Thursday, July 31, 2014

The New Urbanist Open to Sin?

"The New Urbanists may also want to hear from the Christian community about our doctrine of sin. I mean this in all sincerity. Any attempt to understand our patterns of sprawl and private consumption that fails to deal honestly with the human condition of sin is going to miss the mark. As G.K. Chesterton claimed the doctrine of original sin is ‘the only part of Christian theology that can really be proved.’ Chesterton made this observation from an early-twentieth-century English perspective, but anyone who has observed our American culture over the past century could come to the same conclusions. Even James Howard Kunstler (who is not a religious person) observes in his coda, ‘I begin to come to the disquieting conclusion that we Americans are these days a wicked people who deserve to be punished.’ Perhaps we can help the New Urbanists better understand this insight, so that they can make wiser policy-level decisions. In reintroducing the concept of the reality of sin into the public arena, we may even find some new opportunities to share the good news about the stronger reality of grace. After all, people often will not have the courage to face up to their sin until they are assured about the good news of grace.”

Sidewalks in the Kingdom: New Urbanism and the Christian Faith, pp. 163-64

No comments: