Tony's new book, Did God Kill Jesus, releases 03.24.15.
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Blog Reviews of TNC

Rick Presley (Ill-legalism.com): “Written in the style of a travelogue, Jones explores the geography of the most profound cultural change in evangelical Christianity since the Jesus People turned the conversation from defending denominational distinctives to following Jesus Christ. Critics of the Emerging Church will find exactly what they are looking for – ammunition for lobbing more broadsides at what they consider a serious threat, or in their most alarmist terms, The End of Christianity As We Know It. To be more precise, it is actually the end of Christianity as they wish it to be. Friends of Emergent will find exactly what they are looking for as well. The New Christians is a thumbnail history that documents how the Emergent Conversation got started, how it formed over the years, who the leaders are, and how they became a full-fledged movement. For those who have not formed an opinion on the Emerging Church and Emergent Christianity, this book will serve as a much-needed guide to what the major themes and issues are, what the Emergents believe is at stake, and what Emergents look like in their natural habitat. In all honesty, Jones could have titled this valuable contribution, A Field Guide to Emergent Christians and Their Habitat and not been off the mark.” read more… 

Adam Copeland: “I’ll begin with what has been noted by most reviewers: if you want to read one book on the emergent church, The New Christians is by far the best value for your time and money. No doubt about it: TNC is worth reading.” read more…

Jeremy Zach: “In The New Christians, Tony Jones (a specialist in the emerging front) acts as a Christian weather reporter who is reporting the US Evangelical forecast. Tony’s forecast was seasoned with academia, research, and personalized experiences. Tony put languages and articulation to the emergent “conversation”. He dispatches 20 themes that the emerging front exhibits. These 20 dispatches are not doctrine/dogma of the emerging movement, but rather emphasized theologies. Tony argues that theology reasoned discourse about God, religion, and spirituality. Literally, “words about God,” from the Greek logos (word) and theos (God) (47).” read more…

Blake Huggins: “I’ve always said that emergent is the last hope for the church in our post-Christian age. And quite frankly it has saved Christianity for me. That being said, I’m very, very glad that Tony wrote this book. It desperately needed to be written and I am confident that 20-30 years from now we will all point back to TNC as a defining moment in the history of emergent. If you consider yourself an emergent or you’re curious, this is most definitely a must read.” read more…

Paul Soupiset: “Thankfully someone’s finally done it … Tony Jones took the last year or so and gathered and codified many of the stories, theologies and artifacts from the first decade of the emerging church conversation. The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier (2008, Jossey-Bass) offers hope-filled, engaging views (at times wonderfully granular, other times, appropriately birds-eye) of many of the facets of the imperfect gem that is emergent. Part history scrapbook, part emergent church travelogue, part theological and epistemic treatment, this primer may well become the de-facto “on-ramp text” for the next decade.” read more…

Jonathan Pedrone: “This book represents the most lucid explanation of the Emergent phenomenon to date. Tony is especially qualified to speak to the evolution of the movement, from it’s embryonic stages in the late 1990’s to the growing and expanding movement that seems to be in the teenage stage today [that stage where you’re going through transformation in every part of your being, and most people don’t really like you because your moody, but it’s not really your fault, because your just learning how to exist in this new strange world].” read more…

Nick Fox: “I have said before that if one wants to be inteligible about the Emergent conversation, s/he must read and be familiar with the ideas presented in Scot McKnight’s article on the topic. I must now amend that statement, and add that The New Christians also belongs on that list. All future writing on the Emergent conversation will have to take this book into account. It is a great read, regardless of what you think of the emergent movement, and will inspire you to think while setting the record straight regarding what you have heard about it.” read more…

Shane Mullin: “Tony articulates the need to for us (Christians) to rise above the polarities to which we often find ourselves beholden, and then he proceeds to offer examples of how emergent Christians are doing this through twenty “dispatches.” What most readers should take away from these dispatches is that both the dispatches and emerging Christians are full of hope. Tony does a great job of describing the emergent movement, offering definitions, and providing an insider’s perspective of the development of Emergent Village.” read more…

Steve Knight: “I must start off by saying that I think of all the leading Emergent voices (e.g., Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, etc.) Tony is the best writer. I just like his style. I appreciate very much what others have written, but I just enjoy reading Tony’s stuff a little more. And that’s purely an aesthetic judgment.” Read more…

Jonathan Brink: “Tony provides a deep historical account of how and why the emerging church and emergent movement arrived and is what it is today. This is a must read book for those interested in the emerging church, or anyone who wants a clear picture of the emerging/emergent movement. If you are unwilling to read this book, you have no real leg to stand on in your critique.” read more…

Blue Like Elvis: “If you were to read the book…..you would find nothing heretical. Simply an honest look at scripture and how it works itself out in today’s church and culture.” read more…

Adam Cleaveland (pomomusings): “He has written the book that I think many people have been waiting for. This book gives a very honest portrayal of the beginnings of what became Emergent Village (including some very revealing statements about Mark Driscoll’s initial involvement with Emergent), tries to explain who these emergent Christians are, looks at the theology of emergent Christians, and gives us some practical “on-the-ground” encounters with emerging churches and “dispatches” from those who are involved with the emergent church movement. This is a helpful book; but it is also, primarily, a hopeful book.” read more…

Darren King (Precipice Magazine): “To be clear, the New Christians offers the most crystallized, comprehensive series of snapshots of the Emergent phenomenon offered by any author to date. Add to that the impressive writing prowess of Jones, and you’re guaranteed an informative, entertaining joyride through the life and times of an organic movement that has grown immensely in popularity, familiarity and impact over the last several years.” read more…

Zach Roberts: “I think Tony’s presentation marks a shift forward in Emergent’s maturity. I have noticed this in other conversations I have led or participated in here in NC and I see it in myself. Emergent has settled down from its adolescent fury of protest, angst, and sharp criticism. We’ve realized that if we want to be heard, and we very much do want to be heard, then we have to listen and make space for the other as well. Tony’s speech was very invitational. He was asking for established church folks to come to the table and not feel threatened. I have been trying to do the same thing and slowly I believe it is paying off. I believe Emergent is moving into a peace-making phase of genuinely wanting to work with the established church in imagining new ways forward.” read more…

Aaron Lee (Hollywood Jesus): “In his book The New Christians, Jones introduces the world to the new frontier of Emerging Christianity. Emerging Church leaders, Jones says, are moving their churches to focus more on outward, Gospel-inspired ideas than on self-preservation.” read more…

Bowie Snodgrass: “The word is out. If you want a primer on the “emerging” church, read Tony Jones’ The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier. It’s a great overview for posterity and for people today who are wondering what this phenomenon is all about.” read more…

Tripp Fuller: “Tony Jones’s 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, and dispatches.” read more…

Dan Clendenin (Journey with Jesus): “In church not long ago a friend asked me if I had heard of the movement called Emergent. Tony Jones’s new book makes answering his question easier than ever. There’s been a steadily growing literature by and about Emergent churches the last ten years, both friendly and critical, but his book now takes pride of place as the best on-ramp to enter the discussion.” read more…

Julie Clawson: “I appreciated the way Tony dealt with the issues of homosexuality and women in ministry. Instead of dealing with each as “issues,” he just told the stories of real people. He was inclusive and affirming in practice while not alienating in dogma. Of course this could just mean he pisses off everyone on both sides of these issues, but I thought he was fair in how he approached such controversial topics.” read more…

Rick Stilwell: “What I like about Jones’ prose is that he doesn’t water anything down. There are problems on both sides, there are misunderstandings all over, and there’s a need for forgiveness and mercy and grace from each corner. He does this with the historical potions of the story, and then does much the same with the theological discussion of truth, the Bible, interpretation, missiology. There’s a flow that’s working for me, like a primer on what I’ve been reading from my own vantage point that’s developed over the same passage of years.” read more…

Bob Carlton: “He writes about his sense of the history of this emerging/emergent phenomenon – if you are hungry for that, buy the book. He writes about the incredible cast of folks that find safety from fear, uncertainty and doom in this phenomenon – if you are hungry for that, buy the book. He writes about theology in a way that is pretty impressive from a fella with a fancy East Coast PhD, as well as a bunch of other -ologies – if you are hungry for that, buy the book.” read more…

Luke Miller: “In a genre I had written off as grossly over-crowded, Tony’s book is throughly refreshing. I can honestly say that is the seminal work on the emerging church to date. With the integrity of a scholar and the grace of a friend, Tony does an excellent job of capturing the phenomenon of the church that is emerging all around us.” read more…

Andrew Jones: “To read the book is to understand where Tony is coming from, that middle ground between fundamentalism and liberalism that Lesslie Newbigin pointed to in his classic book Proper Confidence. It is also to get a feel for Tony himself and to a large extent, the flavor of Emergent Village and their many conversations and conferences. And for those reasons, I really like the book and recommend it.” read more…

Mike Stavlund:TNC is a really good book, and a huge contribution to the conversation about the new ways of doing church and the new ways of being Christian that are all around us, as well as an insightful look at the impending collapse of liberal vs. conservative polarities in politics, religion, and society in general. Part sociological study, part theological exploration, part peripatetic travelogue, part exegetical exploration, part personal observation, and part fresh hermeneutical method, it is one of the best books I’ve read in years.” read more…

Mark Oestreicher: “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.” read more…

Josh Brown: ” I think The New Christians is the most important book since A New Kind of Christian by Brian McLaren.” read more…

Bob Hyatt: “It’s good writing, some good storytelling and some good challenges to those on both sides of the Left/Right spectrum, followed by discussions of theology, post-objectivity and truth.” read more…

Mike Leaptrott: “For anyone interested in the Emergent Church, this book is a must read. Giving the reader an inside scoop on the origins of this movement, Tony Jones has taken a big step toward answering many questions of participants and critics alike. I’d like to thank Tony for sharing his journey with us.” read more…

Sam Andress: “In this first chapter Tony correctly sets the landscape for what is happening on the emergent frontier, in reaction and more importantly in response to the fatalism and reductive nature of the polarization that is hurting America–and the church. A pair of categories sadly, the church at large, has chosen to define themselves by—liberal or conservative—and thus has allowed the world to define the politics and practice of God’s people. A whole generation and those to follow are putting their collective feet down and calling it a sham. They are digging back into the deep historical treasures of the family of God, the church of Christ, to deconstruct old country ideologies in the hopes of constructing robust ways of living as God’s faithful people in the world.” Read Part One; Read Part Two

Bill Dahl: “If you’ve given up on God, life, man, Christians, Christianity or the Church, if you’re considering fleeing the life of faith in God, or pondering what it might mean to explore the possibility of coming into relationship with people just like you — The New Christians — Tony has great news for you — you have loads of company. They’re out there…You’re not alone.” read more…

Robin M.: “The best line of the whole book is Dispatch #3, on page 35:

“The gospel is like lava: no matter how much crust has formed over it, it will always find a weak point and burst through.”

This simple analogy speaks volumes to me. I think it sums up the emerging phenomenon. It fits with my observations and experience. It gives me hope.” read more…