Readers have been offered many titles by Timothy Keller over the past few years. Keller is the pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. He has pastoral and theological wisdom to share. One subject he knows much about is shaping a congregation that is congruent to an urban setting. The book is overtly theological, in a post-modern evangelical way. Scripture is authoritative. However, Keller honors congregational context too. God does not exist above it all. Nor does the congregation. Theological vision required for vibrant urban ministry develops from a conversation. The conversation is between God and the congregational community. Clear theological vision leads to creative ministry expression; the way in which faith is expressed in a specific church, in one community, at a particular point in time. Ministry expression involves local cultural adaptation. It also results in contextually informed worship style and programming. The book has a textbook quality about it - not because it is hard to read (it is well-written and can be read by professionals and laity) - but in that it is comprehensive. It will teach you to care more about how God is revealed to your community through your congregation, whether you live in New York City or a small town in Missouri.
Reviewed by Tim Shapiro