Tony Jones Quotes
“God’s power, it turns out, comes in God’s willingness to abdicate power. God saves the world through submission to the point of solidarity with human weakness. Jesus’ final teaching to his disciples was to wash their feet and then tell them to go and do likewise, to act as servants to the world. Too often, Christians have done just the opposite.”
“To whom should we listen? The loudest voices? The most educated? The formerly marginalized? The formerly powerful? Those with the most retweets? Those who have traditionally spoken for God are now looked at askance by many people, and with good reason. Too often they’ve used their Christian platform for political and military gain. They’ve forgotten that the story of God, exemplified in Jesus, is an abdication of power. It’s a story of self-limitation and humility. It’s a story lived in solidarity with those at the margins. To whom should we listen? To Jesus on the cross.”
“One hundred years ago my great-grandfather thought women shouldn't vote. He was absolutely certain about that, and I'm absolute certain he was wrong. Two hundred years ago my great-great-great=great grandfather believed that white men should own black men. He was absolutely certain about that, and I am certain that he was wrong. I'm humble because I don't know what I'm wrong about today. I'll speak with confidence and I'll speak with passion, but I won't speak with certainty.”
“The problems with this concentration on God’s wrath are pluriform. First and foremost, it contradicts the experience that most of us have with God, and that a lot of us have with the Bible. Our experience of God is not of wrath, but of love. Indeed, that’s how most people experience God even before they accept the idea that Christ stands between us and God. So it seems odd to first have to convince people that God’s wrath burns against them, then to convince them that Jesus lovingly took on that wrath.”
“I, too, want to advocate for a theological stance that takes a pastiche approach. Each of the theories above, and the one below, come from a certain context. Each was developed in order to solve a contemporary problem with the atonement. Each did that, albeit imperfectly. So I’d like us to embrace them all, realizing their shortcomings.”
“But the hope within our faith is that we can draw meaning out of what is meaningless, through the theopraxis of learning to love one another better–and that, in the global scheme of things, means living for the good of everyone, whether they be Foxconn workers or Syrian asylum seekers–or friends who are suffering.”
“Jesus, uniquely at one with God, taught that the ultimate rule is love and that any other religious rule that did not extend God’s reign of love needed to be reconsidered. Jesus hinted that this rule of love was even to be extended to non-Jews, and this became a major theme of Paul’s ministry and writing a couple of decades later.”
“The New Testament varies widely as well, with the Gospel writers understanding Jesus’ death as a Passover sacrifice and the author of Hebrews considering it a Yom Kippur sacrifice. Mixing those two is a bit like putting a Christmas tree up on Easter, which is basically what Paul does in his various letters.”
“So when Jesus defended his disciples for picking grain on the Sabbath, he was essentially telling his interrogators that they misunderstood God’s relationship with human beings. He was saying, in effect, Yes, there are rules, but don’t let the rules get in the way of loving God and others. And when Jesus healed a leper, he was giving an object lesson in the same: by the power of God’s Spirit, the people who have been excluded are now included.”
“Yes, it is hard to conceive of orthodox Christian faith without the idea of original sin. That’s a sign of just how successful Augustine’s ideas have been in the Western church. But that does not make the idea biblical or right. One can acknowledge the universality of the human proclivity toward sin without affirming either Calvin’s total depravity or Augustine’s original sin. One merely has to accept simple human fallibility. We’re neither immortal nor perfect. We’re fallible. We make mistakes. And we die.”
- Born: in Minneapolis, The United States.
- Description: Tony Jones is the author of Did God Kill Jesus? (HarperOne, 2015) and contributing writer to several outdoors periodicals. He’s written a dozen books, including The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier and The Sacred Way: Spiritual Practices for Everyday Life, developed the iPhone app, hosts the Reverend Hunter Podcast, and teaches at Fuller Theological Seminary. Tony is a sought after speaker and consultant in the areas of emerging church, postmodernism, and Christian spirituality, writing, and the outdoors. He served as a consultant on the television show, The Path, and he owns an event planning company, Crucible Creative. He holds an A.B. from Dartmouth College, an M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. Tony is married, has three children, and lives in Edina, Minnesota.