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Tony Jones is the national coordinator of Emergent Village and author of The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier. Collin Hansen is editor-at-large of Christianity Today and author of Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist's Journey with the New Calvinists. Both books take a sympathetic journalistic approach to a young but growing movement in American Christianity, examining why it's growing and how it's changing the larger church.

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Tony,

I sense frustration with your last question. It's a hard one to address. Creeds are great for distilling the overarching themes and doctrines of Scripture. But they can unwittingly make Christians think faith can be reduced to checking the right boxes. As evangelicals have learned since the fundamentalist-modernist debates of the early 20th century, there are at least two problems with this mentality. First, two people may sign the same statement but choose to interpret it quite differently, rendering useless the pretended unity. The other problem surfaces when someone checks all the boxes but immediately undermines the doctrine by saying it doesn't really matter. My purpose in asking what you believe about the Atonement, sound doctrine, and biblical authority was to reconcile what you wrote to me with what you wrote in your book.

I was really intrigued when you wrote about Emergent churches "open-sourcing" their biblical and theological content. "Some people will worry, What about heresy? It'll just become a mad free-for-all without any baseline of sound doctrine!" I loved your next line: "To the contrary, nothing roots out heresy better than a group." I don't agree with open-sourcing doctrine, but you make a great point about community. ...

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