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Eric JacobsenThe City of God in our Neighborhoods

A Feature Review of

The Space Between: A Christian Engagement with the Built Environment

Eric Jacobsen

Paperback: Baker Academic, 2012.
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Reviewed by Brent Aldrich.

Eugene Peterson paraphrases John 1:14 in this way: “The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.”

This vernacular translation neatly captures the potency of the incarnation as recorded by the Apostle John, while also placing it within an equally latent scale: the neighborhood. In fact, picking up the narrative of incarnation and reconciliation with Jacques Ellul, the neighborhood takes on its full significance:

But because Christ is Savior and Lord of both creation and mankind, he is also Savior and Lord of man’s works. In him, God adopts man and his works… He has chosen to dwell in it. And just as the man living in the city is directly subject to the spirit of the city, now those who dwell in it are in communion with God, for he has truly assumed it… and has transfigured it. For even in the resurrection, God does not shatter men’s hopes. Rather, he fulfills them there… And all this happens in the New Jerusalem, so as to forever link man’s work with Christ’s… Man’s version of the incarnation finds an eternal home. (The Meaning of the City, 177)

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