Skip to main content

Urban Apologetics

Urban Apologetics: Why the Gospel is Good News for the City by Christopher W. Brooks

Campus Dean of Moody Theological Seminary in Michigan and Senior Pastor a church in Detroit, Christopher Brooks is well versed in the reason cities need the gospel.  Even more, he is painfully aware of how apologetics is necessary for the advancement of the gospel in urban soil.  In his new book, Urban Apologetics, Chris puts together a wise resource for those interested in the debates surrounding ethics, sexuality, and cultural issues.  The book ends up being wise in its approach, biblical in its approach, and winsome to those who offer up opposing viewpoints on these hot button issues.

In approaching ethics, Chris takes on the oft-cited suggestion that evil is outside of us and usually covers some outside entity such as Communists, Marxists, Republicans, Progressives, etc.  This fallacy, the goodness fallacy basically people as basically good and ‘we only misbehave when pressured by undesirable situations,’ (56).  Two fallacies follow from this goodness concept, namely that any evil is outside of us and that we are able both intellectually and morally to assess a situation by ourselves.  In other words, our individualism and pride trumps any willingness to look inside our own hearts for both evil and partiality. 

Secondly, Chris’ approach to use both scriptural testimony and social statistic studies is to be commended.  On the discussion on Christ and sexuality, he covers the biblical terrain regarding homosexuality with wisdom and clarity, but also introduces us to a 2012 study done by Mark Regnerus on children of same-sex relationships and the outcome of their lives (92-94).  While the study may still be debated, I was glad that Chris included some stats on lower income minorities and the disadvantages they face while still including the study by Regnerus.  Overall, Chris made the point that sexual activity outside God’s created design for marriage destroys both heterosexual and homosexual partnerships.

Overall, I think this book was a good introduction to the issues that modern Christians face living in urban settings.  The only criticism I have of the book is that I wish it was longer, both the chapters and the whole book.  Other issues could also be addressed such as cutting, depression, and the church’s response to these issues.

Thanks to Kregel Publications for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Popular posts from this blog

the great spiritual migration

The Great Spiritual Migration by Brian D McLaren

Brian McLaren and his own pithy way brings to the foreground and emphasis on a new kind of Christianity. The kind of faith that Brian envisions is a kind of migration not been set in the bedrock of beliefs that is unmoving but rather shifting with both culture and with faith. His new book the great spiritual migration is exactly that, a pointed work that encapsulates a vision towards the future where Christianity is changing and its peoples lives are changed as well.

Brian states in the introduction, "but we also know that for a lot of people Christianity is malfunctioning, seriously so, and it's not pretty. This kind of frustration with conventional Christianity is what McLaren gets gets to at the heart of this message is concerned with a number of different clusters unbelief. One, namely that Christianity has been stuck in a set of propositions or beliefs that has controlled churches in the faith, rather then a spirit of love t…

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder
Misperceptions, misconnections, and missed observations are just some of the issues that Timothy Snyder raises in his book, Black Earth, concerning the Holocaust.  Snyder, no stranger to the frontlines of scholarship on the Holocaust, with his previous book Bloodlands, that concerns the land from Hitler to Stalin, takes a look at the Holocaust from new sources and new avenues of thought.  How did some nation-states survive relatively unscathed from Nazi persecution while others, notably Jewish populations, succumb to a wave of killings?  Also, what was the role of the Soviet Union in the war and how did Stalin effect changes in the Final Solution?  These questions are only two of the many that Snyder answers in his detailed account of the Holocaust.
One of the best chapters was entitled The Auschwitz Paradox.  Generally when the public thinks about the Holocaust, we think of Auschwitz first or at the top of our mental m…

The Paraclete Poetry Anthology, Edited by Mark S. Burrows

Bringing words to life on a page is hard work, and no work is harder than poetry.  Poets take the visceral, the mundane, and the disjointed and frayed things of life and put them on their head.  This new anthology of poetry put out by Paraclete Press and edited by Mark S. Burrows, takes the best poetry of today and brings together old and new poems from these gifted creators.  You find poems from Scott Cairs, SAID, Phyllis Tickle, and others.  The collection stems the span of 2005-2016 and includes both religious poems and themes, as well as themes covering a broad swath of topics.

One of the beauties of this collection is the array of poems that the anthology includes in its pages.  One poem in particular stuck with me as read through the collection.  Anna Kamienska is a wonderful Polish poet who interacts with the wider lens of faith while looking carefully at the world we live in.  She says in her poem named Gratitude, (44)

A tempest threw a rainbow in my face
so that I wanted to…