Questions for Christian Engineers, Architects, Designers and Urban Planners

by Brian Gray

Well, I don’t rule the world.

But if I did (and it’s good I don’t!), I’d have all the world’s Christian engineers, architects, designers, and urban planners meet together in communities and ask these questions:

A Theology of Place: How does the Christian story (removal from Eden, wandering & sojourners, new Jerusalem, etc) influence our understanding of the places we inhabit? What kind of places and structures best reflect that story?

Environment and Community: How do our structures either facilitate or hinder community?

Beauty: What is beauty? What structures and materials are beautiful, and why? What does it mean to embed more beauty in our engineering and architecture?

God as Craftsman: If God is an architect (Heb 11:10), then what, and how, does he “build?” In creation? Tabernacle, Temple, Ark? New Jerusalem? Us (Eph 2:10)? What lessons can we draw for our work in the E/A/C community?

History: How do buildings either connect us with the past, and thus the human family, or disconnect us from the past?

Culture and Place: How can we build in a way that reflects the culture and moral values of those inhabiting those places?

Homes: What of the loss of the “front porch?” What trends in home design/building have changed how families and communities interact?

The Polis: How can we plan neighborhoods (commercial and residential) to strengthen communities? How about providing affordable housing for the poor or access to work?

Church Architecture: Cathedral or former Wal-mart? Utility or beauty? And why does it matter? 

Spiritual Formation: Can buildings influence our perception of God? If so, how?

Sustainability: What practices lead toward not only environmentally sustainable structures but also sustainable rhythms for a community?

Interpersonal Issues: How do architects, engineers, and constructors get along? What’s broken and needs to be redeemed?

Gentrification? A godsend, a plague of white, urban yuppies, or a little of both? What should Christians do? And what should they build?

Hospitality: How can our buildings be made to “welcome strangers” as Christ has welcomed us? 

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Brian Gray

Brian is the COO here at DIFW and also leads our 5280 Fellowship program.  Prior to landing at DIFW, he served in pastoral ministry for thirteen years and at Denver Seminary for four years. His vocation includes moving ideas out into life through relationships and conversation – whether that applies to God, work, the Church, good beer, or Liverpool Football Club. He married way out of his league, and spends most of his free-time being parented by his two daughters.