Tony Jones‘ newest book, ‘The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier,’ just came out and I think he really did it. What the ‘it’ is I am not sure. Maybe it was the blend of stories, theology, dispatches, or the fact that the book held together wide open on the treadmill, but I read the book in two long walks @ a 12% incline. When he was on the Nick and Josh podcast (where you can download the first chapter of the book) they gave him 8 out of 10 ‘McLarens,’ but if this is being compared to A New Kind of Christian in the Emergent primer book category I just gotta say I like Tony’s more. I have never been a fan of fiction with theology right behind it, so that might have something to do with it. Tony does not dabble in too much fiction, just his frontier metaphor which was good because it didn’t last the whole book. Instead Tony tells it straight. I don’t remember thinking to myself ‘come on we all know what you are intending to say, so just say it.’ The book has definitions, stories, dispatches, metaphors, Emergent Village history lessons, and Tony Stump Speech quips so I thought I would tell you my favorite from the book so you decide to go buy it.
– Definition: ‘The Gospel / The irreducible good news of God, ultimately delivered in the person of Jesus Christ. In other words, a reality that cannot be summed up in a call-out box.’
– Story: ‘The Terrific Tale of Trucker Frank’ (This is a story on emergent church discipline techniques where a Trucker for Jesus tells us just what to do with back-sliding church members. It is by far my favorite part of the book and makes me want to meet Trucker Frank. BTW, did he mention exactly when you bring out the MMA moves?)
– Dispatch 11: ‘Emergents believe that awareness of our relative position-to-God, to one another, and to history, breeds biblical humility, NOT relativistic apathy.’
– Metaphor: wikichurch
– Emergent Village history lesson: The Brad Cecil spontaneous philosophy tour de france that made the brains start clicking and birthed Emergent.
– Tony Stump Speech quips: ‘The Bible is Propaganda’ OR ‘truth had lice, toe jam, smelly armpits, and a daily bowel movement.’