God loves urban people and urban places. God's body on earth - the
church - is called to be an expression of this love, fleshing it out in big
and small ways, serving humbly, loving tenderly and acting justly.
Humility does not exclude boldness, tenderness does not exclude
toughness, and justice does not exclude love. It is in the strange
paradoxes of tenderness and toughness, of love and justice, of humility
and boldness, of death and life, that we might discover the wisdom of
God and the power of the cross.
It is in dying into the city that we will become signs of life and hope. It is
in touching the wounds of the city that we will become healers in
brokenness. It is in becoming as vulnerable as the city (as individuals and
as churches) that we can proclaim healing to the vulnerable.
This study wants to suggest that God's heart for cities and for the poor is
big enough to match the challenge. It is in the decay of the inner city that
creative alternatives emerge. It is with the inner city poor that bold
partnerships unfold. It is at the bottom of society that we are surprised by
signs of transformation.
" ... but God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise;
God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong."
God has a plan big enough to match the challenge - a plan that can
indeed transform the current reality. And God's Spirit wants to create
within us a new imagination of the city in God's image.
This study is exploring such an alternative imagination, the spirituality
necessary to sustain it, and the theology and actions required to realise
it. Its focus is the changing inner cities of South Africa in general, and
housing in the inner city communities of Pretoria in particular.