Archives For Urban


Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)


The Magnificent Story: Uncovering a Gospel of Beauty, Goodness, and Truth

James Bryan Smith

Watch a trailer video for this book… 


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I recently finished reading Richard Florida’s important book THE NEW URBAN CRISIS. While I didn’t have a chance to write my review this week (watch for it on our website in the next couple of weeks), I thought that this would be a good time to recommend books in a similar vein that should be essential reading for Christians trying to understand the urban places in which they live and/or worship.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it will set readers on an excellent trajectory for understanding urban places. 


The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class—and What We Can Do About It

Richard Florida

Basic Books, 2017
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One of this week’s best new releases is:

Another Brooklyn: A Novel
Jacqueline Woodson

Hardback: Amistad, 2016
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Here’s an excellent NPR interview that Woodson did this week on the book:

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We recently posted Terri Gross’s recent NPR interview with poet Reginald Dwayne Betts

I just found this PBS video of him reading one of the poems from his latest collection:

Bastards of the Reagan Era

Paperback: Four Way, 2015
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]

[ Read several poems from this collection ]


For the City that Nearly Broke Me
Reginald Dwayne Betts

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One recent book that was released without catching our attention was

If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities

Benjamin Barber

Hardback: Yale UP, 2013
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
I’m very grateful to Tim Soerens, co-author of The New Parish for bringing this book to my attention…

Here is a great TED talk video that Benjamin Barber gave on the book:

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

> > > >
Next Book

Thomas Merton: Selected Essays
By Thomas Merton


Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

> > > >
Next Book

A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America
By Vishaan Chakrabarti

Watch a lecture that overviews the material in this book


Having done a wee bit of urban exploration myself, I am eager to check out this new book:

Hidden Cities : Travels to the Secret Corners of the World’s Great Metropolises; A Memoir of Urban Exploration

Moses Gates

Paperback: Tarcher, 2013
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

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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.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

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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Timothy Keller - Center ChurchThe Entirely New and Entirely Familiar

A Review of

Center Church : Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City

Timothy Keller

Hardback: Zondervan, 2012.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Michaela Flack

A few years back, I found myself serving as a youthwork coordinator at a tiny urban church in the United Kingdom. Having lived there for three years, while completing my Bachelor’s degree, I was excited to find myself finally serving in a church full-time, ready to move into my “urban ministry calling”, listening to Tim Keller’s sermons on a Gospel Vision for the City on the bus ride to work each day. I announced to my pastor that I was planning on moving into the area where our church was (a neighborhood notorious for being the poorest public housing complex in all of the UK) in order to live and work and minister. To my surprise, I was strongly discouraged, borderline commanded from my superior not to do so. It wasn’t safe, he said. So at the end of each day, I went back to my city apartment in the (apparently safe) student area of town, and he went back to his suburban neighborhood. Six months later, with mutual agreement, I left the position and moved back to the States.

Fast forward 6 years. In my research for Tim Keller’s new book, Center Church, I took a look around its promotional website, which includes a video book trailer. Press play, and it’s hard to not be impressed by whichever media art department put this together. Continue Reading…