The more I’ve observed Tony Jones, a leading theologian in the Emergence rebellion against Sola Scriptura, the more he reminds me of someone I knew in school. Glen was what we might call an instigator. He was very good at getting others to do things he would suggest in order to see how far the teacher could be pushed until becoming angry.

And, even though it was Glen who actually brought out the disturbance by goading the gullible into the act, when that time came he would rarely be the one receiving the repremand or punishment. Jones, a leading voice of Emergence Christianity, strikes me as cleverly attempting the same kind pushing the envelope with posts like his Who Was/Is Jesus?

Jones tells us that “LeRon Shults announces a new book.” He also informs us there’s “discussion on his blog about the book,” which is called Seeking the Identity of Jesus. Of course there are those of us like me who believe the Church has always known Who it is that founded her. O no; seems Jones wants us to know Shults “gathered scholars to write about, well, Jesus’ identity.”

Jones then goes on:

Among other things, they agreed on the following nine points:

1. Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew.
2. The identity of Jesus is reliably attested and known in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.
3. The entirety of the canonical witness is indispensable to a faithful rendering of the figure of Jesus.
4. In order to understand the identity of Jesus rightly, the church must constantly engage in in the practice of deep, sustained reading of these texts.
5. To come to grips with the identity of Jesus, we must know him as he is presented to us through the medium of narrative.
6. The trajectory begun with the the NT of interpreting Jesus’ identity in and for the church has continued through Christian history.
7. Because Jesus remains a living presence, he can be encountered in the community of his people,the body of Christ.
8. Jesus is a disturbing, destabilizing figure.
9. The identity of Jesus is something that must be learned through long-term discipline.
If you’re reading the book, go to LeRon’s blog and drop a comment. (Online source)

Here’s where the instigator analogy enters in. Not surprisingly the blether above neglects to include the Deity of Christ. However, it’s written in such a way that even the geniune regenerated Christian would be able to agree with much of it—save 9. But then again, so could Tony’s buddy Marcus Borg, who is as much a Christian as I am in line to be the next Dalai Lama.

It’s my personal contention that Tony Jones is adrift and he’s heading right into the same murky mystical waters of apostasy as Borg. However, we notice carefully that Jones doesn’t yet offer his own opinion, but rather, has instead simply stirred the pot in order to generate others to speak out in the comments section of his post.

At the time of this writing one that really jumped out at me as indicitive of where the Emergence is headed was by:

James McGrath
February 23, 2009 3:01 PM
Scholars wouldn’t agree on Jesus having been, much less having understood himself to be, the Second Person of the Trinity, not only because that language reflects a later understanding (post-New Testament), but also because Jesus is depicted as God incarnate, as walking the earth as one aware of having pre-existed in heaven, only in one of the canonical Gospels, namely John.
But what is common knowledge in Biblical scholarship often seems somehow to have been missed by the vast majority of Christians… (Online source)

This would be Dr. James McGrath, Associate Professor of Religion at Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana, giving us a perfect example of the thinking of one who is in love with the so-called “wisdom” of man. This is all in line with classic liberal theology and yet another fulfillment of those who will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths (2 Timothy 4:4).

Anyone with eyes that see knows the Gospels portray Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ. And regenerated Christians also know from the Old Testament, which was pretty pre-New Testament, that Christ would be God Himself in human flesh. But then again, what is common knowledge in the Body of Christ often seems somehow to be missed by the vast majority of scholars.

See also:



Dr. James R. White, The Pre-existence of Christ In Scripture, Patristics and Creed