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  • I live in Fort Worth this is a difficult area to have civil conversations in. This interview was a wonderful think to see today, thank you.

  • Well said, and well done.

    You looked tired. Hope you are getting your sleep!

    Keep up the good work.

  • Facial hair is in.

    The real question is – did you get to keep the cool mug?

  • Paul Baird

    Great stuff as always bro. Keep up the good work.

  • carla jo

    three words baby: kill. the. beard.

  • thejesusguy

    i am becoming a tony jones fan because tony jones knows jesus. i know jesus too. someday i hope to know tony jones.

  • Three observations:

    1) You look sexier with a beard.
    2) I have never seen you with a blazer on before. I’m not sure what to think about that.
    3) I love how your little book gets its own little table. That’s nice.

  • Dan


    got a question about wikipedia and that metaphor as you used it. isn’t it the loudest and most persistant voices end up shaping wikipedia more than just being open sourced? for the emerging church and emergent church entry, it seems that it was basically taken over by the hyper-conservatives who turned what was once really a nice coverage into something much more antagonistic.

    just wondering about that!


  • I never posted before, though I’ve been reading your blog for quite awhile. It’s the beard thing that made me post! :O)
    I like it a lot. But of course I’ve been married to a bearded man for a long time.

    I’m not one who’s grown away from the church, but then we go to a pretty unique church. But it’s me sitting with scripture (lectio syle – I have your “Read, Think, Pray, Live” book) … God’s brought me to the Emergent view, which is what I consider to be ‘God’s Heart’s view’. I suppose if I were in a church like our old church, I’d currently be very … I don’t know what I’d do.

    But, besides the beard, I like your heart. Thanks.

  • Tony,
    Great brief interview. I loved your response about the possible dangers of what the emergent church will emerge into. Interesting thought about keeping the tension between become concrete or becoming so fluid…so would that middle ground be soil?
    I don’t know why so many people have problems with you and trying to nail you down, I thought you did a good job of describing why it is important to stay unhindered to doctrines that define too much.

  • Great job, Tony. I appreciate your willingness to be open about the dangers emergents face in the future and our flaws. That is endearing. Thanks.

  • My roommate walked in while I was watching this interview and asked me if I thought TJ was a heretic.
    “No” I said. “But I do think he’s walking around with a case of nitroglycerin.” (maybe you know how to handle it, i don’t know, but you got to be a little crazy to do so)
    Obviously in the video you admit that the danger of moral relativism is potential. I think that sheep need a shepherd (of which I’m a little of both, but barely much of either), in fact this is what God has called many to.
    My roommate replied, “So it all falls on leadership?”
    I answered, “No, I think it all falls on truth.”

    And I think that truth requires trust, and sometimes it’s hard to trust Truth.

    And whether I’m emergent or not I can’t help but think we’re both at the foot of the cross.

    Anyways, thank you for always challenging me Tony!

  • Nice work Tony. Wait….I’m sorry, that was Charlie Rose on the phone wondering if you could come on in next Tuesday.

  • Doesn’t it seem like a lot of concerns surrounding emergent stem from the perception that it’s another “big,” a monolithic homogeneous entity? it seems like this will be less a problem for younger people who are factory-edition postmodern than for those who feel that postmodernism is encroaching on their pre-existing world view.

    Maybe the big danger for emergent won’t be moral relativism or absolutism, but emergentism. Or that beard.

  • Nice job. The host asked good questions that approached the emergent church from several perspectives (critics, emergents, the curious, etc). Your responses were great. It tends to be extremely difficult for people to conceptualize a religious group apart from some specific collection or system of doctrinal positions. The “vibe” and “ethos” descriptions were good.

    The beard however only only perpetuates emerging stereotypes. Where were the obligatory candles? How about the tattoos? The beer? …oh yeah, that’s goatees…never mind. Keep the Clooney thing going. Or was that Miami Vice?

  • The scruff is hot, don’t listen to the haters.

    This was a very good interview, that finally had some civility (unlike past interviews you’ve been dragged into).

    I love the “open source” conversation.

  • I, for one, am not so sure about the beard. It does make you look less “Howdy Doody-ish” though, so that may be what you’re going for.

    My rule on facial hair has always been: Does my wife like it or not? So if Julie’s OK with your beard, then you’re in like Flynn.

    I do, however, have some concerns about some of your responses in this interview. I’d say you’re not quite ready for Charlie Rose 😉 I’ll email you my thoughts/questions offline, though, so as to keep this comment thread firmly focused on your beard.

  • I was pleasantly surprised at how articulate the questions were. Your responses were good, as always, Tony, but I think this time you had some very good stuff to work with. Kudos.

  • Dave

    good all around interview. i thought it was civil and you explained yourself very well.

    now that i’ve said everything that has been said already (except the beard comments), i do have a question. please, i am not trying to be antagonistic about this, i am legitimately wanting to hear some opinions.

    you talked about the corporate nature (community) of Christianity. then you talked about the corporate nature (corporations or businesses) of much of Christianity today (not the magazine… although that would fit here… lol). you mentioned music and publishing, etc. here is my question: has the emergent movement already bought into the corporate (business) idea within Christianity? you were asked to be on that show primarily because you have a book out (actually a couple). many of the other “leaders” within the movement are published.

    can this be taken as “selling out”? again, i don’t mean to sound antagonistic, i am just curious what you think.

  • Mike

    dave . . . good question. i have to admit – the corporate (business) stuff pinches me too. but i don’t see the issue being so much the presence of corporate (business) ideas within christian circles or communities – as much as – the corporate (business) side becoming the defining/controling characteristic of the community, group, etc.

    and when i think i see it in others – i have to wonder if its really there – or – is it coming from my own attraction to the corporate (business) glitter.

    good job tony. keep hangin – hangin on.

  • hey tony, you know i love you brother and respect the conversations you are trying to start. my question is what do you recommend to do and say to people who, as in wilkipedia put wrong and even false information, would do the same or end up doing the same in the Body of Christ and the Kingdom? i know in our faith and theology there are all secondary things we may or may not agree on…i believe there are very few primary things and most things of doctrine are more so secondary…but what happens when people challenge the primary truths (ideas) such as salvation/atonement; Christ’s divinity and humanity; kingdom..those kinds of big things???my thoughts are going back to church history when people who ‘loved the Lord’ were way way off on who the Lord really was….any ways. just some thoughts and questions. looking forward to you and doug hitting the road this summer for you tour

  • Brit Windel

    let me also elaborate on when i say challenge…
    challenging is not wrong but when people are just flat out wrong about these truths and preach teach…some other rhyming each word…to people? think that makes a wee bit more sense

  • Greg Brooks

    I can’t believe no one has commented on Louise Raggio! What an interesting person. I’m 33, but it never ceases to amaze me that within my parent’s lifetime our nation has changed so dramatically–both my parents attended segregated schools! Thank God for people like Louis Raggio. Let us pray He raises up more like her.

  • Dave

    i guess my biggest fear of the “corporate” side of things really controlling how we think comes from the fact that relatively small group of people decides what gets published. in a sense, they are the new “church” councils, deciding what is appropriate for us to read. now there are different publishing companies with different agendas, but they all have agendas. the other problem i see is that to get published, in many ways you have to come up with something new. controversy sells. i worry that sometimes we say provocative things, not because we genuinely want dialogue, but because we like to stir the pot which does not seem consistent with the way Jesus would want us to interact with each other. don’t get me wrong, i like a good “pot-stirring” from time to time, but when we seek to almost antagonize (or at least we know the things we say or the way we say them will come across as antagonizing) the folks we might disagree with or at least want to discuss things with, we do a disservice to the body. i think the publishing industry can feed into this. of course, i have no solution for this problem and we do need a way to communicate these discussions to each other and with the rest of the body in general. i am rambling.

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  • Really interesting, namely the fact that you open with open source ideas.

    I’m always surprised that the connections between emerging ideas and the open source/free software ethos hasn’t been more explicitly explored: with a focus on generosity and egalitarianism, without, at the same time, minimizing differences.

    I keep saying I’m going to really explore the connections.