Christians often talk about claiming our cities for Christ and the need to address urban concerns. But according to Eric Jacobsen, this discussion has remained far too abstract. Sidewalks in the Kingdom challenges Christians to gain an informed vision for the physical layout and structure of the city.
Jacobsen emphasizes the need to preserve the nourishing characteristics of traditional city life, including shared public spaces, thriving neighborhoods, and a well-supported local economy. He explains how urban settings create unexpected and natural opportunities to initiate friendship and share faith in Christ.
Helpful features include a glossary, a bibliography, and a description of New Urbanism. Pastors, city-dwellers, and those interested in urban ministry and development will be encouraged by Sidewalks in the Kingdom.
About the Author
Eric O. Jacobsen is adjunct professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary. He previously served as associate pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Missoula, Montana. Jacobsen is a member of the Congress for the New Urbanism.
Table of Contents
|Introduction--A Trip to Bernice's||11|
|Part 1||Thinking about Our Cities||17|
|1.||Broken Promises: Sprawl and the American Experience||19|
|2.||From the Garden to Jerusalem||34|
|3.||Waiting for Jerusalem||46|
|4.||Learning to See Our Cities: A Theological Approach||63|
|Part 2||Markers of the City||75|
|5.||Public Spaces and Incarnational Ministry||77|
|6.||Mixed Use, Pedestrian Scale, and the Whole Person||86|
|7.||Beauty, Quality, and Other "Nonessentials"||99|
|8.||Local Economy and the Permanence of Place||116|
|9.||Critical Mass and Making Friends||128|
|10.||Strangers and Hospitality||138|
|Conclusion--Seeking the Welfare of Your City||153|
|Appendix A||City Words--A Constructive Glossary||167|
|Appendix B||City Reading||174|
|Appendix C||Charter of the New Urbanism||180|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
God instructed Jeremiah, 'Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will have welfare' (29:7). Imagine creating an approach to church life, church growth, and evangelism based on seeking the welfare of the city--the city (or neighborhood) that your church represents? Imagine. Eric O. Jacobsen in Sidewalks in the Kingdom gives us a blueprint for considering the welfare of the city. Jacobsen builds a case for Christian communities to take an interest in the urban centers where many churches are located. He points out that we have been relying on the false gods of individualism, independence, and freedom, worshipping at the feet of gods that come in the name of American values. Granted not everyone lives in an large urban setting--even Jacobsen writes on urbanism as a pastor, not in NY City or Detroit, but of the First Presbyterian Church in Missoula, Montana. Nonetheless, Sidewalks is worth the reading, if only to help you develop your own theology of the city or town you live in or near. Sidewalks shifts the discussion from 'how do we grow our church?' to a more biblical mandate, 'are we looking out for the welfare of the city?'