The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-03-01
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass
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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.

Author Biography

Tony Jones is the national coordinator of Emergent Village (www.emergentvillage.org), and a doctoral fellow in practical theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is the author of many books, including The Sacred Way: Spiritual Practices for Everyday Life. Jones is a sought-after speaker and consultant in the areas of emerging church, postmodernism, and Christian spirituality. Tony lives with his wife, Julie, and their three children in Edina, Minnesota.

Table of Contents

"A Living Way: Emergent Visions" Series Forewordp. xiii
Prefacep. xv
Introduction: What Is "Emergent"?p. xvii
Leaving the Old Countryp. 1
"Church Is Dead"p. 4
Signs of Death-and Lifep. 5
The Problem on the Leftp. 7
A Case Study: Go Where I Send Theep. 10
The Problem on the Rightp. 11
A Case Study: Don't Ask Us About the Chickensp. 13
The Real Problem: Left Versus Rightp. 18
Caught in the Crossfirep. 21
Dispatch from the Blogosphere: Musings of a Postmodern Negrop. 24
Dispatches from the Frontier of the American Churchp. 31
An Allegoryp. 31
An Alternative Endingp. 33
Geological Musingsp. 35
What Exactly Is Emerging?p. 37
The Beginningsp. 41
"The Bible Is Propaganda"p. 43
The New Kind of Christian Effectp. 49
Meanwhile, Across the Pondp. 52
Then till Nowp. 55
The Church's Choicep. 57
Dispatch from the Rocky Mountains: Katie and Kristenp. 60
Who Are the Emergent Christians?p. 67
Hunches and Intuitionsp. 68
Influencing Culture or Influenced by Culture?p. 72
An "Envelope of Friendship"p. 76
An Emergent Voters' Guidep. 80
Dispatch from I-35: The Terrific Tale of Trucker Frankp. 86
The Theology, Stupidp. 95
Dartmouth Daysp. 96
What, Exactly, Is Theology?p. 104
Theology on the Risep. 106
Going Deepp. 111
Skiing the Slippery Slopep. 115
So, a Biblicist and a Relativist Walk into a Pastors' Conference ...p. 123
The Expurgated Lectionaryp. 130
Dispatch from Seminary: Legalisms of the Leftp. 134
After Objectivity: Beautiful Truthp. 139
The Thrill of Interpretationp. 140
Reading the Whole Biblep. 143
"Sonny, It Ain't Nothing till I Call It"p. 148
Truth (a.k.a. God)p. 152
After Objectivity: Dialoguep. 155
Beautiful, Messy, Incarnational Truthp. 157
Paradoxesp. 162
Dispatch from the End of a Three-Mile Dirt Road: Recovering "Church"p. 170
Inside the Emergent Churchp. 175
It's a Great Day at Jacob's Well!p. 175
Wikichurchp. 180
Tightly Knit: Journeyp. 192
Binitariansp. 201
The People's Liturgy: Church of the Apostlesp. 203
Time to Rethink Seminaryp. 209
MyChurch: A Paean to Solomon's Porchp. 210
Epilogue: Feral Christiansp. 219
Appendicesp. 221
"Emergent Village Values and Practices"p. 222
"A Response to Our Critics"p. 227
"Disastrous Statements"p. 233
Notesp. 237
Acknowledgmentsp. 253
The Authorp. 255
Indexp. 257
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