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Join me in welcoming two new blogs to Beliefnet: Jesus Creed, crafted by the careful hands of Scot McKnight, and The New Christians, the brainchild of Tony Jones. 

JCheader.jpgJesus Creed, long one of the web’s most popular religion blogs, is that rarest of breeds: a blog whose community is sensible, reflective, fun, and…dare I say pleasant. McKnight is a professor of religious studies at North Park University and the source of a Balzac-like output of books and articles. He’s also a veracious reader, and many of his posts involve an ongoing discussion of a single book. 

Here’s an excerpt from McKnight’s introductory post, where he explains what makes the JC community unique. Join them, bearing in mind that…: 

We come to with a community of friends who have established a civil form of conversation. Yes, over the 3.5 years of blogging on Jesus Creed we have had to add names to our “moderation” queue and we don’t like doing that. But, because here at Jesus Creed we value civility so much we find it necessary and helpful to moderate comments intentionally and carefully. 

We value conversation. If you want to chat with us — join us. We imagine this community as sitting at a table over coffee with one another. We are not trying to win, to score points, to insult, or to shame others. Sometimes someone gets a little sharp with others and we all stand back and say, “That’s not the way we operate at Jesus Creed.” This community monitors itself. If you are asked by others to tone it down, please tone it down. If we want a civil conversation we have to work hard at protecting one another from insults. And we have to discipline ourselves to ask this simple question: “Would I talk like this to a friend over coffee?” 

The New Christians

Tony Jones has been known for years as a leading voice within Emergent and a regular presence on the Christian speaking circuit. Jones is a doctoral candidate at Princeton, and is also the source of a litany of books, including this year’s testament to burgeoning expressions of Christianity, The New Christians. The blog takes the book’s title, and will be a witness to one Christian’s witness to the faith. 

My favorite tNC post so far is an homage to Tony’s dog, complete with gorgeous soft-focus photos. An excerpt: 

Beaumont became enormously excited when he saw me pack my Mossberg shotgun and blaze orange vest in the car. And when we got to the field to search for pheasants and chuckers, he hit the ground running. 

But within 30 minutes, he was out of gas. After an hour, he could barely make it to the car. I lifted him into the back and he panted like I’d never seen him before as his body tried to cool itself. He has diabetes now, and he drinks, pants, and pees incessantly. Truth be told, Beaumont has just a few more weeks before he journeys to doggy heaven.

But this morning, he’s back on his feet, following guys around the lodge, hoping they’ll drop some food for him (I gave him half my steak last night).

And in a couple hours, we’ll go afield one last time. He’ll flush a few pheasants and, if my aim is true, get to retrieve them and lay them at my feet. 

For a lab, that is heaven.

Jesus Creed and The New Christians are the opening acts in a new series of Christian blogs at Beliefnet. Much more to come in the months ahead. Stay tuned.

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