articol de COLLIN HANSEN. Collin Hansen serves as editorial director for The Gospel Coalition.
My car rolled swiftly down First Avenue North away from downtown Birmingham on a rainy, overcast fall morning. Off to the right, Sloss Furnaces towered over the “magic city” they helped create by turning minerals from the surrounding mountains into iron for the nation’s industrial boom. To the left, low-income housing testified to the aftermath of the furnace shutdown in the early 1970s. Several blocks later I pulled into our church offices at Cornerstone Christian School, nestled behind the ministries that pass for commercial development in the Woodlawn neighborhood of Birmingham. Here, one day earlier, pastor Joel Brooks broke some bad news. While many of us last week were still celebrating a last-minute comeback victory by the Alabama Crimson Tide or watching election results, a Birmingham police undercover operation netted 35 arrests, mostly for soliciting prostitutes. On First Avenue North. In front of our church. One local TV station captured footage of the crime scene while standing next to our church sign.