Susan S. Baker

Although Susan Baker was raised in white, middle-class suburban communities, she has spent over 50 years in inner city, cross-cultural ministry, first in Chicago and then in Philadelphia. These ministries were team ministries which focused on planting churches and Christian education models. She taught at the Center for Urban Theological Studies, Westminster Theological Seminary, City Seminary in New York, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Biblical Theological (now Missio) Seminary. She has written Understanding Mainland Puerto Rican Poverty, has co-edited and contributed to The Urban Face of Mission, and has edited and contributed to Globalization and Its Effects on Urban Ministry in the 21st Century.

Review: Redeeming Power: Understanding Authority and Abuse in the Church

Title: Redeeming Power: Understanding Authority and Abuse in the Church Author: Diane Langberg Publisher: Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, a division of Baker Publishing Group Pages: 199 plus end notes Reviewer: Susan S. Baker We have been hearing more and more about abuse in all types of settings—families, businesses, children’s groups like the BSA, politicians, …

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Transforming Community Through Christian Education: A Case Study On Hunting Park Christian Academy

Christian schools in the U.S. have been known as educational sanctuaries to protect and provide quality Christian education to children from Christian families. They also have been known too often as havens to protect white children from having to go to school with black and brown children who did not meet their standards. Praise God, …

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Review: Becoming a Just Church: Cultivating Communities of God’s Shalom

Title: Becoming a Just Church: Cultivating Communities of God’s Shalom Author: Adam L. Gustine Publisher: Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2019 Pages: 204 plus end notes Reviewer: Susan S. Baker There are a number of books written about how a church can be effective cross-culturally. Multi-ethnic churches are attempting to reach across cultural lines to …

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The Life and Ministry of an Urban Pastor Manuel (Manny) Ortiz (1938-2017)

It is impossible to speak of the impact Manny has had on urban ministry without taking a quick look into who he was as a man of God. Manny never pretended to be perfect or above anyone else. He saw himself as a sinner saved by the grace of God. His keen awareness of his own failings kept him humble, always giving credit to the Lord for his achievements, and non-judgmental, knowing that God forgave him for his sins so how could he do otherwise with others.

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Review: Race and Place: How Urban Geography Shapes the Journey to Reconciliation

Most books about race focus on individual racism; others on systemic racism. David Leong’s book addresses systemic issues in a mission context and delves into how place affects and is affected by racial differentiation, how the way the places we inhabit has been formed for the sake of exclusion, and how place must therefore be considered when working for reconciliation and mission.

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Review: Church Planting Movements

Hundreds of churches are being planted within relatively few years and tens of thousands are coming to know Christ, in places and among people groups that most of us have never heard of. David Garrison calls these occurrences Church Planting Movements, and within the pages of his book by the same name he provides their stories and lessons the Church as a whole can learn from them.

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Review: When Helping Hurts

Most well-to-do North American Christians have a misunderstanding of poverty, as well as of themselves in relation to the poor, and therefore apply misguided solutions that end up hurting rather than helping already desperate situations, in spite of their good intentions. Here is a book that seeks to help the church, especially the well-to-do North American church, gain a better understanding of poverty that will lead to better practices of mercy ministry.