Straight from the horses mouth...
I'm not sure when horses began giving the most accurate information on any given subject, but if I were to describe The New Christians by Tony Jones in a single expression I would respond with my quip about the integrity of information that can be gleaned from speaking with horses...
This book represents the most lucid explanation of the Emergent phenomenon to date. Tony is especially qualified to speak to the evolution of the movement, from it's embryonic stages in the late 1990's to the growing and expanding movement that seems to be in the teenage stage today [that stage where you're going through transformation in every part of your being, and most people don't really like you because your moody, but it's not really your fault, because your just learning how to exist in this new strange world].
Tony is neither objective or neutral in his characterization of Emergent [as some have claimed to be], nor would the reader want him to be. He gives an inside, first hand look at the genesis of what has become a major conversation in American Christianity. Tony has been "on the ground" throughout the history of the Emerging church, [and Emergent Village the internet home for all conversations emergent]. As acting coordinator of Emergent Tony is in conversation with churches on both sides of the movement, and has given a clear readable picture of what Emerging churches look like.
This book acts as an oasis in the desert of American Evangelicalism for those of us who are longing for a more meaningful faith that moves beyond the flattened out left vs. right, conservative vs. liberal debate. It provides the impetus for stretching out to a third way of Christianity, one that is true to the historic orthodox faith, and one that has not been abducted by either side of the political and religious landscape.
This book is both theological sturdy, and readable at the same time. Centered around twenty "dispatches, Tony aptly describes the core of the Emerging Church movement. In this book, Tony Jones has taken complex ideas, and translated them into the language of the common man. This book will be a great help for those wanting to understand Emergent, both adherents and critics can glean helpful and accurate information.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone interested in this movement. It has strengthened my faith, and given me hope for the future of Christianity.