I read this blog post today and it gave me pause. What happens in my spirit when I read this through the filter of suburban spirituality? On the one hand I have the immediate response, thinking that we are so spoiled and sheltered in the suburbs. No wonder the “real” Christians are doing the hard core urban ministry. I’m just a wimp.
That may be (probably is) true.
On the other hand, I push back against that thought and remind myself that violence and oppressive systems take on many shapes and faces. True, the chances of a shooting on my block are infinitesimally smaller than the blogger’s chances. For that I am thankful. However, the drug deals, family violence, and self-destructive behavior, while perhaps not as obvious, are painfully deep and present in my suburban context.
Gorringe, Timothy. A Theology of the Built Environment: Justice, Empowerment, Redemption. Cambridge, U.K.; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Tim Gorringe worked in parishes for six years before going to South India to teach theology at the Tamil Nadu Theological Seminary, where he worked for seven years. On return to Britain he was for nine years Chaplain, Fellow and Tutor in Theology at St John’s College, Oxford. In 1995 he became Reader in Contextual Theology at St Andrew’s and in 1998 took up his present post as St Luke’s Professor of Theological Studies.
Marshall, Alex. How Cities Work: Suburbs, Sprawl, and the Roads Not Taken. 1st ed. Constructs Series. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2000.
A journalist and writer for a quarter century, Alex Marshall is the author of The Surprising Design of Market Economies (University of Texas 2012), as well as How Cities Work: Suburbs, Sprawl and The Roads Not Taken (University of Texas 2000), and Beneath the Metropolis: The Secret Lives of Cities (Carroll & Graf 2006). He is a Senior Fellow at the Regional Plan Association in New York. He writes columns for Governing magazine and Bloomberg View. He has taught courses about infrastructure at the New Jersey School of Architecture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark.
Toward a Missional Spirituality in the Suburbs