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Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Culture | 0 comments

Cities, Burbs, and Metro Regions

Cities, Burbs, and Metro Regions

A few days ago I received an email from my good friend Dave Strunk. He referred me to an “excoriating” review of Why Cities Matter written by blogger Keith Miller.  Since I recently reviewed the book for Christianity Today, and Mr. Miller and I rather different focal points for our reviews, let me respond to his critique. Argument: Mr. Miller points out a central weaknesses of Why Cities Matter: the slippery definition of the word “city.” In Keller’s introduction to the book, Miller deduces that Keller uses the word “city” to mean at least three things: 1. “The Top 100 City”—a metro area at least as populous as Wichita, Kansas; 2. “The Not-Rural Farmland City”—everything with a greater density than homestead farming; 3. “The Urban Center City”—places like Manhattan.” He draws this conclusion from Keller’s use of a Gallup pole and a UN statistic claiming “180,000 people move into cities each day.” Um and Buzzard switch between these slippery definitions throughout the book, at times referring to a major...

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Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Work | 0 comments

How to Change Your Company’s Culture

How to Change Your Company’s Culture

  I recently wrote a dual book review for Christianity Today. One book, Why Cities Matter: To God, the Culture and the Church, was cogent, clear and helpful; the other, Christ + City: Why the Greatest Need of the City is the Greatest News of All was chatty, poorly argued, and at times misleading. In my review, I argued there was a key difference that separated the two volumes: “one book is merely in the city; the other is engaged with the city.” One book brought Bible stories “into” an urban context (the author was from Chicago), yet showed very little understanding of  the city nor engagement with its culture. The other book, Why Cities Matter, combined social analysis and ministry application to produce a useful tool that helps ministry leaders not just move into the city, but to winsomely engage its culture. “In” a city versus “engaged with” a city is a helpful distinction that can shed tremendous light on the faith and work conversation. Many Christians are...

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