I so vividly remember the late 1990s. I was working at a church, a theologically-centrist Congregationalist church in Minnesota. We had a good staff, but I wanted something more than what I was getting in staff meetings. I wanted the kind of robust theological discussion that I had gotten in seminary, and that just didn’t happen as we debated the coffee policy and discussed how long the “ministry moment” should take in Sunday morning worship.
By fluke or the dint of Providence, I fell in with a group of like-minded schemers who similarly wanted to talk and debate and discuss the very things that I did: theological doctrines, philosophical underpinnings, and radical visions of church and kingdom. Those were heady days.
As we grew older (and wiser?), we found more and more people who shared our sensibilities, who wanted to think about and practice the Christian faith in a way that was both primitive — without the accouterments of modernity — and leaning into the future. We envisioned a movement that would reshape Christianity and maybe society.
These days, I sometimes despair of that vision, but more often I am filled with hope that it may, indeed, be gaining traction.
Tony Jones is the author of The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier and is theologian-in-residence at Solomon’s Porch in Minneapolis. He is the author of many books on Christian ministry and spirituality and is a sought after speaker and consultant in the areas of emerging church, postmodernism, and Christian spirituality. Tony has three children and lives in Edina, Minnesota. He is also the proud holder of a freshly-minted PhD. from Princeton. Here are his web coordinates: