The New Christians

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I’ve been meaning to pick up a copy of my friend Tony’s new book, The New Christians. I think Tony is a very smart, sincere, and brave leader. I’m always interested and excited by those who want to reimagine what means to live life in the Christian story and I applaud Tony and the other voices in and around the Emergent Village community. I went to my local B and N to pick up the book and I found an entire table of books dedicated to progressive Christian writers. It made me smile and I have to say that I’m happy these voices are finding themselves to be a bit more visible and at the same time, a bit more threatening to the status quo. I’ve been blessed to be able to not only read most of these books but to have been able to have relationships or brief personal connections to some of the brave souls who put themselves out there in a very scary way.

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18 thoughts on “The New Christians

  1. i saw this and was excited. i told dan his book was on the table with the others and he looked surprised. i strongly recommend shane’s new book if you haven’t picked it up yet.

  2. ah…..i think i get it scotty. are you implying that if one is to embrace any or all of these writers that they are automatically dismissing the contributions of C.S. Lewis? if that’s the case, I think you are terribly mistaken. If anything, I see many instances where these writers are popularizing and rebroadcasting some of C.S. Lewis’ strongest themes…..especially in McLaren’s writings.

  3. Not really, I am a big fan of Shane C. I was just making a joke on the fact that Clive Staples wasn’t on the table because he is an Old Christian writer even though Lewis’ writings are just as relevant today as they ever have been. As I am sure that Donald Miller will be relevant in the next 50 years.

  4. ah, well I’m glad you clarified because your original comment didn’t really make sense. I agree with your opinion of C.S., but I don’t think anyone was saying that his writings aren’t important still. just because there might be a table at barnes and noble for “Christian Classics” that didn’t include Donald Miller or Shane Claiborne doesn’t mean that those younger writers “suck”. It just means that they haven’t yet proven to stand the test of time, right? So while C.S. Lewis is still massively important today, he’s simply not on the table because he isn’t “New”. I think you would agree that the words “New” and “Relevant” have different meanings.

  5. And yet the tallest stack is a great book.

    I see that your B+N has the book I ended up picking up at the downtown Denver one the other day. The other book on there by Tony – The Sacred Way.

  6. A little Walsh/Keesmaat would be a nice cherry on top of that stack! Go back to Barnes and Noble and find “Colossians Remixed”. If you don’t like it I’ll pay you back…

  7. While I haven’t read most of the books on said table (I’m more of a Borders guy…I think only because I have the rewards card and feel I’m cheating myself out of who-knows-what if I don’t use the darn thing), but I AM currently reading a book by Tim Challies called “The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment” that is a very good instruction manual of sorts (well, its really an instruction manual pointing you to THE instruction manual) to make sure you don’t buy into potentially false teachings. I am in no way implying any of the pictured books do so…just that its a good idea to test things. That being said, I wish I had more time to read. haha.

  8. so blake, what ARE you implying? i don’t think anyone suggested that it’s not a good idea to “test things”. please, say what you mean, kind sir. I take your post as a very round about way of stating that we shouldn’t be reading these books and that we should be reading the book YOU like because it’s been “tested”. Is a book considered tested when Johnny Mac endorses it? What’s your criteria for being “tested”?

    Also, I’d love for you to elaborate on how the Bible is an instruction manual. Which part of it do you use as your instruction manual? Surely you don’t mean to suggest that the entire book should simply be read as a manual? If so, you must have an unbelievably fascinating life…..with your slaves and multiple wives and all. 🙂

  9. oh no no no, i wasn’t implying that ANY of those books are bad at all. I’ve read some of them. And I, by the way, am ANYTHING but an expert on anything…But, I am implying that there are books, or even parts of books that can be, for lack of me being able to think of a better word, misleading. I only mentioned the current book I’m reading because I’ve found it very good. My other point, I guess, would be that every individual has to figure out for his or herself what they think is right/wrong, wise/unwise, good/bad.
    As far as mentioning the Bible as an instruction manual, which, you’re right, was lame…haha, all I meant by it is that I feel that’s the ultimate litmus test. That’s what I mean by “tested”, really. Does it line up with what the whole of the Bible says? Especially Jesus’ teachings, when we’re talking about anything. But we have to look at the whole picture of the Bible to get a real scope. Otherwise we might end up with, say, those people that picket funerals (I won’t even type the website, but I’m sure we’ve all heard of it by now) because they only reference the parts of the Bible that line up with what they believe.

    I regret that I came off as saying I thought any of those books were wrong, or untested, or anything. I really was just trying to add to the conversation, and am currently reading a book on discernment. haha. Plus, I’m terrible at making my thoughts make sense in writing. Probably because I only went to college for a semester and dropped out to be a musician. haha. 😉 Oh, and trust me, unless you find the mall unbelievably fascinating, then my life is anything but, since I seem to work there constantly. Perhaps I’ll pick up a book on a lunch break tomorrow, though.

  10. thanks for the clarification, blake. but i’m still trying to figure out the intention of your original comment. it was just to say that some books are misleading? does that really need to be pointed out? I think anyone above the age of 8 realizes that. if you have a specific claim about any of the books in the picture, then I’d love to hear it. otherwise, I don’t think anyone here needs to be told that some books are misleading. kind of goes without saying, right?

  11. really, my only intention in my original comment was to recommend a book I am currently reading that I found to be helpful. It just so happens to be about discernment instead of any other number of topics, and I unintentionally came across as attacking the pictured books. (I feel like I would’ve been better off merely stating THIS in my 2nd comment…instead, I expounded). I really have nothing bad to say about any of the books, however. In fact, I’ve really enjoyed the ones I have read. I apologize for coming off as pompous or condescending in any way.

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