God in the City - Evangelical Christian College in Manhattan ~ Praxis Habitus - On Race Religion & Culture

Saturday, January 3, 2009

God in the City - Evangelical Christian College in Manhattan

Here's a New York Times article that seems surprised to find evangelicals in the middle of New York City. Indeed, King's College occupies 3 floors of the Empire State Building.

But, where's the surprise? The notion that evangelicals prefer to avoid big cities flies in the face of many evangelicals committed to being right in the center of the action--especially in cities symbolically considered to be at the center of today's culture.

I wrote about Mosaic in Los Angeles in A Mosaic of Believers that the mission of these evangelicals is committed to affecting cultural change by ministering throughout the city. The church has services all around the LA region, including for many years renting the facilities of a downtown nightclub formerly owned by the famous musician, Prince.

A few miles away from Mosaic, the Oasis Christian Center also seeks to affect the city, especially through the Hollywood entertainment industry. I write about the tensions between seeking faith and fame in Hollywood Faith: Holiness, Prosperity, and Ambition in a Los Angeles Church. Even so, faithfully using one's talents and training in "secular" arenas is critical to garnering influence as agents of spiritual change.

Finally, although both churches are located in Los Angeles their members deeply believe that studying and working in this global city is the most strategic method to affect the whole world.

Bottom line: even socially conservative evangelicals who may steer away from the more salacious aspects of the city are very much interested in affecting the world by understanding it from within--rather than merely confronting it from without.

What do you think? 


Anonymous said...

You are right on. I've visited Mosaic and it reminded me of Redeemer in NYC (though 20 years later). Tim Keller once said that "history began in the garden but will end in the city" and that God loves the city more than the garden because there's more humanity there. Thanks for your post!

Gerardo Marti said...

Redeemer is another great example. Thanks for taking time to comment!