Monday, October 31, 2011

Flat Churches? Tony Jones talks to Steve Knight

This morning I had a lengthy Skype conversation with Steve Knight, a friend and a consultant working with Hope Partnership a newly forming Disciples of Christ church planting/transformation entity.  Our conversation is a followup to a conversation that Steve had with Tony Jones, author of The Church is Flat,  which is Tony's Princeton Ph.D. dissertation in Practical Theology.  They talked about that book, Tony's work with the Emergent Church movement, and his analysis of the movement.  I want to show that video as a prelude to my conversation with Steve covering similar areas, but from a related by different perspective.

Let me set this conversation up.  Tony writes about the Emergent Movement within the Christian community from within the movement.  He's a founder of the movement and served as executive director of Emergent Village for several years.  He is part of one of the leading Emergent churches, Solomon's Porch, which is pastored by/led by Doug Pagitt.   I find Tony to be iconoclastic, perhaps a proverbial bull in the china closet, instigator of conversation.  With regard to Mainline Protestantism, he's cynical about its future and whether it can change.  He's concerned that many emergent minded folks will look to the Mainline for a home, but that this will co-opt them and lessen their entrepreneurial spirit.

I would like to share the YouTube video and invite your thoughts.  Then stay tuned for my conversation.  I'm more hopeful than Tony, but then I pastor a long established Disciples congregation.  I should note that Tony's audio is a bit soft, so you may have to turn up the volume.  But enjoy!

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