Progressive Conservative? or, Keep an Eye On Tony Jones’ Challenge

Sadly any mention of certain friendships shuts down many a conversation. Over the past ten or more years I have had a few occasions to chat with Tony Jones, in person and on the phone. There are many times I believe Tony gets a bad rap. Other times I am well aware his provocations stir deep passions. Like other of my friends he forces me to think more deeply about issues of life and faith.

Recently Tony offered a challenge to Progressive Christians. This after he and others debated any and all adjectives used to nuance Christian. At the heart of his challenge is another provocateur, Tripp Fuller. Here is another young thinker that will not let us off the hook when thinking about Christianity, and notably God.

Evangelicals, conservatives, and fundamentalists tend to think Liberal Progressives have nothing to say about God because they have made any number of philosophical moves that tend to produce ethics as religion. Read More

It’s Below the Water Line or, Newbigin Illustrated in Duren, Horton, McKnight, and Merritt

We prefer to re-arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic than look below the water line. My mentor uses the first part of this imagery to describe the ways in which new fangled approaches to church were really little more than eye candy. My friend Spencer Burke refers to what is below the water line when he thinks about the theological subjects we refuse to discuss because many believe they are “settled” matters.

Scot McKnight illustrates how we re-arrange the deck chairs. Scot continues to review books that have come out of the cottage-industry-for-Christian-writers-created-by-various-publishers answering the question, “What is the Gospel?” This is of course in response to the “Gospel-centered” movement. If the Gospel is at the center, then someone gets to define it. And, there is no shortage of takers who want their vision to win the day.

The King Jesus Gospel represents Scot’s foray into the discussion. But, outside of N.T. Wright among popular writers, every offering seems to be a nuance on the same theme. Read More