Saturday, March 29, 2008

Lookin' Ahead to Tony Jones

Tony Jones--emergent guru and all around hipster--(whoever says Rob Bell put the hip in discipleship hasn't met Tony, a self-confessed mini-van driving, little-league coaching, boyscout-leading, 40 year old hunka-hunka burnin' love; Christianity's answer to Unknown Hinson) recently and very kindly sent me a copy of his new book The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier. Starting next week I'll be blogging about it. I'm about halfway in, and I'm lovin' it. It's one of those rare books whose title actually has something to do with its content. So far, anyway, it's largely a descriptive account of emergent, what the movement is growing out of, what it hopes to be growing into and how it all got started. He gives us the inside story as one of its midwives, someone at the bedside of emergent's birth and there for its first, shaky steps into the wild and sometimes less-than-hospitable spaces of 21st Century life. So, stay tuned for that. In the mean time, grab a copy of Tony's latest book and check back here soon. (Alright, admit it, you want more Unknown Hinson. Okay, here you go.)

[12:10 p.m. Saturday 3/29/08
Correction: I believe I mistakenly attributed a kindness to Tony which actually belongs to Keith DeRose. Since I had corresponded w/Tony about the interim I taught and a book project I'm putting together on emergent, I assumed the copy of his book I received in the mail had come from him. Actually, I'm given now to believe it came from Keith. Thanks very much, Keith! Sorry, Tony. You're still kind; just not responsible for this particular kindness.]


Keith DeRose said...

I recommend Tony's book, too. It provides a good answer to the many who wonder "just what this whole emergent thing is."

Well, I should point out that I can't really speak to the accuracy of the picture Tony paints, since I just don't know enough myself about the emergent movement to be able to compare Tony's picture of it with reality. But, assuming accuracy, I thought the book provided a good, informative presentation of what's going on. It would be very easy for a book to fail on that score -- to be such as to leave me thinking I still had little idea -- accurate or not -- about what's going on. But Tony's book instead left me feeling that I had a much better grip on this hard-to-pin-down-(I-think-in-a-good-way) movement. As for accuracy, I have good reason to trust here -- based on how well Tony is positioned to say what the movement is about & also based on what others who know more than I do about the emergent scene are saying (mostly on-line) about the book.

Some might enjoy (I certainly did) this youtube clip in which Tony responds to the question of whether he has been born again:

Tony's taken some heat for that, but my fellow fans of "epistemic humility" in religion might love it --as I do.

Keith DeRose said...

Oops. I guess the whole youtube URL didn't make it onto the line. I don't know if this will work, but let me try to do it as a link.

Jack said...

The most important question anyone is ever going to ask on this blog is: "Are those sideburns real?"