ABUSE & VIOLENCE IN THE CHURCH, Christian Industrial Complex, Crazy Things Church Leaders Say & Do, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Emergent/Progressive Movement

Tony Jones Book Update, Christian Industrial Complex, and Domestic Violence

Tony Jones, Emergent, THE NEW CHRISTIANS: DISPATCHES FROM THE EMERGENT FRONTIER, Anniversary, Christian Industrial Complex


tony jones, emergent church, christian industrial complex,


October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month in the US, and so this article is timely.

The last time I wrote about popular emergent leader, Tony Jones, was in 2015 in this article, A Spider Web of Emergent Leader Tony Jones and His Business and Christian Celebrity Supporters. I am pulling info from that article and giving a new update.

Today, Tony Jones tweeted this:



I was struck that he wrote his own foreword, and it actually cracked me up in a way because it is typical me-centered Tony Jones.

In advising authors about book forewords, The Chronicle of Higher Education has this to say:

” . . . start by enlisting a writer for the foreword, in which someone other than you—preferably a professional connection of elevated status—will lend credibility to your work by explaining its importance and legitimacy.”

And there ya go.

Perhaps this is a good time for a refresher for those who may have forgotten the Tony Jones fiasco and the celebrity Christian leaders who have yet to respond to why they supported Tony Jones and turned their backs on his now ex-wife who repeatedly reported about the domestic violence in their marriage. Here is a summary from R.L. Stollar’s excellent piece:

On January 27, 2015, Emerging Church leader Tony Jones released a statement responding to allegations of abuse against him by his former wife, Julie McMahon.

These allegations, which date back to 2008 when Jones served McMahon divorce papers, received a breath of new life in the last year in the comments section of David Hayward’s blog post about Jones and Mark Driscoll, “Tony Jones on Mark Driscoll: What came first, the thug or the theology?” They then came to the forefront of numerous people’s attentions when popular Christian leaders Rachel Held Evans and Nadia Bolz-Weber announced their WX15 conference, originally produced by Tony Jones’s organization, the JoPa Group. Several concerned fans of Evans, for example, commented on one of her blog posts about Evans and Bolz-Weber’s associating with Jones. “I saw your upcoming conference featuring women and got super excited,” said one individual, “until I saw that you’re partnering with Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt for the event. This is surprising to me because you’ve always been an advocate for the abused and for victims, but Tony Jones had been accused by his ex wife of some serious things, including throwing her against a wall and dislocating her shoulder from its socket.” A Response to Tony Jones’s Statement

For an eye-opening video of how Tony Jones is connected with various “celebrity” leaders, take a look at this short video. If you’ve ever wondered about church leaders functioning as a money-making business, look no further than this and the people involved. (Unfortunately, the narrator does not know how to pronounce Doug Pagitt’s last name.)



Related article here.

For those wanting to research this situation, this resource archive from 2015 compiles narratives, organizational details and analysis, timelines, links to documentation and to key social media posts, theological analysis, and other case study elements: Diagnosing the Emergent Movement.



14 thoughts on “Tony Jones Book Update, Christian Industrial Complex, and Domestic Violence”

  1. “I was struck that he wrote his own foreword, and it actually cracked me up in a way because it is typical me-centered Tony Jones.”

    As you say, this is hardly surprising – especially for someone who has been officially diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. But despite this diagnosis, it seems none of the leaders who have supported and endorsed him saw any problem with his behaviour -_-

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I want to make something clear for your readers that I think is very important to this story: I wrote a blog post challenging Jones’ ideas about Mark Driscoll. Julie came into the comments and started to share her own story. That’s the most important part: it was simply Julie sharing her story. And that’s when the sh*t hit the fan. It wasn’t about me, but about a space where Julie told her own story that was never provided to her before. The onslaught of pressure, warnings, and threats I received from Jones’ peers to remove her comments was horrific. My heart is full of sorrow for the way that whole thing turned out for her.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Wait…Jones wrote his OWN forward to his own book? That some classic self-parody right there…

    Unfortunately, more seriously: Jones and his enablers are following the exact same method as the Savage/Hybels crowd: Deny everything, admit to not being “perfect,” lay low for awhile, resurface, get the big named people in your tribe to appear onstage with you and act like nothing happened. Rachel Evans and Greg Boyd have appeared at conferences with him (Boyd even paid JoPa to put on one of his AFTER all of this). Remember this next time Evans complains about how conservative evangelicals* don’t believe women’s accusations.

    And did you catch Doug Pagitt’s article in USA Today bashing Franklin Graham for turning a blind eye to women’s abuse claims*? That. Is. Rich.

    Both of these may be true and frankly I don’t know how one supports Trump with a clean conscience — yet Evans and Pagitt are living in glass houses and throw stones for a living.


  4. No, I didn’t see Pagitt’s article in USA Today. I’m going to search for it now. It is upsetting how often people turn a blind eye to people in their own group – especially when there’s something in it for them ($$, public recognition, name dropping, etc.).


  5. I agreed with a lot as well and could write for hours on how conservative Christians destroyed their reputation since Trump started campaigning — but boy does it ring hollow coming from him.


  6. “conservative Christians destroyed their reputation since Trump started campaigning”

    I think a few victims of Christianity has known for a long time Christians are full of it for talking about morals and should shut up before their victims let the cat out of the bag. I have known since I was thirteen Christians are not the good people they try to say they are. So many conservative comp MEN minimize and sweep under the rug child rape, wife rape, child abuse, and wife beating. Then start trash talking gays and sluts. Conservative Muslim men do the same thing.

    Yes. None Christians look at Trump and see Christians believe a heterosexual man can lust after his own daughters, cheat on his wife, brag about sexually assaulting women, get all the divorces he wants, and steal money from the poor as long as he is pro making gays and women’s lives miserable.

    The message they send to little girls trapped in their odious creepy loser man cults is an unmarried woman or gay man having consensual sex is wrong in Gods eyes. But, us pro wife submission, anti-abortion, bible quoting Christian men beating our wives and raping little girls; God is cool with us. After growing up comp/conservative I have as much respect for what their God thinks about anything as I do what Abu Musab al-Zarqawi thought about anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I did not grow up in Tony Jones flavor of Christianity, but from what I have read he is no more a Christian than Mark Driscoll or Doug Wilson. It looks like he is in it for the attention, money, power, and not having to have a real job.


  8. As you say, this is hardly surprising – especially for someone who has been officially diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. But despite this diagnosis, it seems none of the leaders who have supported and endorsed him saw any problem with his behaviour -_-

    Because to the Christian Leaders, that truly makes him “ONE OF US”?

    — Todd Browning, Freaks


  9. I too have often thought about Julie and her children. I hope that she has found a supportive community. I was recently put in touch with a young mom in much the same position, involving cross-state custody. Does anyone know of communities of Faith in Leesburg, VA or Pensacola, FL that understand NPD and spiritual abuse issues?


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