The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier
April 2009, Jossey-Bass
Following on the questions raised by Brian McLaren in A New Kind of Christian, Tony Jones has written an engaging exploration of what this new kind of Christianity looks like. Writing "dispatches" about the thinking and practices of adventurous Emergent Christians across the country, he offers an in-depth view of this new "third way" of faith-its origins, its theology, and its views of truth, scripture and interpretation, and the Emergent movement's hopeful and life-giving sense of community. With the depth of theological expertise and broad perspective he has gained as a pastor, writer, and leader of the movement, Jones initiates readers into the Emergent conversation and offers a new way forward for Christians in a post-Christian world. With journalistic narrative as well as authoritative reflection, he draws upon on-site research to provide fascinating examples and firsthand stories of who is doing what, where, and why it matters.
INTRODUCTION: What Is "Emergent"?
CHAPTER 1: Leaving the Old Country.
"Church Is Dead".
Signs of Death–and Life.
The Problem on the Left.
A Case Study: Go Where I Send Thee.
The Problem on the Right.
A Case Study: Don't Ask Us About the Chickens.
The Real Problem: Left Versus Right.
Caught in the Crossfire.
Dispatch from the Blogosphere: Musings of a Postmodern Negro.
CHAPTER 2: Dispatches from the Frontier of the American Church.
An Alternative Ending.
What Exactly Is Emerging?
"The Bible Is Propaganda".
The New Kind of Christian Effect.
Meanwhile, Across the Pond.
Then till Now.
The Church's Choice.
Dispatch from the Rocky Mountains: Katie and Kristen.
CHAPTER 3: Who Are the Emergent Christians?
Hunches and Intuitions.
Influencing Culture or Influenced by Culture?
An "Envelope of Friendship".
An Emergent Voters' Guide.
Dispatch from I-35: The Terrific Tale of Trucker Frank.
CHAPTER 4: The Theology, Stupid.
What, Exactly, Is Theology?
Theology on the Rise.
Skiing the Slippery Slope.
So, a Biblicist and a Relativist Walk into a Pastors' Conference.
The Expurgated Lectionary.
Dispatch from Seminary: Legalisms of the Left.
CHAPTER 5: After Objectivity: Beautiful Truth.
The Thrill of Interpretation.
Reading the Whole Bible.
"Sonny, It Ain't Nothing till I Call It".
Truth (a.k.a. God).
After Objectivity: Dialogue.
Beautiful, Messy, Incarnational Truth.
Dispatch from the End of a Three-Mile Dirt Road: Recovering "Church".
CHAPTER 6: Inside the Emergent Church.
It's a Great Day at Jacob's Well!
Tightly Knit: Journey.
The People's Liturgy: Church of the Apostles.
Time to Rethink Seminary.
MyChurch: A Paean to Solomon's Porch.
EPILOGUE: Feral Christians.
Appendix A: "Emergent Village Values and Practices".
Appendix B: "A Response to Our Critics".
Appendix C: "Disastrous Statements".