Eric O. Jacobsen

Eric Jacobsen is the author of The Space Between (Baker, 2012), and Sidewalks in the Kingdom: New Urbanism and the Christian Faith (Brazos, 2003) as well as numerous articles on New Urbanism. He is a member of the Congress for New Urbanism, and a participant in the Colloquium on Theology and the Built Environment sponsored by St. Andrews University and the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship at Calvin College.

Rev. Jacobsen is the Senior Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Tacoma where he lives with his wife (Liz) and four children: Katherine (12), Peter (9), and Emma (8), and Abraham, born December 2009. Eric received his doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary in 2008, in the area of Theology and the Built Environment.

“The Ballet of Street Life”: On Common Grace Liturgies

Our culture's liturgies can dance to the beat of God's drum.


More From This Contributor

Civic Engagement and the City

Public spaces support social engagement and then provide the necessary buy-in to sustain moral engagement as well.

An Over-Ruralized Eschatology

I wonder if I’ll have a renewed opportunity to enjoy these places during the time of Christ’s eternal reign. That is to ask: Will public squares be included in the new heaven and earth?

Neighbourhood Grace

In public settings, we are often called to “think thickly and speak thinly.” So I ground my thinking in scripture and theology, even though my conversation partner may not share these foundations with me.

Taking Kuyper out for a beer

If Kuyper’s right, I may have discovered one square inch (or at least 16 fluid ounces) of creation over which Jesus Christ does not declare, “It is mine.”

Wheat Paste is Not a Crime

Expressive neighbourhoods allow their less powerful residents to be “heard,” visually. This is why I love my new home city of Tacoma, Washingtonā€”a place where expressiveness has (for now) found a voice.

Where Then Shall We Live?

I am convinced that many of our daily decisions are somewhat predetermined by other decisions that we may have made without much ethical reflection.

Can the New Urbanism deliver true community?

Our greatest hope for healing our fractured and atrophied communities will involve a joint effort between hardware people (like New Urbanists) and software people (like church, neighbourhood, and civic leaders).

A good nightclub is hard to find

There is so much more to cities than just a thriving economy, including a vibrant arts economy and artistic class. What we should aspire to and seek to achieve for the city is shalom, not Chanel.

The Case for Paleo-Urbanism

Is New Urbanism a pale facsimile of North America’s paleo-urban communities in Toronto, New York City, Montreal, or elsewhere? Is New Urbanism merely “gentrification” by another name? Or, are New Urbanists recovering something lost when high-density, urban communities built on the grid with a tuck and milk stop on the corner were abandoned for gently curving crescents, sweeping lawns, and concrete pads leading to double garages of suburbia?