Saturday, August 02, 2008

A Little Tony J Love

Tony Jones, who is coming to Missouri Ministers' School in January, is currently doing what he is calling the Church Basement Roadshow.

Take a look at it - click here.

On the website, the Roadshow is identified as "A Rollin' Gospel Revival is rumbling across the U.S. this summer, bringing good fun and good news to anyone who will listen."

I gotta tell you, watching this video, reading his book, and keeping track of his blog, I am more and more excited about his presence at Ministers' School this year. And I confess that I love seeing "Missouri Ministers' School" listed on his speaking schedule!

It may sound a bit like I have a little bit of a clergy-crush on Tony, a guy I've never met but only communicated with via email. Maybe a little bit, ... yeah, I guess I do. But he writes things like this:
...for this group, the message of the gospel is unchanging - it's been figured out, once and for all, never to be reconsidered.
But to another group, the methods and the message of Christianity are bound to be reconceived over time. Indeed, if one changes the methods, one will inevitably change the message.
Another way of saying this is that the Christian gospel is always enculturated, always articulated by a certain people in a certain time and place. To try to freeze one particular articulation of the gospel, to make it timeless and universally applicable, actually does an injustice to the gospel. (New Christians, p. 96)

We could spend all three days of Ministers' School talking about this one idea (and I am hopeful that we will!). What's the difference between saying "the Christian gospel is always enculturated" and "the Christian gospel has been co-opted by culture"? And whose culture are we talking about, by the way? Suburban middle class? Rural poor? Urban inner city? And so forth ... ?

Anyway, I'm really excited about meeting and working with Tony, and I'm hoping the 2009 Ministers' School turns out to be a pretty cool event.


matt gallion said...

I've got to say, having met Tony and talked with him. He's awesome.

I'm super stoked for Ministers' School!

Anonymous said...

These are the times that I wish that I were still in the MO Conference (although I'm super stoked about being in the MS Conference - this is a pretty great place to be in ministry). I've also met and heard Tony speak - amazing.

Can I come back as a guest pastor? PLEEEEEEASE?

Melissa said...

since I am smack in the middle of Church History 2 - all I can say is bring on reformation (possible transformation is a better word).
I heard Tony at a two day conference he did for YS. Just don't stalk him and get kicked out of the event you are suppose to be planning.
Hope vacation is going good. I sure hope the church is running itself okay.