As disciples of Christ in the city, we are responsible to display the life of the Kingdom to Come in the midst of our churches, and through our lifestyles and ministries of compassion to others. This module, Doing Justice and Loving Mercy: Compassion Ministries, highlights the ways in which we both conceive and practice justice and righteousness in the body of Christ and in the world. As ambassadors of Christ, it is critical that we understand the richness of the biblical insights around this subject, as well as explore the possible ways in which we as believers and Christian ministers can demonstrate the love and justice of the Kingdom where we live.
We begin our study by defining the concept of the world from a biblical point of view, and assess the different ways in theological tradition that church/world relationships have been understood in the history of the Church. We see how the notion that all human beings are made in the image of God (imago Dei) can greatly empower us to take seriously our obligation to do justice and love mercy in our urban communities. We also consider the priority of demonstrating justice and mercy in the Church of Christ, and to those who are outside the faith. The Church serves both as the locus (place) of God's working as well as his agent (ambassador) through whom he works. This course provides a simple yet effective approach Christians can use to organize as we seek the Lord's will to minister mercy and justice in our urban neighborhoods. We illustrate this kingdom theology by calling city believers to live as world Christians, striving to think globally but to act locally. We briefly cover several contemporary issues of ethical significance for urban believers: the issues of poverty and oppression, the protection of the environment, the oft-misunderstood notion of diversity, and finally the themes of violence and war.
Lesson 1: The Vision and Theology of the Kingdom
Lesson 2: The Urban Congregation
Lesson 3: Urban Community and Neighborhood
Lesson 4: Society and World