Douglas Hall has been training leaders for inner city churches, church plants and ministries for more than 40 years. He was a neighbor of mine, just a couple of blocks away, when I directed an urban ministry program in Boston in the 1970s. He continus to be president of Emmanuel Gospel Center to this day.
His new book The Cat and the Toaster collects some of the best of his teaching presentations over the years, both for pastors and lay leaders he has worked with in the greater Boston area and for his graduate students at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. It contains much that is valuable and practical. It is, at once, theological and strategic. It is a must read for anyone interested in urban ministry. I have a file of notes, handouts and clips from newsletters that I may not be able to discard or at least weed out with the arrival of this volume.
Doug represents the kind of practitioner-researcher or missionary-scholar for which the cause of Christ has much need. Men and women who "fight and think." People who use information to advance the work of Jesus in the world. The publshers (Wipf and Stock, Eugene, Oregon) have branded the book as part of the Urban Voices Series, although there is not listing of other titles in the series. It is my hope and prayer that they will soon fill out this series with many volumes that attempt to be as useful and well-grounded in data as is Doug's book.