The Tony Jones Affair: Releasing the Documents

As of today, R.L. Stollar has released a variety of hitherto private documents on Tony Jones and Julie McMahon. As you may remember, Tony Jones is a leader within Emergent Christianity, a sort of newer, hipper, updated evangelicalism. His ex-wife, Julie McMahon, has accused him of abusing her, and while the divorce took place in 2008 and 2009 and the allegations are longstanding, they have only recently gained attention, in large part because Tony was intent on squashing them.The … [Read more...]


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I Stand with Alecia Pennington

I have spent some time reading Alecia Faith Pennington's story. First, I watched her short video, which you can see below:For those of you who didn't watch the video, Alecia explained that she doesn't have a birth certificate or social security number, and can't get either because her parents are refusing to cooperate. She further explained that without these documents she can't get a driver's license or a job, much less attend college or vote. I'd like to say I'm horrified, but I'm not, … [Read more...]


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Bill Gothard Was Brought Down by a Blog: Thoughts on the “Proper” Channels for Making Abuse Allegations

Do you know how Bill Gothard was brought down?By a blog.Sexual harassment allegations had been made against Gothard for decades---yes, decades---but he was very good at silencing them, and at convincing his associates that he was blameless. Then a couple of years ago a variety of young adults who were raised in Bill Gothard's ministry came together to create a blog: Recovering Grace. They used this blog as a forum to criticize Gothard's teachings and practices, and to discuss the harm … [Read more...]


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There Are No Good People, Only Good Actions

Several weeks ago I called Rachel Held Evans out for the way she responded to Julie McMahon's allegations of abuse by her ex-husband Tony Jones. Rachel and Tony were co-sponsoring a convention, and one of Rachel's followers posted a comment asking her about the abuse allegations against Tony. Rachel responded by saying that there was no truth to the allegations, that this was not the right place to air abuse allegations, and that time spent on the allegations detracted from the church and from … [Read more...]


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Why We Need to Talk about Narcissism: Tony Jones Edition

I have grown increasingly uncomfortable with the Tony Jones situation over the last week, and I'm afraid I'm going to have to weigh in again. By word of background, Tony is a leader in the emergent church movement, a branch of evangelical Christianity strives to be less judgmental and more open, works to create space for women and LGBT individuals, makes use of new styles of worship, and focuses on personal connection with the divine. Recently, Tony's ex-wife Julie has gone public with … [Read more...]


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How HSLDA Talks About Abuse

In 2012, HSLDA opposed a New Jersey bill that would have allowed the Division of Family and Youth Services (DFYS) to determine whether children under their "care, supervision, or custody" should be prohibited from homeschool. The main reason this bill was introduced is that children who are homeschooled are not seen regularly by mandatory reporters in the way children who attend school are, and therefore children who are vulnerable or at risk of abuse may benefit from being in school. A perusal … [Read more...]


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On Responding to Abuse Allegations

I write a lot about abuse scandals in conservative Christian circles, such as those involving Doug Phillips and Bill Gothard. But it occurs to me that should be willing to write about similar situations within progressive Christian circles as well. If I ignore problems in groups that agree with me while taking on problems in groups I disagree with, I have a double standard. But there's another reason, too, that I want to write today about the current controversy surrounding Tony Jones, Rachel He … [Read more...]


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