Andrew Interviews Tony Jones

Here’s an interview with the man, the myth, the legendTony Jones. He’s seriously one of the most quoted/talked about and disdained (isn’t it funny how those two are linked?) people in Christianity. One of the things that just boggles my mind is when people don’t read other’s works or they don’t talk to them or even try to reach out to them, and instead just formulate negative opinions because they think they can. This happens to Tony all the time!

So here you go. Here’s your chance to listen to him first hand honestly talking about his work and his haters. And if you haven’t ever read any of Tony’s books, why don’t you try to do so before formulating an opinion about him.

Here’s a list of all of his books conveniently inserted for you.


His new book is called The Teaching of the Twelve: Believing and Practicing the Primitive Christianity of the Ancient Didache Community.


He just started a new company called JoPa Productions that produces innovative learning events and social media consulting.


Tony is a big Twitter guy, his name is @jonestony.

Do any of you know Tony, or have any of you read any of his stuff? What are your thoughts?

Much love.

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  • humm… sparks some interesting thoughts. I’m going to have to check out more of Tony Jones’ work. I hadn’t heard of him before now (I don’t think) so thanks!

  • I haven’t read any of Tony’s books. Don’t know that I will. I read some his blog posts at BeliefNet, and I’ve read a few at his newer blog. I don’t find him to be clear on some points. I was not impressed, for example, with his writing on the significance of the virgin birth of Christ. Can a fellow express those kinds of views and have much of anything else to say I want to hear? He’s got some big hurdles to overcome with me. I am not going to become a fan of Jones. I will not cut him off at the knees, either. I will just let him talk on. The truth rises to the surface.

  • melinda

    I have a “book crush” on tony jones. (Book crush: an overwhelming amout of respect for an author, leading to purchase of all of author’s said books and subscription to said author’s blog and “shared” blog posts.)
    As a student at Moody, Jones was my first introduction into the Emergent/-ing Church, and i was enthralled. I’ve gone on to purchase and defend several of his books, and I love listening to him process and share what he’s been thinking.
    He opened a whole new door for me, a door into a world that held hope for the Christianity I was so close to completely rejecting. I truly believe he’s a part of the reason I didn’t walk away from the Church during all those times I thought I would.
    Thanks for interviewing him. I am super excited about Didache.
    And Andrew, Keep up the good work.

  • Tony is a polarizing figure in his nature just based on what he talks about (not just his gay affirming views on homosexuality, but, also as Debbie brought up as an example, many other hot-button theological issues). Having spent time with Tony I can honestly say that he is in a group of the most intelligent people I know (two Ivy League degrees and a seminary one as well), and I feel that the assertiveness in which he speaks his convictions offends and/or scares a lot of people because so many are not used to such an intelligent person articulating themselves with such charismatic clarity and conviction. Then again, there are those people who just don’t agree with his theological positions and thus don’t like him for those reasons…

    I am not asking anyone to agree with Tony, as we all have the ability to make our own informed decisions about any such topic. However, the point of this discussion with Tony was for him to be heard in-person, in a setting that was not trying to ‘set him up’ or ‘trap’ him in any fashion (which most interviews he does, try to do exactly that); but rather a setting for him to be able to peacefully communicate his heart (though you all saw him choke me at the beginning, right! 🙂 ). And I was very grateful to Tony that he chose to do so in this setting to the audience of this blog.

    Building a bridge needs to happen from both sides, and that includes both sides within Christendom as well. Tony represents one cross-section of our broader Christian community, and I strongly believe that strength and conviction comes from; 1) Wholistically knowing and being fully informed about a topic (defined as: A solid intellectual understanding from both ends of the spectrum), 2) Humbly living within your intellectual and experiential exploration of the topic, and then 3) Prayerfully coming to a conclusion through the Word, church tradition, current cultural contexts and your experiences with each of those.

    At the end of the day that belief system might line up with Tony; it might not. But you’ll never know unless you experience it for yourself. I hope this video added to you being able to make an informed decision about not only Tony (instead of just going off of what other people have said about him), but also with a variety of topics as well. Much love.

  • Yes, Tony ought to be afforded a fair hearing. He deserves no less, but not because of his intellect. We need to be reminded that it is not intellectual prowess that earns a man that hearing or favor in God’s eyes. God makes that quite clear in Scripture (Gen. 3:6, Job 5:13, Job 37:24, Psalm 19:7, Prov. 3:7, Jer. 8:8-9, Eccl. 1:9-10, Eccl. 2:14, Eccl. 7:23-24, Matt. 11:25, Rom, 1:22, 1 Cor. 1:19, 20, 27, 1 Cor. 3:18-20).

    Experience is not the tool by which we measure worth or find the truth, either. Does Tony “preach Christ and him crucified”? That’s how one gets at the heart of things. Persuasive intellectual-speak will not get one there.

    I did not even comment earlier on Tony’s willingness to affirm “committed gay” couples within the Church. Naturally, I disagree with that, and realize that it may reflect negatively on other things he has to say, which may or may not be sound. Sorry. Gotta tell it like it is.

  • Love the video Andy. I sure hope I wasn’t one of those bloggers who kept Tony up at night. Actually, I don’t think he knows who I am so I doubt it! Tony’s work and ministry has really grown on me.

    All people who tell the truth about stuff are polarizing. It goes with the territory.

    I had been meaning to buy his new book, thanks for the reminder as I just picked it up on Amazon.

  • Why the quotes around “committed gay” couples?

  • “Why the quotes around “committed gay” couples?”

    I was quoting Tony, that’s all.

  • Andrew, thanks for the video. The only books that i have read by Tony Jones were about the contemplative tradition and how it applies to youth ministry. the work he did there was a HUGE help to my ministry! Great stuff so if anyone out there is looking for some good reading on contemplative prayer and how it applies today, check out “Soul Shaper” or “The Sacred Way”.
    I may not wholly agree with Tony or even agree with you on every issue, but i think that this tension is healthy for the Church. it’s always the people on the fringes that are making the most change within the church and without that change we would still be in the dark ages.
    Bravo, and keep up the good work

  • Thanks for the video Andrew. It’s too bad that people get threatened by Tony. My hat is off to the guy for being creative and introducing a little vitality to the evangelical world. If didn’t keep generating some heat, the blogosphere would get pretty cold, and boring.

  • Fascinating. Andrew, your blog is introducing me to an entire world of people I didn’t know existed. Thanks for that!

    I have to chuckle a bit when people get “offended” by someone they don’t know except what they may have heard about that person from a friend, family member or…God forbid…a pastor! I’ve sorta been on the receiving end of that, although not nearly to the degree that Tony apparently has been.

    Why are Christians so afraid of anything or anyone they perceive to be even remotely outside their little “belief box”?? And, why do Christians find it so easy to castigate people like you or Tony who are simply trying to exemplify Christ’s love in a tangible way and not merely paying lip service to his teachings? It makes no sense.

    If a man is hungry and cold and you don’t offer them food or shelter, but merely say, “be warmed and filled,” what good have you done them? God bless people like you and Tony Jones who believe Christ’s love is for EVERYONE!

  • KM

    Pfftt… Lessons in humility right there. “Yeah, people get mad at me, but they also got mad at Jesus. They also got mad at Paul.” To be quite frank, I think we in the LGBT community would be better off if you both would STFU. Faux allies. Woot. Cheers. xxoo