Grace for the secular city

The Gospel is a powerful testimony of grace and brokenness for the secular city.  In the fall of man, we love to build ourselves up to maximum boasts and radical displays of self-sufficiency apart from the Lord.  This display is visibly featured in the city: we love to invest in highly lucrative businesses or build up lavish homes in our cities. …

But the Gospel does not testify to self-sufficiency; it testifies to radical brokenness, real humility, rooted in grace. … But the life of the Gospel, the life of justifying faith, is the life of putting away these self-actualized achievements to the cross of Christ, in knowing a new and better life in His name.

— From “Evangelism, the Lord’s Supper, and the Self-Sufficient City” by Rick Palma

The new American dream

Will the Obama White House recognize changes in American culture, or assume we’re still living in the ’80s?

Here’s David Brooks:

The 1980s and 1990s made up the era of the great dispersal. Forty-three million people moved every year, and basically they moved outward — from inner-ring suburbs to far-flung exurbs on the metro fringe. …

If you asked people in that age of go-go suburbia what they wanted in their new housing developments, they often said they wanted a golf course. But the culture has changed. If you ask people today what they want, they’re more likely to say coffee shops, hiking trails and community centers.

People overshot the mark. They moved to the exurbs because they wanted space and order. But once there, they found that they were missing community and social bonds. So in the past years there has been a new trend. Meeting places are popping up across the suburban landscape.

Read the column here. Hat tip: Richard Florida