Archives For Neighbors


An excerpt from Margot Starbuck’s new book

Small Things With Great Love:
Adventures in Loving Your Neighbor.

Paperback: IVP/Likewise, 2012.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Watch for Karen Beattie’s review of this book in our next print issue, which will be mailed next week.  Not a subscriber?  Click here to subscribe

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“The Wealth of Embedded Urban Knowledge

A review of

The Trouble with City Planning:
What New Orleans Can Teach Us.

By Kristina Ford.

Review by Brent Aldrich.

THE TROUBLE WITH CITY PLANNING - Kristina FordThe Trouble with City Planning:
What New Orleans Can Teach Us.

Kristina Ford.
Hardback: Yale UP, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon – Hardback ]
[ Amazon – Kindle ]

In community development work and neighborhood meetings that I’ve been a part of, it’s sometimes baffling when a neighbor asks, “when will they (fill in the blank: fix these abandoned houses, build our light-rail line, build a Wal-Mart, whatever)?” Presumably this is the same they who are always saying things (they say…), and if they would just get to work instead, all would be right with the world. Of course, this is not how our city or any other works, but rather through dynamic daily interactions of neighbors, businesses, city officials, and planners. Furthermore, in a neighborhood such as ours in Indianapolis, neighbors have established regular practices of planning and working together for the good of the whole – so questions as to when they will do anything often suggests a level of disconnect on the part of the asker, as that they is usually us.

Part of the difficulty of parsing this idea about how cities work is the similar assumption that city plans are created and implemented far away from the average neighbor. The idea that city planners operate on a level above the concerns of residents, those on the ground, is entrenched is American cities, often in practice, as any student of Jane Jacobs can cite. Kristina Ford’s new book The Trouble with City Planning: What New Orleans Can Teach Us takes a comprehensive look at how exactly city planners work, and why their practices have become often inaccessible to anyone beyond planners themselves. For anyone invested in urban places, this book is a valuable resource.

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838400: The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor: Seeing Others Through the Eyes of Jesus

A Review of

The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor:
Seeing Others Through the Eyes of Jesus

By Mark Labberton
Hardback: Inter-varsity Press, 2010.

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Reviewed by Laretta Benjamin.

“What seems most pertinent, however, is the overriding confidence that even all of what is now so tragically and horribly wrong in the world, including all of the darkest and most pernicious forms of injustice, will in the providence and purpose of God come to their right end, namely, to be remade to mirror the reality, the glory, of God’s own life and character.  The greatest hope for the human heart is the heart of God” (216)

I had the wonderful privilege of meeting Mark Labberton at the First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley in Berkeley, California, where he was, at the time, senior pastor.  A friend and I attended a conference on AIDS the church was holding there and then the following year, I attended a conference on Human Trafficking that was also held there in Berkeley.  I have read his book The Dangerous Act of Worship (which I greatly appreciated) and was delighted for the opportunity to read and review this new writing.  From what I have seen, heard and read of Mark Labberton, his passion for justice, mercy, grace and for God’s people to live the reality of the kingdom of God is true and sincere.  I find him to be an encouragement and an inspiration.

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