back in rocktober, i posted this “teaser review” of the new christian: dispatches from the emergent frontier, by my friend, tony jones.
The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier, by tony jones
i read the manuscript for tony’s book the other day. but the book doesn’t come out until march. so i’m just going to post the endorsement i wrote now a teaser review for now; and i’ll post a full review closer to the release of the book.
I devoured this book! Like A New Kind of Christian gave words to the experiences and thoughts of so many, early in this decade, The New Christians provides language, theology and a nudge toward a path out of our bi-polar morass of left vs. right, liberal vs. conservative, mainline vs. evangelical. It cuts sideways across all the rhetoric, entrenchment and warfare-positioning of modern-day Christianity. I’m confident Tony’s book will provide definition for many, helpful disequilibration for others, and – best of all – new hope for those who cannot (or refuse to) continue trudging numbly along the cattle paths of the American church.
tony, mark scrandrette, and doug pagitt, are supporting their three books with a national tour this summer, playfully titled, “the church basement revival: a rollin’ gospel revival.” i’ve read and reviewed all three books (mark’s here, and doug’s here). all three books are excellent. all three guys are briliant, funny, fun, thoughtful, and love to engage in real and spirited dialogue.
tony’s book released this past week, and should be available at the moment via all the usual online options. you’re also likely to find it, for now, at the big ABA stores, like barnes & noble, borders, joseph beth, and others. i want to add a bit of weight to my endorsement, with the admission that endorsements are written with a particular voice and tone for a specific purpose; whereas, here i’m just speaking as me: read this book.
if you’re a follower of jesus and part of the emerging church, this book will offer you history and definitions and language and clarity and (i realize this sounds grandiose, but i mean it) courage.
if you’re a follower of jesus and not part of the emerging church (or suspicious of the emerging church), this book will help you understand, will de-fang the emerging church (for those who are willing to consider what tony suggests, and don’t just read in order to bolster their predetermined hatred), and will help you see that we’re not all heretics (any more than you are).
if you’re a used-to-be christian, intrigued and spiritual but suspicious of christians, or not-sure-you-can-keep-up-this-charade christian, this book will bring hope: there is a way that rings true to your soul without buying into the crap baggage of traditional liberal/conservative battle-camps.
and, finally, if you’re looking to find more to build your case about this horrible thing called the emerging church, “the coming apostasy” (as a friend of mine so ludicrously published recently), “the end of christendom”, “the last generation of christians”, “not christianity by any definition i know”: well, you’ll surely find plenty here to make you feel good about yourself and your silly self-confidence.