Eric Jacobsen is senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Tacoma, Washington. His new book, The Space Between: A Christian Engagement With the Built Environment, makes a compelling case that members of the Christian faith have a special calling to care for cities, and that the form of cities matters to the success of faithful practice.
The Space Between strikes me as important, in no small part because it comes from a movement not generally (albeit sometimes) associated, at least not today, with discussion of the form and structure of our cities, and thus brings what for many will be an unfamiliar perspective to these issues. (Unfamiliar does not equate to unique: for example, another Presbyterian leader, New York City’s Tim Keller, is eloquent on closely related topics, as is Gresham, Oregon’s Michael Abbaté.) But The Space Between is important also because ours remains a religious country: three-quarters of Americans identify as Christian, even while a growing but still-small minority consider themselves unaffiliated with any particular religion.