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The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier

The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier

by Tony Jones


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What the "Emergent Church Movement" is all about-and why it matters to the future of Christianity

Following on the questions raised by Brian McLaren in A New Kind of Christian, Tony Jones has written an engaging exploration of what this new kind of Christianity looks like. Writing "dispatches" about the thinking and practices of adventurous Emergent Christians across the country, he offers an in-depth view of this new "third way" of faith-its origins, its theology, and its views of truth, scripture and interpretation, and the Emergent movement's hopeful and life-giving sense of community. With the depth of theological expertise and broad perspective he has gained as a pastor, writer, and leader of the movement, Jones initiates readers into the Emergent conversation and offers a new way forward for Christians in a post-Christian world. With journalistic narrative as well as authoritative reflection, he draws upon on-site research to provide fascinating examples and firsthand stories of who is doing what, where, and why it matters.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780470455395
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 04/20/2009
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

TONY JONES, (TONYJ.NET)is the author of many books on Christian ministry and spirituality, including The Sacred Way: Spiritual Practices for Everyday Life. He is a theologian-in-residence at Solomon's Porch in Minneapolis and a doctoral fellow in practical theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. Tony is a sought-after speaker and consultant in the areas of emerging church, postmodernism, and Christian spirituality. Tony has three children and lives in Edina, Minnesota.

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Table of Contents

‘‘A Living Way: Emergent Visions’’ Series Foreword xiii

Preface xv

Introduction: What Is ‘‘Emergent’’? xvii

Chapter 1 ~ Leaving the Old Country 1

4 ‘‘Church Is Dead’’

5 Signs of Death–and Life

7 The Problem on the Left

10 A Case Study: Go Where I Send Thee

11 The Problem on the Right

13 A Case Study: Don’t Ask Us About the Chickens

18 The Real Problem: Left Versus Right

21 Caught in the Crossfire

24 Dispatch from the Blogosphere: Musings of a Postmodern Negro

Chapter 2 ~ Dispatches from the Frontier of the American Church 31

31 An Allegory

33 An Alternative Ending

35 Geological Musings

37 What Exactly Is Emerging?

41 The Beginnings

43 ‘‘The Bible Is Propaganda’’

49 The New Kind of Christian Effect

52 Meanwhile, Across the Pond

55 Then till Now

57 The Church’s Choice

60 Dispatch from the Rocky Mountains: Katie and Kristen

Chapter 3 ~ Who Are the Emergent Christians? 67

68 Hunches and Intuitions

72 Influencing Culture or Influenced by Culture?

76 An ‘‘Envelope of Friendship’’

80 An Emergent Voters’ Guide

86 Dispatch from I-35: The Terrific Tale of Trucker Frank

Chapter 4 ~ The Theology, Stupid 95

96 Dartmouth Days

104 What, Exactly, Is Theology?

106 Theology on the Rise

111 Going Deep

115 Skiing the Slippery Slope

123 So, a Biblicist and a Relativist Walk into a Pastors’ Conference . . .

130 The Expurgated Lectionary

134 Dispatch from Seminary: Legalisms of the Left

Chapter 5 ~ After Objectivity: Beautiful Truth 139

140 The Thrill of Interpretation

143 Reading the Whole Bible

148 ‘‘Sonny, It Ain’t Nothing till I Call It’’

152 Truth (a.k.a. God)

155 After Objectivity: Dialogue

157 Beautiful, Messy, Incarnational Truth

162 Paradoxes

170 Dispatch from the End of a Three-Mile Dirt Road: Recovering ‘‘Church’’

Chapter 6 ~ Inside the Emergent Church 175

175 It’s a Great Day at Jacob’s Well!

180 Wikichurch

192 Tightly Knit: Journey

201 Binitarians

203 The People’s Liturgy: Church of the Apostles

209 Time to Rethink Seminary

210 MyChurch: A Paean to Solomon’s Porch

Epilogue: Feral Christians 219

Appendices 221

222 Appendix A: ‘‘Emergent Village Values and Practices’’

227 Appendix B: ‘‘A Response to Our Critics’’

233 Appendix C: ‘‘Disastrous Statements’’

Notes 237

Acknowledgments 253

The Author 255

Index 257

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