I’ve come to realize that people like myself—white do-gooders, to be more precise—have not been taught adequate theology for our times. My neighbors do not care if you have a robust urban missiology. They would like secure, affordable housing and good schools for their children. They have practical, tangible needs that are altogether forgotten in a capitalistic, consumeristic society where those with plenty ignore the realities of others who would never buy a latte at the new corner coffee shop.
In the few spaces where the ideas of theology and urban renewal are brought together, something is missing. The overarching themes of American exceptionalism and triumphalism, tinged with colonialism, have made it nearly impossible to adequately engage with an economic and social reality as complex as gentrification.
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