seek new insights on ancient tales.