What does it mean to be given a book?
At a Forum back in the day that Theology Network was a distinct and valuable ministry within UCCF, I was at FORUM regularly. On one stand, I was given a book. It turned out, years later, that I would work for London City Mission. The book I was given, on that stand, was Streets Paved with Gold, and it painted a beautiful picture of a mission to the city I was born in and continue to live in.
Streets Paved with Gold is a simple history – telling the story of London City Mission (henceforth LCM) as it unfolded from gospel-motivated origins into the instrument of unity and truth that it is today. Tracing the way that God has used and sustained LCM from humble beginnings to it’s present incarnation, Streets Paved with Gold is an essential book for anyone pondering what it means to remain faithful to Christ, to be both doers and proclaimers of the Word, and to speak consistently of God’s faithfulness.
If you don’t like history, then you shouldn’t read this book.
If you don’t care about mission as being both proclamation and demonstration, you shouldn’t read this book.
The title comes from a short story by Roald Dahl, Dick Whittington and his cat, and also resonates with the promise of Revelation 21:21b, that ‘The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass‘. A city with streets that are paved with gold is the promise that LCM missionaries hold out – even as the reality of the present age is something else entirely.
If you like history books, then Streets Paved with Gold is a helpful and informative read. If you want to think deeply about urban mission, then, likewise, this book will help. It is primarily historical, but beautiful.