Cities and Towns
How should we care for the built environment in the cities and towns where we live? “If the church is to be a witness to the Heavenly City,” architect Philip Bess reminds us, “Christians must once again be not only good patrons of architecture, but also (and even more) good patrons of urbanism.”
Lee Hardy traces the public policy decisions and cultural ideals that emptied urban populations into degrading suburban landscapes. For the early Christians, Barry Harvey writes, the Church was “another city," so we cannot withdraw into private religious experience or worship in congregations that are functionally equivalent to gated communities. Bryan Hollon suggests that the intentional urban communities of the New Monastic movement can teach us about faithful discipleship.
Holistic inner-city ministry is possible, Amy Sherman points out,
when we look to the Old Testament prophets Elisha and Jeremiah
for inspiration. Eric Jacobsen urges us to be discerning partners with the New Urbanists in traditional neighborhood development.
Christian Reflection is an ideal resource for discipleship training in the church. Multiple copies are available for group study at $3.00 per copy.
The study guides and lesson plans integrate Bible study, prayer, and worship to help us articulate and live into a Christian view of marriage. The guides can be used in a series or individually. You may download and reproduce them for personal or group use.
Download the entire Cities and Towns issue
and the set of six Study Guides
. Or, download individual pieces by clicking the titles below.
"Dysfunctional Cities: Where Did We Go Wrong?" by Lee Hardy
"Citizens of Another City," by Barry Harvey
"The New Urbanism," by Eric O. Jacobsen
"Saint Benedict in the City," by Bryan Hollon
"The Church Building as Sacramental Sign," by Philip Bess
Cities and Towns in Art, by Heidi J. Hornik
"Blinded," on Pieter Bruegel [the Elder]'s The Blind Leading the Blind
"An Ordered Neighborhood," on Edward Hopper's Early Sunday Morning and Nighthawks
Hymn and Worship Service
"Crate and Castle," by Robert B. Kruschwitz, Terry W. York, and C. David Bolin
Worship Service, by Ann Bell Worley
"Moving to the Carpenter's House," by Elizabeth M. Benton
"Salt in the City," by Amy L. Sherman
Other Voices, Quotations on Cities and Towns
"Building a City that Honors God," by Benjamin J. Bruxvoort Lipscomb
Eric O. Jacobsen, Sidewalks in the Kindom: New Urbanism and the Christian Faith
T. J. Gorringe, A Theology of the Built Environment: Justice, Empowerment, Redemption
"Restoring Urban Communities," by Lissa Schwander
Robert Lupton, Theirs is the Kingdom: Celebrating the Gospel in Urban America
J. Nathan Corbitt and Vivian Nix-Early, Taking it to the Streets: Using the Arts to Transform Your Community
John M. Perkins, ed., Restoring At-Risk Communities: Doing It Together & Doing It Right
Study Guides and Lesson Plans (Download the set of six Study Guides)
"Dysfunctional Cities: Where Did We Go Wrong?"
"Citizens of Another City"
"Salt in the City"
"The New Urbanism"
"The Church Building as Sacramental Sign"
"St. Benedict in the City"