Why ‘The Good City’ exists

September 8, 2007 at 9:05 am 6 comments

It’s a great time to be a citydweller in Fort Wayne. Residents, politicians and business leaders all are waking up to the realization that the center city is something we want to not just preserve, but to see thrive.

So here is a web site we call The Good City. What’s the purpose of this? Well, that’s a seemingly simple question that we’ll actually never stop asking and answering.

But to get the conversation started, here’s one possible answer:

The Good City exists to call Christians to consider the city and to call the city to consider Christ.

What all does that encompass? It stretches from sidewalks to salvation, from living in a neighborhood to loving your neighbor.

And lots of cities, churches and civic leaders across the country are already thinking about the very issues we in Fort Wayne are considering now. We want to shine light on these conversations for the good of our city.

Will Fort Wayne become a great city? Far too few cities can achieve that stature of size and prominence.

But will Fort Wayne become a good city? If we band together, that’s a lofty goal that we may be able to achieve.

— Jon Swerens

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Entry filed under: Jon Swerens, Purpose.

Urban Design in His Kingdom Hip to be (Harrison) Square

6 Comments

  • 1. alex  |  September 26, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    At the risk of being accused of being a “diversity-inclusive-lefto-fascist,” or some such, I’d like to point out that I appreciate what you’re trying to do here, but as a non-Christian I feel somewhat threatened by the religious overtones. I hope that your ideal city is one of mutual respect between all and that you understand that this is a nation founded on liberty of conscience and that’s why some of us are here.

  • 2. Jon Swerens  |  September 26, 2007 at 10:30 pm

    Oh, those aren’t just overtones.

    The fact that our God is a Trinity — a community — is the very foundation for why we care about our own community. This Trinitarian God calls us to love our neighbor, which is exactly what He has done and will do for eternity.

    I’m not sure of the reason you’d be threatened by that, but please, feel free to elaborate. And thanks for the words of encouragement.

  • 3. alex  |  September 26, 2007 at 11:26 pm

    I guess it’s that some of us who aren’t from an evangelical tradition have been socialized to be uncomfortable about “getting naked” with religion except only when we’re alone in front of God. So you’ll pardon me if I keep my clothes on at this party.

  • 4. Jon Swerens  |  September 28, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    OK, I think I understand. Do you believe in the total separation of church and life? You are not alone.

    We who are evangelicals, though, are to increasingly live our entire lives “coram Deo” — before the face of God — instead of only on Sunday morning or in our prayer closets.

    Those who do live coram Deo are open to the charge of being “threatening” to non-believers. But those who do not are open to the charge of being hypocrites. To borrow your metaphor,we are called to be “naked” before God rather than hiding behind our own fig leaves.

  • 5. alex  |  September 28, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    This sounds like it’s teetering on the brink of unpleasantness, so I won’t engage in it further except to say that this is why decent people of differing faiths simply don’t go there. Unlike you, I have no interest in forcing my Unitarian God down your Trinitarian throat and I expect the same courtesy in return.

    My relationship with God is deeply personal and unique, just like everybody else’s, and a true community is one in which we can respect each other’s privacy in this regard.

  • 6. Jon Swerens  |  September 28, 2007 at 9:25 pm

    Alex,

    I can see that I need to take my own advice. These kinds of conversations are best face-to-face, preferably over coffee or beer, not through the Interwebs.

    Because — and I’m being completely honest here — I did not see where I was forcing anything down your throat. Perhaps you just didn’t realize that I would disagree with so many of your presuppositions.

    In any case, I invite you to email me at thegoodcity@gmail.com so we can actually meet.


About thegoodcity.com

But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. Jeremiah 29:7

Proprietor: Jon Swerens. Contact TGC. Read the comments policy.

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