Tony Jones (theologian)

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Tony Jones

Tony Jones is an American theologian, author, blogger, and speaker who is a leading figure in the emerging church movement and postmodern Christianity.[1][2][3]


Jones graduated from Dartmouth College in 1990 with as A.B. in classics. He then studied at Fuller Theological Seminary, earning a Master of Divinity and specializing in systematic theology and postmodern philosophy. He then attended Princeton Theological Seminary, but left the school after finishing the coursework for a Ph.D, leaving with ABD status. He later completed his Ph.D. in 2011 with a dissertation on the ecclesiology of the emerging church, which was then edited and published as The Church is Flat.[4] Jones is ordained within the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches.[5]

Jones began his career as the Executive Director of YouthWorks Missions from 1994 to 1997.[verification needed] He then served as a youth pastor at a church in Edina, Minnesota and a chaplain to the city's police department.[6] From 2005 to 2008 Jones was National Coordinator of The Emergent Village, an organization in the emerging church movement. Jones left Emergent Village in 2008 after his position was phased out when the organization tried to create more grassroots involvement, but is still actively involved in the movement.[7][8]

In 2006, Jones co-convened the first meeting[9] of Emergent church and "Jewish emergent" leaders;[10] he recounted the episode, which drew criticism from conservative Christians, in his book The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier.[11][12][13][14][15][16] 

Jones serves as the Distinguished Lecturer in the Practice of Theology at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities; he is an adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary and St. Cloud State University, as well as serving as the Theologian-in-Residence at Soloman's Porch, the church pastored by Doug Pagitt.[17] Jones' blog, which was formerly hosted by Beliefnet and is currently hosted by Patheos, is one of the most widely read Christian blogs online.[18]

Jones is the author or editor of eleven books and dozens of academic articles, writing on subjects such as postmodernism, youth ministry, ecclesiology, the emerging church, spiritual formation and theories of the atonement.[19] He has argued in favor of René Girard's interpretation of the atonement as well as advocating for equal rights for those in the LGBT community.[20][21][22][23]

In 2012 Jones testified before the Minnesota Senate, arguing for changes in the state's laws regarding parental custody following a divorce.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Jones is divorced and lives in Minnesota with his second wife and three children.[5][25] He is also a duck hunter.[26]


See also[edit]


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  9. ^ Winston, D. (2006). Religious Progressives: The Next Generation. Los Angeles Times, February 5.
  10. ^ Synagogue 3000 presents The Emerging Conversation (video).
  11. ^ The Emerging Synagogue? Out of Ur (blog).
  12. ^ "Emergent Embraces Ecumenism - UPDATED." Provocations and Pantings (blog).
  13. ^ Flaccus, Gillian. (2006.) Disillusioned Jews, Christians share ideas on 'emergent' faith. (Associated Press.) Orange County Register, January 21.
  14. ^ Haji, R., & Lalonde, R. N. (2012). Interreligious Communication. In Giles, H. (Ed.). The Handbook of Intergroup Communication. Routledge.The Handbook of Intergroup Communication, p. 285..
  15. ^ Jones, Tony. (2008). The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier. Jossey-Bass.
  16. ^ Chia, L. (2010). Emerging faith boundaries: bridge-building, inclusion, and the emerging church movement in America (Doctoral dissertation, University of Missouri--Columbia).
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  21. ^,_again/?comments=view&cID=26792&pID=26690
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