Jan. 5 – Jose Humphreys – Seeing Jesus in East Harlem [Advent Calendar]

The Englewood Review of Books
Best Books of 2018
Advent / Christmas Calendar
January 5

 

Seeing Jesus in East Harlem:
What Happens When Churches Show up and Stay Put

Jose Humphreys

Paperback: IVP Books, 2018
Buy Now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]
 
 
This is an important book because it invites us to envision the urban landscape and ponder the ways in which the church is and can be present. While being present is not easy, congregations like Metro Hope offer us a vision of what might be. This isn’t a plan for amazing church growth. This is a vision of presence and incarnation, while discerning God’s presence in the community. It’s a cliché, but perhaps that old adage about blooming where we’re planted has some meaning here.

In the closing paragraphs of the book, Humphreys writes presciently that “while I believe we in North America are experiencing to some degree the end of the American evangelical church as we know it, we now have an opportunity to maintain a different vantage point as a church that shows up, stays put, and sees God’s loving work in the world. When one follows the crucified Christ, it’s inevitable that the character of love will go beyond sentiment” (222-223). Yes, this is a call to move beyond a sentimental backward-looking triumphalist form of Christendom where nation and church are merged at the hip toward a church that is truly present, and truly represents the Gospel revealed in Jesus. Here’s the kicker—this is generational work. It won’t happen overnight. But, as he notes “faith will nourish our imaginations in such a way that we begin to envision things once impossible as now inevitable, happening in ways only God can orchestrate.” 

 
 

LISTEN to an interview with the author… 

 
 



 
 

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