C&MA pastor John Chisham and the well-known emerging church theologian and National Co-ordinator of Emergent Village Tony Jones made a video where they interview each other in an Emergent kinda sorta way.

The following is a transcription for Apprising Ministries prepared by Paula of Purpose Drivel of the video which appears at Chisham’s blog The Down Grade. One might also be interested in Matt Wilcoxen piece Responding To Tony Jones’ Challenge.

The transcription picks up at 1:31:

Tony: John thanks for coming (shaking hands)

John: (to camera) I’m John, this is Tony.

Tony: What um can you tell us first of all tell me your um your blog handle.

John: Uh, pastorboy.

Tony: Now… why pastorboy?

John: Um

Tony: Cuz you’re not a … boy…not anymore.

John: Not by any stretch of the imagination. There’s a friend of mine Mark Selmanic(Sumanic? Somanic?) who I used to golf with every Wednesday morning, we’d go out and golf and fellowship together, and he was thinking up a name that I could put on my license plate for my motorcycle. And he said ‘pastorboy because his kids love Larryboy and uh you know …

Tony: Ah, VeggieTales.

John: So, it kinda stuck.

Tony: So you’re pastorboy.

John: That’s me.

Tony: And you um you’re a pastor, church planter.

John: Yes, I am.

Tony: And in Southern Minnesota…

John: Yes, Southwestern Minnesota; Marshall Minnesota.

Tony: In a Farm town kind of a…but it’s a university town.

John: It’s a university town and it’s actually a town of uh you could call it a company town. Schwans is located down there and US Bank a couple of the bigger companies corporations down there so.

Tony: You ever taste that Schwan’s ice cream?

John: Love the Schwans ice cream.

Tony: It’s pretty tasty.

John: It is, it’s the best. (2:34)

Tony: Um, so, uh the funny thing about the Emergent world is there’s this whole blogosphere right?

John: Yup i’m part of it.

Tony: You’re part of the blogosphere right? And this is um there’s a whole group of people who are very negative towards Emergent and stuff I’ve written, my blog and other…my friends and stuff like that…and you’d be in that camp.

John: Mostly.

Tony: In general.

John: Yes.

Tony: So you’ve written comments on my blog about things you don’t like about what I’ve said.

John: Mm-hmm about what you’ve written…

Tony: About what…

John: But I’ve never actually heard you say anything.

Tony: So it’s just stuff I’ve written that you don’t like.

John: Basically; right, yup.

Tony: So and you’re friends with these other um friends I mean you’re like internet buddies with like a guy named Ken Silva who’s really attacked me a lot.

John: Yeah, I know Ken yep.

Tony: And you’re taking you’re getting a doctorate at John Macarthur’s seminary, and he’s written a book against Emergent called The Truth War.

John: Yep.

Tony: Right?

John: Yep, yep.

Tony: And so you would concur with kind of what he’s written in there.

John: A lot of it; you know, I don’t agree with everything I read.

Tony: Right of course so…so what do you think is the…like what’s the beef; what’s the big beef? I’m sure there are many but like what’s the…what’s the first one that comes to mind? (3:47)

John: My first one my biggest one that comes to mind and the trouble that people from my worldview kind of really have with emergent is they don’t understand it. They can’t nail it down. They can’t get it.

Tony: Ok.

John: Ok, um, It’s very hard to…and I don’t wanna say…peg you people down…ah because that sounds really…you know, that’s negative. I think if we’re Christians if we have, um , if we’ve repented and placed our faith in Jesus Christ that we’re brothers in Christ and we have all different ways of doing things.

But where we have a problem is is when there’s kind of some squishy or some untidy language that’s being used and and there’s no um… I think a lot of the problem has to do with there’s no real statement of faith, you understand what I’m saying?

Tony: Ok, Ok…

John: It’s REALLY Broad!

Tony: But the Bible doesn’t have a statement of faith in it.

John: The Bible is a statement of faith.

Tony: Ok, but why can’t I just say that’s my statement of faith is. Why do I have to give you another one? Why isn’t that one good enough?

John: It is good enough but there’s…there’s parts of the statement of faith like for example who is Jesus?

Tony: Ok, I’d say Jesus is who the Bible says Jesus is.

John: Ok, well let’s nail that down.

Tony: Why?

John: (laughs)

Tony: (also laughing) That’s my question… “Why?”

John: Why not? Because because we have to see.. because.. and this is the reason I’m giving you…because we have to see Jesus in truth. Now I’m an ev… I’m an evangelist, Ok… I… I spend… I’m a pastor but I’m an evangelist. I spend a lot of time evangelizing.

Tony: How do you do that?

John: Ok…well, uh I can I can demonstrate it to you right now but I just wanna just tell you what…

Tony: I was just gonna say like do you do it on a street corner cuz some people (that) are watching this might not…like do you do it on the internet.

John: Sometimes I do it on the street corner, sometimes I do it one on one with people, I do a lot of evangelism at the college at SMSU, um… (5:30)

Tony: So you just walk up there and you strike up conversations with people and you tell em about Jesus.

John: Absolutely, yep. Yes, I do. And the thing that I find out when I’m having a conversation with people about Jesus… I’ve talked with Hindus, I’ve talked with Muslims, I’ve talked with Jews, I’ve talked with all different people with no religious background whatsoever, is that everybody has an idea about who Jesus is.

Ok, these are some of the things I hear: people particularly in southwest Minnesota say um, ‘I’m going to Heaven because Jesus is gonna forgive everybody.’ And um, ‘Jesus is all love and all forgiving’, and uh, ‘He’s gonna just He’s gonna just forgive everybody.’

Tony: And you’re happy to tell em…

John: And I’m happy to tell them that Jesus…that Jesus is also just. He is merciful and He’s kind but He’s also just. And He must punish those who have broken the law. And that’s all of us.

Tony: Tell me this..that’s a good question cuz you consider yourself reformed right? Generally? Kind of?

John: Eeyeahh… I’m… I’m a Cal-minian.

Tony: That may be ‘insider’ language so it might not…it might not make it on the video but…ok… Jesus mu… How do you say…being someone that’s that follows the God that’s represented in the Bible…how do you say Jesus “must” do anything?

Why would you say that God is… God’s activity is ever re…that anything’s ever required of God…doesn’t God have complete freedom to do whatever God wants? Why MUST God punish people?

John: Within…because of within what the Bible teaches us about God. By the way we can know God, we can know God because He has given us natural revelation in the Creation, He’s given us personal revelation within the person of Jesus Christ, He’s also given us a written revelation within the Word of God. And He says that yes, God is all powerful certainly.

Tony: Ok.

John: He is certainly all merciful, He is all… He is sovereign. Ok? But He operates within His, um…I’m look… I’m grabbing for a word here…within His…I don’t…I’m not…

Tony: Kind of like the laws He’s set in place.

John: He’s formed, He’s set in place for Himself.

Tony: Like physics or…

John: In other words God cannot…God cannot sin.

Tony: Ok.

John: Ok, for example; God cannot lie. (7:40)

Tony: But God can break the laws of physics?

John: He can… but He cannot lie; He cannot sin.

Tony: Well, but now why…why would you say God can break some of the laws He set up like God set up the laws of physics that govern the universe. And He can break those and bring people back to life or…which I happen to agree with…

John: (indistinct, chuckling)

Tony: But why can he not do something else like God cannot lie? On what do you base that statement?

John: On the Scripture. There is a verse in the Scripture and I’m trying to grasp for it right now but “I am not a man that I lie”; I cannot lie. That’s kind of a sort of a translation. But uh, He does not lie and He does not break His prom – he does not break his promises. Ok? He does not break His covenants.

Tony: So God…you’re saying God has bound Himself to punish some people.

John: He has… He is… He is a God – one of His attributes is that He is just. Let’s take it into a court of law Tony ok. We. let’s say that you’re…

Tony: Sure.

John: Let… I know that outside the box thinkers are gonna say that, ok, this is a human court and not God’s court. Ok, I’m taking that away from you; I know that’s what you’re gonna say.

But let’s go into a court of law and you say…you’re standing here before me I’m the judge, and you have raped four women and slit their throats and killed them and you’re guilty there’s DNA evidence and everything else you’re standing before you and the judge says to you, “do you have anything to say for yourself Mr Jones?”

And you say to the judge, “Judge, you know what, I feel really really bad that I broke the law. I feel really miserable; but listen, I’ve done a whole mess of good things with the rest of my life… I mean I have written books, I’ve read lots of theology books, I’ve taught lots of people, I’ve fed lots of people, I’ve given people bikes over in Africa, I mean I’ve done all kinds of different things with my life. Um and I-I really, really, truly am sorry. Should the judge let you go?

Tony: No, the judge should not let me go.

John: The judge should not let you go. Why?

Tony: Well, because that’s how our society’s structured.

John: But your honor, your honor… I really really am sorry. And you’re a loving man; I mean you have a family, you know that putting me to death is gonna be a really, really bad thing. I mean I deserve it, but…you’re loving right?

Tony: Well, I don’t believe in the death penalty so no, I don’t think…

John: (laughing. Covers end of Tony’s sentence)

Tony: …deserves death; BUT… (9:53)

John: OK anyway my point is is that a judge that would not throw that person away in jail and toss away the key would be an unjust judge. Because he would not be operating according to the law that he is bound by. God is bound by the ten commandments that he has put in place.

Tony: BOY OH BOY… I just think that is just the…that is…that’s like against every classical conception of God, Judeo-Christian and otherwise that God would somehow be BOUND by something in the same way that a judge would be bound by a code of law.

And the other thing we know about codes of law is they’re constantly changing. Talk about something that’s amorphous…I mean… the US law code is changing all the time because new stuff comes up and.. they have…

John: But the foundational law doesn’t change.

Tony: Like what? What foundational law?

John: Well, has it ever been right to steal? Now you can talk about… I know…

Tony: Ha ha, Oh come on…

John: Tony you come from a more liberal bent I know… Ok, you know you can say that government justifies itself in doing different things you know but it’s never been right to steal. Unless you’re talking about um, them wanting to put up a megamall at this church…then they can take the land from you and say it’s eminent domain and…

Tony: Sure what about trying to steal technology during the cold war? The Russians?

John: Sure but the law code has not changed. The government has operated outside the law…

Tony: But you’re proving my point that the law is relative! Because it’s applied differently in different situations. You have to use…

John: But God’s law is not relative. It is not relative it is absolute.

Tony: Ok, how is God’s law different, because you just gave the analogy so now tell me why your analogy doesn’t work cuz human law is relatively arbitrary and it is situational.

John: OK but God is not. God does not change. “I changeth not” Jesus Christ the same yesterday today and forever. He changeth not.

Tony: Ok, but Jesus said…how…you know when it comes to the end… I will see some people and they’re gonna enter into the kingdom because they’ve given…uh, they visited Me when I was in prison, they gave Me water when I was thirsty, they gave Me clothes when I was naked. You come unto Me and the rest of you go away from Me.

So that would seem not because those people said “oh I’ve been a really good person, I gave…I visited someone in prison.” It’s because Jesus said, “Hey you were a really good person – you visited someone in prison!”

John: (chuckles) (12:12)

Tony: (very animated) Jesus…that’s from Jesus’ words and He’s talking about sheep and goats at that point.

John: That’s right.

Tony: If there’s one point where Jesus is clear talking about “some go to heaven, some go to hell” that’s it; and it’s based not on, “because I’m going to a cross to die for you.” Now that I surely…in Romans that’s how Paul understood how we go to heaven. But when Jesus talked about it that’s not what Jesus talked about. He talked about giving water to thirsty people.

John: Ok, I would love to go to that Scripture. I know it’s gotta be in Matthew.

Tony: Matthew.

John: And… the chapter?

Tony: I can’t remember.

John: Ok. It’s in Matthew…but in context…and we have to talk about this let’s go back even further let’s go to…what your church is studying…what your holistic missional community here is studying. Ok…um, the beatitudes.

Tony: Yes.

John: Ok, who’s He speaking to in the beatitudes?

Tony: A whole group of people.

John: He’s speaking to a whole group of people. There’s three different groups of people he’s speaking to.

Tony: Oh let’s hear ’em.

John: OK. He’s speaking to…

Tony: Who are they…the Twelve…

John: His… His disciples. He’s speaking to the… crowd…

Tony: Yeah…

John: And He’s speaking to the Pharisees.

Tony: Ok.

John: Ok; so we’ve got people that are committed followers of Christ, we’ve got people that are in the crowd that are curious, they wanna figure out, you know, what Jesus is teaching about. And you’ve got the…you’ve got the Pharisees. Let’s go all the way up to chapter 7, where he’s speaking specifically TO the Pharisees.

He’s speaking specifically to them. The disciples are sitting there, the crowd is sitting there, but He’s speaking specifically to them. And He talks about a wide road and a narrow road. He talks about good fruit, and He talks about thorns. And He talks about, “Lord did we not do these things…” (13:48)

Tony: “In your name.”

John: “And I never knew you” So on that last day, it’s irrelevant as to what you’ve done. It’s who you know. And as a result of who you know, and who you follow…as a result of a relationship with Jesus Christ, one where He transforms you from the inside out, you OUGHT TO DO these good works and these things…the beatitudes…this is what the kingdom of God looks like.

Tony: So you think that the only way that people ultimately do good works in Jesus name is by first having some kind of conversion event.

John: That is the first step.

Tony: Always…

John: Before anything good can happen.

Tony: Why do you not think that a somebody could do something good in Jesus name before…what-what about someone who never has that…conversion moment, that spiritual birthday?

John: That spiritual birthday? Well it’s great that they do good works, those are great things that theyr’e doing. But on the last day ultimately all they’re doing is, is they’re making someone really really comfortable, really really full and healthy and happy before they jump off the edge of the earth into eternity.

Tony: But what if they say it’s in Jesus’ name? But they just don’t have that one particular time when they had said a special prayer and for the first time…

John: I’m not talking about saying a…

Tony: Confessed Jesus’ name.

John: I’m not saying it’s to say a special prayer Tony, I’m saying that you have to realize who you are in front of Christ.

Tony: Does that have to be one moment in time?

John: It do…for me it was…it was three…four, five moments in time…where I…where I came to a realization that I had broken God’s law. That I had offended Him, that the book of Romans chapter 1 verses 18-32 described me to a T! Ok, I was wretched, I was wicked, I was a hater of God, I was insolent, I was I was envious, I was malicious, and I came to realize when I came face to face with God’s law, it convicted me and condemned me in front of God. And I knew that I had offended a holy God.

It was the same moment as when um the prophet Nathan came to David and said, “you are that man!” And I used to be able to look at people when I was in church; I grew up in church, I grew up as a person that went to church every Sunday, I looked at myself in the mirror according to God’s law, and I saw how wretched and wicked I was in front of God’s mirror of the Ten Commandments. (16:05)

Tony: Ok.

John: And then I said…threw myself on the floor and I said, “God, forgive me!”

Tony: So John tell me this though…what about people who follow Christ, confess Jesus, belong to churches, and have never had that? They consider themselves children of God who are created in the image of God…maybe they’re Catholic, maybe they’re Epsicopalian, maybe they’re Lutheran…and they have not had…now I’m not… I’m not disparaging your personal kind of…salvation conversion experience.

It’s very powerful, a lot of people have had it. But a lot of people haven’t. But a lot of people live faithful lives, they serve Jesus, they read their Bibles… If they’ve not had that same kind…what if they just understand God differently than you because surely, yes of course…

John: Again we have to understand… and I don’t want to cut you off because this is your.. this is your interview… but we have to understand Jesus rightly. Ok…um I, John chapter 3-

Tony: And you are 100 percent sure, without a shadow of a doubt, that you understand Jesus rightly? And of the…let me…and that of the…2.2 billion Christians in the world…of the 2.2 billion people who are considered Christian in the world…that…yours is a minority opinion. Of those 2.2 billion. Mine is a minority opinion.

John: “Narrow is the road,” buddy.

Tony: So you’re saying that of those 2.2 billion it’s actually a much much smaller number who really understand Jesus rightly, to use your words.

John: Ok…and I and I’m saying not by my standard…not by my standard… By the standard of what I understand from reading the Scripture…

Tony: Of what YOU understand from the Scripture.

John: Of what I understand from reading the Scripture. Jesus said very clearly in John chapter 3, speaking to Nicodemus, a very religious person, one who it was even said in John Chapter 3 he was a righteous man, ok?

Tony: Right.

John: And that’s hard for the gospel writers to say. But he was a righteous man. He obeyed the laws. And Jesus said to him “you must be born again.” That is a key phrase “you must be born again.” We go all the way down to John chapter 3 verse 16 Tony, and I just want to say this because it’s very important that’s a favorite verse of everybody.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His very… His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. He sent His Son into the world not to condemn the world but that the world would be saved through Him.”

Tony: Yeah, I know all those verses.

John: And then let’s go to the last verse though. “He who believes” what? Verse 19? (18:36)

Tony: Go ahead.

John: He who believes versus he who does not believe. He who does not believe is condemned already.

Tony: Mm-hmm.

John: If you’ve not been born again…and again he’s not…

(talking over each other briefly)

Tony: But He doesn’t say – what it doesn’t say is He who believes in Me rightly like you just said, see you took what Jesus says, “you have to believe,” Even what Paul says, “you have to believe” and you’ve added now this adverb on top of it that you have to believe rightly; that there’s a certain particular way that one has to believe in Jesus. Ok? And that that way happens to be…surprise surprise…

John: (chuckling)

Tony: YOUR WAY…not the Episcopal way, not the Catholic way, not the Greek Orthodox way…

John: No… You’re putting words in my mouth there.

Tony: Well but…to believe rightly…is to believe a…conservative reformed way that you just…that you…uh, uh… that you…first you decide…or you…’discover’ that you’re depraved, that you’re wretched, that you’re insolent and all these things.

John: And by the way only God can draw me to that point. He gives me the faith to be able to…even be able to repent.

Tony: So you confess that…you confess that.

John: Yes.

Tony: And that’s a true conversion. But a conversion of somebody who says, “I find Jesus in the Eucharist. Every week, when I go and I take the Eucharist at my Episcopal church, and I am…in some ways born again through that experience…of the body and blood of Jesus like he told us to do and then Paul told us exactly how to do it, we’re doing that.”

And I’m finding, and other people who say, “I am visiting the people in pri…like…a Mennonite..I’m visiting the people in prison…I’m uh, standing up against..uh, tanks…in uh, you know, the Palestinian territories…against Israeli tanks… I am doing exactly what Jesus did and told us to do, that He would recognize me on that final day.” But none of that is understanding Jesus rightly, am I… I just want to get this…is, is…none of that is respo…is seeing Jesus rightly. Seeing Jesus rightly is understanding a reformed view of the atonement.

John: Well now you just said SO much; Ok…(chuckling)

Tony: (chuckling) Deconstruct me. (20:43)

John: Ephesians 2:8 & 10 says something very clear Ok? “For it is by grace you are saved through faith and it is not of yourselves.” The faith is not even of yourselves, it is a gift of God.

Tony: I think every one of those people of those other traditions would say that.

John: “Lest anyone should boast.”

Tony: Absolutely.

John: “Not of works.”

Tony: Uh-huh.

John: Ok so…

Tony: No one’s saying they’re being saved by their works. None of the…the people going forward for the Eucharist aren’t saying, “I’m being saved by the Eucharist.”

John: Yes.

Tony: NO, they’re not.

John: Some of them are…some of them are.

Tony: (exasperated) Oh, John…

John: I grew up in the Episcopal church, ok (Tony is still shaking his head). And this is how I was trained as an Episcopalian. I was confirmed an Episcopalian. Ok? They taught us, taught us this…is that we are saved…we are saved when we are baptized. Ok, it sounds an awful lot like the Catholic church.

We are saved when we were baptized and we add grace when we attend church, when we take the Eucharist, and when we do these different things. When we…when we are confirmed. We are adding grace to what Christ has already done…to what Christ has already done. And the Bible very clearly teaches that it is by grace we are saved through faith, it is not of ourselves.

Tony: Yeah I’m not…

John: And there’s nothing that we can do…

Tony: I know a LOT of Episcopalians, and I don’t know one of them who would affirm that but…

John: Ok, A lot of… I’ve talked to Catholics… I’ve spoken to Catholics and had a great discussion, in fact uh, you would you would love me for this because well… I don’t know if you can love me or not…do you love me Tony?

Tony: OH of course I love you!

John: (chuckling) Ok…I was in a bar and…

Tony: I DO love you for that!

John: I was in a bar…

Tony: Were you having a beer?

John: I was not having a beer…

Tony: Ok…

John: Because my…because the Christian & Missionary Alliance would not allow me to have a beer but I would have a beer if I could have one.

Tony: They would not allow…now let’s time out…let’s talk about that for a minute.

John: (chuckling)

Tony: You don’t really think when Jesus turned the water into wine that it was just grape juice, thick grape juice?

John: No, I think it was wine.

Tony: Ok, then why are you part of a denomination that doesn’t “let you” – what do you mean first of all what do you mean they don’t “let you.” You don’t have bishops, you don’t have…I mean who doesn’t let you?

John: I signed an agreement when I was ordained that I would not have tobacco and I would not have alcohol. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Tony: But they think there is.

John: I don’t. I don’t agree.

Tony: Ok.. so you’re a part.. you’ve kind of…

John: I’ve submitted myself…

Tony: You’ve submitted yourself to an authority with which you disagree on certain points.

John: That’s correct.

Tony: Ok.

John: Yes.

Tony: That would be hard for me to do.

John: Oh I…

Tony: Must be hard for you to do, quite honestly.

John: Oh, it’s it’s…I enjoyed barley pop every once in a while, absolutely…after a good golf game. But…I don’t need it.

Tony: Huh. Interesting.

John: I love… I love this denomination. And… I went into a bar…something I couldn’t have done when I was in college because I signed another one of those slips that says don’t go into bars. And I did, by the way, and I got kicked out of school for two weeks but that’s another story entirely. I went into a bar, and I went in there for the purpose of engaging with people and talking to people…

Tony: Evangelizing.

John: Evangelizing. And it was wonderful, because I walked into the bar and a guy I had been playing softball with and golf with, um, a lot, came up to me and said, “Hey John, come on back with us!”

And we were having this great conversation around the table, and there’s the Catholic youth pastor sitting over here, and there’s Lutherans sitting over here and there’s all kinds of different people from all kinds of different churches, non churched people sitting all around asking questions and engaging with one another, and talking, and it’s great!

Tony: Sounds like an Emergent Cohort.

John: (laughing) We could have one over there at the (indistinct) bar.

Tony: That’s where they often meet, that’s why they often meet in bars.

John: Ya know and they were all having beers and they and and you know what we were just having, we’re having a conversation of all this kind of stuff. And even the…even the Catholic fellow, you know, he was talking about the topic there, he was talking about…this is what we do to add grace and even at the point when we die, we don’t know what’s gonna happen.

Tony: Right, ok.

John: We have no idea because we can’t say…

Tony: Ok, I get it; I get it.

John: We can’t say we’re saved.

Tony: But listen if you would have had a Catholic priest there, if you would have had a Catholic theologian there, if you would have had a Catholic bishop there, you would have not gotten that answer. That’s not the answer… (indistinct)

John: But that’s what Pope Benedict said…

Tony: No, he do…he…no. That’s not…that’s NOT the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic church, but…we’re… I have one more question for ya. (24:47)

John: That’s very Emergent by the way.

Tony: Ok, I have one more question for ya. Do you let women preach at your church?

John: Uh, yes.

Tony: Do you have women elders?

John: No.

Tony: Ok. You do let women speak; you would let a woman teach over a man.

John: I would let them speak.

Tony: Would you let a woman teach over a man.

John: Uh…

Tony: Preach, in the pulpit on Sunday morning.

John: I would have a woman missionary, like I’ve had women missionaries come and speak and share, in our church, yes.

Tony: But you’re…you’re hesitating.

John: Parsing. (chuckle)

Tony: Would you let a woman preach a sermon?

John: A woman cannot be um, ordained. She can be consecrated in our…in our church.

Tony: Ok. Why can she not be ordained?

John: Because of the Scriptural teaching that a woman…

Tony: Shouldn’t teach over…

John: Over a man. Correct.

Tony: Do you make women wear head coverings in your church?

John: Uh, actually no.

Tony: Now why do you not let women preach but you don’t…because these are… I mean…

John: Again I…again…you have to understand something… I don’t agree with everything in our church (indistinct)… (25:50)

Tony: But does that not seem to you actually um, um…youre gonna…this is gonna sound “Mr Liberal”…isn’t that a human rights issue? I mean…listen, the Bible says women should wear head coverings in church, they shouldn’t wear gold, they shouldn’t have their hair braided…dadadadada…ok? AND they shouldn’t teach over a man. Same…2nd Timothy, it’s right there. Ok? It’s all together.

John: Right.

Tony: For some reason, some denominations like the one you’re a part of, they’ll take the part about not letting a woman teach and dismiss all the others. And it seems to me, if you’re gonna take it, you gotta take it hook line and sinker; otherwise it’s just a bunch of men keeping women out of power while dismissing all the other stuff about head coverings and not wearing gold and…

John: (indistinct) Scramble your eggs about the prophetesses and those who…and the gifts not being sexually…the gifts not being sexually based.

Tony: So, but doesn’t it seem to you like that you’ve really… I mean you’re married, you have a wife and a daughter; doesn’t it seem to you an issue of basic rights that you’re in a church that will never let your daughter be a pastor?

John: Well, I don’t think that we can say never, but let’s…let’s say…let’s say that there are people that are way smarter than me. Now I’ve actually studied this a little bit, I don’t have the…I don’t have the passage of Scripture memorized or anything like that, but there are…there are supports throughout the Scripture, including the order of creation, that seems to indicate that the man has headship over the woman.

We talk about Ephesians chapter 5, again Paul’s talking about um, the the woman is subject to the husband; but it’s a mutual submission as far as the household goes. And so there’s an order that seems to be set there. And again, I’m not really big and huge and…um, what do you call it um…that’s not a…that’s not a brick in my wall.

Tony: Ok.

John: To use a Rob Bell-ism. That’s not a brick in my wall. You take that brick out of there. It’s not, my wall is not gonna come caving down. If a woman can preach, I’m all for it. But…again…

Tony: But, not at your church.

John: Not, not…not in my denomination, unfortunately. Now we allow…the thing that doesn’t make sense to me and this is what scrambles my eggs is…we allow women to go out as single missionaries. Out into other cultures.

Tony: So you see some…some double standards.

John: There’s some double standard there, so I don’t understand that; I don’t understand why that’s allowed. And by the way, they’re very, very effective in their in the roles that they play out there.

Tony: Sure, women often are.

John: And that’s…hey man, I know some women that can really teach the Word. (28:25)

Tony: You visited Solomon’s Porch when a woman preached uh a couple weeks ago.

John: Yes I did; yes, I did.

Tony: Well, any…anything else we didn’t cover? About Emergent or…are we…

John: (chuckling) I don’t know I haven’t had all my questions answered, but, it’s not my time; it’s not my time.

Tony: (laughing) You have a question for me? Ask me a question you can ask me one question.

John: Have you been born again?

Tony: Yes…what does that mean.

John: Tell me about that.

Tony: Uh well, I’ll tell you that when I was in fifth grade I went to summer camp and, you know, on the very last day of camp when all the kids were totally completely exhausted and already on the brink of tears because we were going home the next morning and camp was over; that they gave the Jesus talk about how much He bled for us and I went forward weeping and, you know, asked Jesus to come into my life and felt a whooshing in my body…because my counselor told me that’s what would happen.

John: Ok…so were you born again at that time?

Tony: Sure was that…yeah. That’s…from everything I can tell that’s what people mean from your side of the…from your version of the Christian story. That that’s what it means to be born again.

John: Ok, when were you born again?

Tony: But when did I really take on the Lordship of Jesus Christ?

John: Yes that’s… (indistinct)

Tony: You know what? Today, this morning.

John: This morning…every day. Daily.

Tony: Absolutely.

John: Daily, every day. And that’s what you gotta do.

Tony: That’s right.

John: Romans chapter 12.

Tony: That’s not a copout either I’m not like saying that to…“scramble your eggs” in your words, like really truly, I can’t look back on one day and go “that was the day that I took on the Lordship of Jesus Christ in my life.” I can’t. It is an ongoing battle… (indistinct)

John: Is it a daily…

Tony: But for me John, listen, for me it’s a daily…DAILY. I wonder if this whole thing’s a total crock. DAILY. I think, “Is there really a God? Is my whole life based on a hoax?” Every day I make a decision to go one day more. I mean really. I really… I’m agnostic in that sense, in that I…every day I don’t know.

John: I’m sorry.

Tony: No, no I think it’s beautiful. I think it’s a way to live as an intellectually honest person, because God is not a provable commodity. All the evidence in the world does not prove God. It ultimately depends on faith. As the Bible makes ABUNDANTLY clear.

There are people who saw Jesus face to face who didn’t believe in him. There were Israelites who saw God leading them through the desert who chose to turn their backs…

John: That’s correct.

Tony: So for me who has never seen God, if…how much greater for me to have faith.

John: The heavens declare the glory of God.

Tony: Jesus says – and listen – it is clear in Scripture…great for the ones who saw and had faith, how much greater still…

John: For those who have not seen…

Tony: For those who have not seen and yet have faith. That’s where I am. I’m one who has not.. as I use an epigraph (for?) the book at the very beginning…like that man whose son Jesus healed, and he says, he cries out to Jesus, “I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief.”

John: “My unbelief,” yes.

Tony: Yep, that’s me.

John: Yep. Cool.

Tony: So.

John: (extending hand ) Hey dude, thanks for talking to me man.

Tony: (shaking hands) Appreciate it.

John: (pointing at camera) Sell lotsa books. (laughing)

Tony: That was fun dude! (31:36)

John: Yeah. Is this…is that like a Cohort right there?

Tony: That’s a lot like one. I mean if you came to a Cohort that’s what it would be like. I mean a lot of times you know Cohorts like any group like going to a bunch of CMA pastors it’s a bunch of like minded people patting each other on the backs.

John: Yeah.

Tony: But here in the Twin Cities we got some people who are naysayers. They come once in a while. And… I’ve been down to Dallas and had these like three Roman Catholic seminarians come, they were just…they were fired up dude they were… Oh yeah.

John: Yeah.

Tony: Oh yeah, they were pissed. So that’s fun when they come.

John: Were they pissed up against the wall?

Tony: They do piss up against the wall.

John: (indistinct, crew talking too)

Tony: That was fun dude! We should take that show on the road sometime!

John: Oh yeah, anytime.

Camera guy: I can see you guys are working up a sweat. I’m guessing it has to do more with the lights.

Tony: No, no. (inspecting his wet armpit) Oh yeah…I’m….

John: I reek. (laughing)

Tony: (indistinct with crew)

John: Tony you can come on the road anytime, anytime you have time. You should come down to SMSU – there’s probably like minded individuals with you and like minded individuals with me and…

Tony: Yeah we could do one of those little debates.

John: We could do a little um, a little back and forth, you know. I’m actually in the college ministry down there and I can have… I can have it arranged.

Tony: They’ll edit out the times when both of us didn’t quite know the exact Scripture references. (everyone laughs)

John: Like I say you guys gonna make me look good right?

Crew: Oh yeah.

John: You guys gotta make me look good you know… I know it’s very hard. Can you paint; like can you paint Tony’s picture on his blog with a John Lennon Yoko Ono deal?

Tony: Did you see somebody did that? that was funny.

John: That’s awesome.

Camera guy: I’m actually fascinated because I was expecting more disagreement.

Tony: Yeah.

Camera guy: And I think the beauty of this video is that you can go in there, with the narration, and say you know I was looking forward to an argument and it turns out we’re not that different in terms of…

Tony: Of course. I think that’s true.

Camera guy: In terms of like what would you think about…like you said women pastors or drinking or things like that that are really fundamental good things.

Tony: I mean even when I called Ken Silva on the phone, we got along on the phone.

John: Mm-hmm…mm-hmm.

Camera guy: But then started punching each other as soon as you…

Tony: But…I mean I’ve… I’ve never gone after him on my blog but… (indistinct)

John: Julie’s uh, Julie gets fired up though.

Tony: Yeah, Julie gets fired up.

John: She does; and I say this in all honesty, I appreciate that about her because I like the same thing about my wife she does the same thing. I mean she, even if I’m wrong, and I’m not saying you’re wrong…even if I’m wrong, she’ll defend me, you know?

Tony: Yeah, Julie’s great. She’s a really passionate person and…

John: And she’s Irish.

Tony: Very Irish.

John: She’s wicked Irish. Turn off that camera so that I can confess that… I can confess something to Tony. (camera gets shut off)

See also:

A Follow Up on Matt’s Response to Tony Jones