Loneliness is increasingly recognized as a major public health crisis that is on the rise and impacting people of all ages. Addressing the crisis of loneliness from a fresh perspective, this book introduces belonging as an overlooked but critical aspect of a flourishing Christian life.
Eric Jacobsen shows how three pieces of glass--the car windshield, TV, and smartphone--are emblematic of significant societal shifts that have created a cultural habit of physical isolation. We feel increasingly disconnected from the people and places around us. Jacobsen explains how adopting everyday practices and making changes in our neighborhoods can help us create a sense of belonging and rediscover what belonging in a place looks like. In order to effectively solve the problem of loneliness, we need to recover patterns and practices of community life that encourage us to form meaningful connections with people and stories that are part of the places where we live, work, and worship. To this end, Jacobsen offers four redemptive strategies for living a more intentional and spiritual life.
"Eric Jacobsen's Sidewalks in the Kingdom was transformative for our family. It literally changed the way we walk. I expect Three Pieces of Glass is going to change the way people see--and most importantly, how we see one another. It's hard to imagine a more timely book for our fractured, lonely republic."
--- James K. A. Smith, professor of philosophy, Calvin University; author of You Are What You Love and On the Road with Saint Augustine
"Three Pieces of Glass is a revelatory examination of our human need to belong, showing how this universal desire is a reflection of God's own nature, his good design, and our ultimate purpose. In these pages, Eric O. Jacobsen points the way past the various fractures and false senses of community that characterize today's culture in order to help us find--for ourselves and others--true belonging."
--- Karen Swallow Prior, author of On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books and Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More--Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist
Introduction:Where Everybody Knows Your Name Part 1: Definitions 1. What Is Belonging? 2. The Special Need for Civic Belonging 3. Signs, Instruments, and Foretastes of Belonging Part 2: Kingdom Belonging 4. The Character of Kingdom Belonging 5. The Character of Worldly Belonging 6. The Shape of Kingdom Belonging 7. Strangers and Kingdom Belonging 8. Kingdom and Covenant Belonging Part 3: The Gospel and Belonging 9. The Promise of Community Excursus: Social Capital 10. The Promise of Homecoming Excursus: Place Attachment 11. The Promise of a Good Story Excursus: Thick and Thin Language Part 4: A Crisis of Belonging 12. Three Pieces of Glass:The Crisis of Belonging in Relationships 13. The Declining Civic Realm:The Crisis of Belonging in Places 14. Busy:The Crisis of Belonging in Story Part 5: The Shapes Choices Take 15. Communally Shaped Choices 16. Policy-Shaped Choices 17. Liturgically Shaped Choices Part 6: Encouraging Belonging 18. Belonging by Design 19. Belonging through Proximity 20. Belonging by Placemaking 21. Belonging and Local Culture Conclusion:Belonging to the God Who Knows Your Name Index