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The New Christians

The New Christians

January 2009 Archives

Ted Haggard: Neither Gay nor Straight

posted by Tony Jones

Is Ted Haggard gay or straight?  Neither.  Few of us are.  Most of us, instead, are on a spectrum between the two, as Becky knight explains.  Money Quote: What was missing from the conversation was the awareness that sexual orientation […]

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Quote of the Week

posted by Tony Jones

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

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More Fun with Maps

posted by Tony Jones

Pro-Slavery vs Anti-Slavery States2000 Electoral College

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Original Sin: Halftime

posted by Tony Jones

The Original Sin SeriesIntro-Intuition-Definition-Genesis-Jesus-Paul-Augustine-Calvin-Conclusion I’ll take a break on substantive posts on this topic over the weekend, and launch back in by tackling Romans on Monday.  (It is interesting how many commenters on the last post were unwilling to deal […]

St. Gayle Haggard

posted by Tony Jones

Last night, I watched the HBO documentary, The Trials of Ted Haggard, and then caught the second half of Ted and Gayle Haggard’s appearance on Larry King Live. I went in quite skeptically.  I know a couple persons who knew/know […]

Comment of the Day

posted by Tony Jones

Why does a close examination of the doctrine of Original Sin matter? Because it is the “foundation” upon which much other Western doctrine is based. Scott M, take it away: Hmmm. Part of the problem may be that we have […]

Religion and Politics by State

posted by Tony Jones

Gallup has a new map up, rating each state by religiosity.  Respondents answered whether religion is an important part of their lives, and the map reinforces some of the usual stereotypes about the religiosity of the Deep South and the […]

I’ll Be Watching Haggard Tonight

posted by Tony Jones

My friend, Patton Dodd, has a piece up on Slate in advance of Alexandra Pelosi’s HBO documentary, The Trials of Ted Haggard, premiering tonight.  Patton used to work for Haggard and New Life Church, primarily as a writer and editor, […]

Original Sin: The Genesis of a Doctrine

posted by Tony Jones

The Original Sin SeriesIntro-Intuition-Definition-Genesis-Jesus-Paul-Augustine-Calvin-Conclusion Let me start with some throat-clearing.  At least one friend and not a few commenters were bothered by the fact that I wrote about my own intuition before I started reflection on the biblical passages at […]

Comment of the Day

posted by Tony Jones

Noah, a self-described conservative, makes a calm and helpful comment under Same Sex Marriage Blogalogue: Press Pause, To be really honest, the comment section makes me sad. It is sad to me that people become so ugly when discussions arise […]

Original Sin: A Definition

posted by Tony Jones

The Original Sin SeriesIntro-Intuition-Definition-Genesis-Jesus-Paul-Augustine-Calvin-Conclusion Some commenters are concerned that I’m setting up a straw man — that is, I’m leaving the doctrine of Original Sin undefined so that I can then dispute an unformed doctrine.  So I will defer to […]

Comment of the Day

posted by Tony Jones

Scott M points out some of the most significant intellectual problems with the doctrine of Original Sin: There are many ways in which this peculiarly Western variation of Christian belief distorts the faith. I mentioned one, the fate of infants […]

Same Sex Marriage Blogalogue: Press Pause

posted by Tony Jones

Several of you have been dropping comments under other posts, asking why this much-pimped series petered out so quickly.  Well, here’s the deal: Rod chose to stop the blogalogue very shortly after it started. Both of us were inundated by […]

Come Let Us Argue Together

posted by Tony Jones

“Come Let Us Reason Together” is the governing document of a group attempting to bridge the chasm between evangelicals and political progressives.  I signed on, not because the document is a comprehensive statement of all ways that these two groups […]

Original Sin: My Intuition

posted by Tony Jones

The Original Sin SeriesIntro-Intuition-Definition-Genesis-Jesus-Paul-Augustine-Calvin-Conclusion Well, much to the chagrin of my biblicist commenters, I’m not going to start this series of reflections on Original Sin with the Bible, but with my own intuition.  (Don’t read too much into this.  I […]

Comment of the Day

posted by Tony Jones

So many great comments under Original Sin: A Depraved Idea, so I’ll just highlight Virgil’s.  Do yourself a favor and go read the others. There is very little that is “traditional” about the doctrine of original sin, until we get […]

Google Reader Fix

posted by Tony Jones

All of the Beliefnet blogs have been dropped from Google Reader because of some silliness with Feedburner.  If you, like me, are a Google Reader user, please resubscribe by clicking on this: http://blog.beliefnet.com/tonyjones/rss.xml

Pandering Pope?

posted by Tony Jones

In a move that I bet the Vatican wanted to happen with no media attention, Benedict  XVI un-excommunicated four ultra-conservative bishops over the weekend.  But it turns out that one of the bishops had recently gone on a radio program […]

Original Sin: A Depraved Idea

posted by Tony Jones

The Original Sin SeriesIntro-Intuition-Definition-Genesis-Jesus-Paul-Augustine-Calvin-Conclusion When I was growing up in a moderate, centrist church — somewhere between mainline Christianity and evangelicalism — Original Sin was a given.  I first learned about it in youth group, and we regularly talked about […]

Mondays with Mark

posted by Tony Jones

Here’s the next installment of an on-going conversation with Mark Patrick, my spiritual director. Tony: Mark, I wonder if you’re willing to tell us a bit about the last ten years of your life.  It seems like it’s been quite […]

Quote of the Week

posted by Tony Jones

“The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.” -George Bernard Shaw

Got Books?

posted by Tony Jones

Do you like to read theology? And you’ve got a blog?  Then check this out from Tripp Fuller: I am helping to organize a series of conferences as part of a grant at school called Transforming Theology.  We will have […]

Comment of the Day

posted by Tony Jones

Mike Morrell got off his ROM long enough to serve up this beauty under Announcing Queermergent: Well, I’m coming in on this discussion late – which is probably merciful. I think that, before posting on such things, we need to […]

Lousiville, KY

posted by Tony Jones

I’m in Louisville today, meeting with others who’ve won grants this year from the Louisville Institute (mine is to allow me to finish my dissertation, ahem).  Relfections to be written on the flight home tonight.

Is Motherhood a “Calling”?

posted by Tony Jones

My dear friend, Carla, and her co-blogger Caryn over at TheMommyRevolution answer with a robust No!  Money Quote: It boarders on idolatry. Dave made a statement that troubles me to no end. It is just the kind of statement that sends […]

Interfaith Heroes Month

posted by Tony Jones

Geez, I had no idea.  It’s actually Interfaith Heroes Month, at least according to David Crumm, late of the Detroit Free Press and now the editor of ReadTheSpirit.com.  Today he asks one of my favorite persons in the world, Sheryl […]

Obama Inauguration Recap

posted by Tony Jones

Billions of words have already been written and spoken yesterday and today regarding the inauguration, everything from the Justice Roberts oath flub to Michelle Obama’s ball gown.  I’ve got opinions, of course, but nothing particularly new to say.  So, instead, […]

Comment(s) of the Day

posted by Tony Jones

As usual, lots and lots of mean-spirited commentary around GLBT issues here yesterday, but a couple of poignant comments stuck out under yesterday’s Comment of the Day and Sunday’s Announcing Queermergent. First, Kristi: done talking? done listening? i don’t understand […]

Comment of the Day 2

posted by Tony Jones

Peter Rollins and Stephen Shields have begun a bit of a back-and-forth under the post, Ten Years of Emergent/ing.  Here’s Pete’s response to Stephen, and here’s hoping they’ll continue the conversation (here or elsewhere): Hey there Would love to chat, […]

Join Us on the (Internet) Radio

posted by Tony Jones

I’m a regular commentator on Doug Pagitt’s daily radio show, The Question. (Yes, I believe that is a velour shirt.) His show runs from 10-11am Central Time on Blogtalkradio, and I join him most Tuesdays from 10:30-11:00 to talk about […]

Comment of the Day

posted by Tony Jones

Preson takes issue with my post, Announcing Queermergent, as did many others.  What’s interesting is that I merely pointed out this new group, with no editorial comment.  Yet my even publicizing it raises the ire of many. I guess that […]

“We Are Caught in an Inescapable Network of Mutuality”

posted by Tony Jones

Over the past several years, on my various blogs, I’ve pointed to or republished the Letter from a Birmingham Jail, written to the white clergymen of that city, to honor the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Here it is […]

Comment of the Weekend

posted by Tony Jones

Well, there’s a lot to choose from this weekend.  Several of the Methodist ministers who were at the contentious conference last week weighed in on What Happened in Missouri. Of course, it’s disheartening to read on Susan Cox-Johnson’s blog that […]

Announcing Queermergent

posted by Tony Jones

Adele Sakler, whom I’ve known for a few years, has started yet another “hyphenated” group within the emergent network-of-networks.  She’s calling it “Queermergent,” and, as you might guess, it’s focused on GLBTQ issues.

Let’s Be the Change

posted by Tony Jones

One of the theme’s of BO’s campaign for president that was most enthralling for me was the potential he holds to really bind our country together for the good of the whole.  Whether it be the massive investment into roads, […]

Ten Years of Emergent/ing

posted by Tony Jones

Next Wave E-Zine has a ten year retrospective of the emergent church movement by Stephen Shields that is, as we would expect from Stephen, comprehensive and even-handed. Money Quote: And so the tenth anniversary of Next-Wave arrives at a critical […]

Quote of the Week

posted by Tony Jones

Eskimo: “If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?” Priest: “No, not if you did not know.” Eskimo: “Then why did you tell me?” -Annie Dillard

Can We End the “Culture Wars”?

posted by Tony Jones

If so, Third Way, a think tank in Washington, D.C. might be a good place to start.  I have signed their “Come Let Us Reason Together Governing Statement.”  If you are interested in civility in our cultural conversations about abortion, […]

The Minnesota Boy from Milk

posted by Tony Jones

In the movie, Milk, there is a poignant scene in which Harvey Milk answers the phone and on the other end of the line is a wheelchair-bound boy who says that his family is abusing him because of his same […]

What Happened in Missouri

posted by Tony Jones

Back when Patton Dodd asked initially asked me to consider blogging for Bnet, he wanted to play on the “Dispatches” subtitle of my book.  That is, he wanted to take advantage of my frequent travels to write about how the […]

Comment of the Day

posted by Tony Jones

Bob is not going to be happy, but I’m posting robroy’s response to my Rick Warren vs. Gene Robinson, and I’m doing so because I think, regardless of robroy’s rudeness, it shows a particular perspective on why Gene Robinson (and […]

God Swag

posted by Tony Jones

God Spam has some suggestions for inauguration apparel.

Jinxed

posted by Tony Jones

I’m sitting in an airport, reading in the USA Today that it’s now been two years since a commercial airline crash, the longest crash-free period in aviation history, and I’m watching on TV as rescuers fish passengers of a downed […]

Rick Warren vs. Gene Robinson

posted by Tony Jones

A while back, I mused at the exceptionally long news cycle of the story that BO had asked Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration.  That story had a lot of legs, in the blogosphere and in the […]

Comment of the Day

posted by Tony Jones

Dan dissents regarding the post, Is Mysticism Gnostic?: Tony writes: “In my Monday post, I mused that the “secret knowledge” vibe expounded by some conservative Christians opens them to the charge of gnosticism. Some commenters mentioned that the other primary […]

What’s It Like to Worship at Solomon’s Porch?

posted by Tony Jones

Matt Cleaver, a seminary student who visited last Sunday, has a good take.  Money quote: I thought this would be a cool opportunity to see in real life all that I had been reading and hearing about, and it was […]

Is Mysticism Gnostic?

posted by Tony Jones

In my Monday post, I mused that the “secret knowledge” vibe expounded by some conservative Christians opens them to the charge of gnosticism.  Some commenters mentioned that the other primary characteristic of gnosticism is a strict, platonic dualism.  This, too, […]

Comment of the Day

posted by Tony Jones

Darren King weighs in on the post, Are Conservatives the Real Gnostics?: Tony, I agree. And I’ve often thought about this in terms of how we handle parts of scripture – such as the epistles of Paul. Rather than seeing […]

Jack’s Last Hunt

posted by Tony Jones

One of my favorite dogs in the world, MOL‘s Jack, just completed his final duck hunt.  I’m missing Beaumont these days, so I’ll share a Jack video to assuage the grief: In Search of Jack’s Last Duck Part 3 from […]

Mission: Missouri Ministers’ School

posted by Tony Jones

I’ve arrived on the shores of the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Missouri, where I’ll be addressing a couple hundred Methodist ministers over the next three days.  Updates forthcoming…

Mondays with Mark

posted by Tony Jones

Mark Patrick is my spiritual director, though we don’t act like a traditional director-directee pair.  I’ve had other spiritual directors, and Mark is different. For one thing, we usually meet at a cigar shop. He’s been a pastor, therapist, and […]

Comment of the Day

posted by Tony Jones

Eric Glover continues the discussion of the Trinity: First I just want to say that I’m not arguing for or against the traditional understanding of the trinity in this post, I just merely want to engage the applicability of the […]

Are Conservatives the Real Gnostics?

posted by Tony Jones

More than once, my Google Reader has shot me a link to a conservative blogger who’s accused me of gnosticism.  Here’s one from a few years ago that makes that claim, and there have been several more since. Gnosticism is […]

Comment of the Weekend

posted by Tony Jones

Wow.  There was a slew of great comments from which to choose this weekend.  The best comment string, methinks, is under The Orthodoxy of Down Syndrome.  But the top comment goes to Steve D., who commented under Is the Trinity […]

Pascal’s Wager Meets the Toxin Puzzle: I Kinda Believe, Help my Kinda Unbelief (Keith)

posted by kderose

I failed to bring my series of posts on the pragmatics of hell to any kind of a decent conclusion.  I was knocked out of commission for a while by a bad case of stomach flu: It was as if […]

Quote of the Week

posted by Tony Jones

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” -Albert Einstein

War & Torture: Foggy & Hellish

posted by Tony Jones

Last night I watched The Fog of War, in which Robert McNamera reconsiders his participation in LBJ’s escalation of the Vietnam War by the addition of ground troops to the campaign of air bombing approved by JFK.  Of course, there’s […]

The Orthodoxy of Down Syndrome

posted by Tony Jones

Garret asks a good question in regards to Who Decides Orthodoxy? Tony, Thanks for asking good questions and getting us to think. I deeply appreciate it. Maybe another part could be added on to your statement discussion and consensus on […]

Comment(s) of the Day

posted by Tony Jones

Several readers, when considering the Trinity, Mormonism, and orthodoxy, are wondering about the authority of Nicaea. Master Doyle: The two arguments I’ve heard most often to explain why Mormons aren’t Christian are 1) they believe in extra-Biblical scriptures, namely the […]

Beck Responds to DeRose

posted by Tony Jones

Over at Experimental Theology, Richard Beck has responded to Keith DeRose’s post, “Really Believing in Hell.” Money Quote: Going back to Keith’s post, my hunch is that hell is most terrifying for children in the Concrete Operations stage. In this […]

Who Decides Orthodoxy?

posted by Tony Jones

Yesterday I posted about the optionality of the Trinity.  A good debate ensued, which is exactly what I hoped.  And that brings me to my thought for the day: I think those of us committed to the social web will […]

Comment of the Day

posted by Tony Jones

Seth R., a practicing Mormon, weighs in on the Trinity and, in particular, my chosen trinitarian formulation: Tony, it’s interesting in the same article where you conclude that Mormons are not Christians, you admit that you yourself are a “Social […]

On Blurbing

posted by Tony Jones

Scot had a nice post on blurbing last week.  My own endorsement requests have dropped significantly of late.  I guess “blogger” doesn’t have as much cache as “national coordinator of Emergent Village” on the back cover. In general, I agree […]

Pomomusings Reviews Jack Rogers

posted by Tony Jones

After his much debated post, The Bible & Homosexuality: Enough with the Bible Already, Adam Walker-Cleaveland is now tackling Jack Roger’s book, Jesus, The Bible, and Homosexuality: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church chapter-by-chapter. (Rogers is a polarizing figure in […]

Is the Trinity Optional?

posted by Tony Jones

Over the holidays, my mother was attempting to explain Mormonism to a 14-year-old boy who lives with her and my dad.  He’s got a Mormon friend and he was wondering about that faith, especially because he’s in confirmation class this […]

Comment of the Day

posted by Tony Jones

A fine dissent from Mike to my still-debated post, How I Went from There to Here: Same Sex Marriage Blogalogue: I think the conclusion from this is that you have “caved to the mushy inclusivity of pluralized nothingness” from the […]

Our Biggest Weakness: Same Sex Marriage Blogalogue

posted by Tony Jones

Rod, Happy New Year!  I’m glad that we’ve decided to get back into our blogalogue this month.  I know that lots and lots of readers want us to tackle the biblical evidence one way or another regarding same sex marriage.  […]

The All New TonyJ.net

posted by Tony Jones

Thanks to the brilliance of Jon White, TonyJ.net has undergone an overhaul.  Once I decided to blog here at Bnet, it became clear that my own domain would serve a significantly different purpose, so Jon and I have worked together […]

Muchas Gracias, Keith, Carla, and Anthony

posted by Tony Jones

My deep, deep thanks to my guest bloggers last week: Keith DeRose, Carla Barnhill, and Anthony Smith.  They may continue to post this week to run out the string on their thoughts.  And I hope to have them back in […]

The Spiritual Lives of Children (Carla)

posted by cbarnhill

I’m fairly certain that most of what we attempt in the way of spiritual formation for children gets in the way of what God is doing in the way of spiritual formation for children. Thank you all for your thoughtful […]

Really Believing in Hell (Keith)

posted by kderose

But I was reminded of the incident later when I received a letter from an American woman in her forties who had been brought up Roman Catholic. At the age of seven, she told me, two unpleasant things happened to […]

Singing the blues with Mr. Kanye West-part 2 (Anthony)

posted by asmith

To be intoxicated with God’s love and justice is to be on a love lockdown   Love seeks one thing only: the good of the one loved. It leaves all the other secondary effects to take care of themselves. Love, therefore, is its […]

A Toxin Puzzle about Belief (Keith)

posted by kderose

My title is a mash-up of the titles of two well-known philosophy papers: Gregory Kavka’s “The Toxin Puzzle,” which I discussed earlier today here, and Saul Kripke’s “A Puzzle about Belief.” But my topic is all Kavka: extending Kavka’s Toxin […]

What Should We Do With the Kids? (Carla)

posted by cbarnhill

I am certain there will be comments about this and that some of them will insinuate I am not a very good mother. Or a very good Christian. But a conversation I had this summer has convinced me that I […]

The Toxin Puzzle (Keith)

posted by kderose

You are feeling extremely lucky. You have just been approached by an eccentric billionaire who has offered you the following deal. He places before you a vial of toxin that, if you drink it, will make you painfully ill for […]

Previous Posts

My Blog Has Moved
Dear Readers, After a year with Beliefnet, I've decided to move to my own domain for my blogging.  It's been a fine year -- some things worked, other things didn't.  But in the end, I'll be a better blogger on my own.  My thanks to the Bnet editorial staff; they've been very supportive. Ple

posted 12:13:57pm Nov. 13, 2009 | read full post »

The Most Important Cartoon of the Year
By Steve Breen, San Diego Tribune, October 18, 2009

posted 8:51:22am Oct. 25, 2009 | read full post »

Social Media for Pastors
Following up on Christianity21, we at JoPa Productions are developing a series of boot camps for pastors who want to learn about and utilize social media tools like blogging, Twitter, and Facebook.  These are one-day, hands-on learning experiences, currently offered in the Twin Cities and soon

posted 10:45:52am Oct. 22, 2009 | read full post »

Ending Christian Euphemisms: "Fundamentalist"
I've taken some heat in the comment section for using yesterday's post on "unbiblical" and a "higher view of scripture" as a thin foil for my own disregard of biblical standards. To the contrary, I was pointing to the use of the word unbiblical as a stand-in for a particularly thin hermeneutic. Ther

posted 10:15:41am Oct. 21, 2009 | read full post »

Why You Should Get GENERATE
Last week at Christianity21, GENERATE Magazine debuted. With the tag line, "an artifact of the emergence conversation," it fit perfectly at the gathering. When I actually got around to reading it last weekend, I was truly surprised at how good it is.There have been several efforts to begin a paper j

posted 3:14:37pm Oct. 20, 2009 | read full post »

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