Cool book for small groups

Earlier this year I posted a review of Tony’s Jones book about the Didache.

I’m still thinking about this book and its effects on community life.

So take this as a random recommendation. If you’re in an adult small group and you are looking for a book to get your group talking about what it means to be an authentic community– The Teaching of the Twelve is what you are looking for. It’s only about 120 pages, I read it in two sittings.

I know, I know, I know. A lot of people see or hear the name “Tony Jones” and that makes them think of all the controversy. Read my review from February as I hit that head on.

After you read the book you may need to re-think what you think about Mr. Jones. I know I did.





10 responses to “Cool book for small groups”

  1. Tim Avatar

    From reading your blog, i can tell you’re a guy who likes to think outside the box. I appreciate that, and enjoy it.

    That said, I am surprised you would put your name and rep on the line for a guy like Tony Jones. Very surprised.

    1. adam mclane Avatar

      If you check out the review I did back in February… you’ll see that I address that there.

      I think a lot of people have vilified Tony without taking the time to get to know him or to actually hear his heart. They see a quote or had an experience with something he did 10 years ago. Or they value a persons opinion about Tony without actually taking the time to form their own opinion.

      That’s not a fair way to treat a brother in Christ. I know I don’t like it when people judge me on things without having ever met me.

      I have no problem recommending this book. I’m pretty conservative with Scripture and I found no offense in this book whatsoever. At times I even thought, “Wow, that’s a conservative view at that… wow!” In fact, he proved many of my own presuppositions incorrect by his treatment in the work.

      Not trying to rant on that… just know that I don’t take recommending things lightly and I am recommending this book for groups trying to figure out how to live life in community.

      1. Tim Avatar

        yeah, I read your review from feb. again today. I get where you’re coming from, and I hope my comment didn’t sound like I was judging you.

        I was trying to convey my own surprise. I’m surprised when anyone who seems up-and-up (I put you in this category) recommends something from someone who isn’t up-and-up (I put Jones in this category; his general disregard for orthodoxy can’t be denied) because of something good that the latter has written.

        It’s not just your recommendation from today that gets me. It’s the general movement among Christians to embrace anyone who says something good regardless of what they’ve said elsewhere. I don’t get it.

        1. adam mclane Avatar

          “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
          Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
          Matthew 18:21-22

          1. Tim Avatar

            I really didn’t intend on sparking a long discussion like this… 🙂

            We both know this isn’t a forgiveness issue. I can forgive someone all day long, but it’s plain silly to put myself in a position to be burned by them again and again. Now, if they keep finding a way to hurt me or whatever, that’s on them; I’ll just have to keep forgiving.

            This is an orthodoxy issue. Instead of looking at verses on forgiveness, we should be considering the overwhelming instruction in the NT to watch out for those who would pervert the gospel, those who would lead us astray.

            As my momma used to say, “You play with fire, you’re gonna get burnt.” I’ve found that to be pretty good advice.

  2. Mike Lyons Avatar

    I don’t think one’s view of Tony Jones really falls under “forgiveness.” I mean, he didn’t sin against me or hurt me in any way. This isn’t a matter of forgiveness at all. It’s a matter of trust. Jesus didn’t say we should trust people seventy-seven times after they’ve broken it.

    There’s a lot of books out there. I think the assumption from guys like Tim (and I can totally relate) is that if someone has already proven themselves to be a questionable source, why would you extend trust against your better judgment?

  3. adam mclane Avatar

    @tim- I’m not sure I understand where you are coming from… And that’s OK. Fortunately for both of us our views of the church are limited by the world we know and live in.

    I’ve always found him to be approachable. I’d encourage you to connect with him if you have issues with him.

    Read the book, it’s $11. If you think it’s bad, then you’ll know what to think about my future recommendations.

  4. tony jones Avatar

    Tim and Mike, I’d encourage you to follow Adam’s advice. More often than not, I find that the people who most adamantly oppose me have only read stuff *about* me. They’ve never actually taken the time to read what I’ve written.

    And, yes, feel free to correspond with me directly if you’d like.



    1. Mike Lyons Avatar


      I don’t “adamantly oppose” you. I barely even know who you are–and as you point out, it’s only stuff that people have written about you. I haven’t read much, either. I have no interest at all in reading something negative that some Christian has to say about some other Christian.

      My comment was in response to the exchange between Tim and Adam. Tim made it pretty clear where he’s coming from. Adam’s response made it sound like a religious issue, and it’s not.

      If Tim already thinks you have bad theology, then it would be foolish of him to purchase your book and use it in a small group ministry. Tim is an organic church planter, and his small groups are not a bunch of churchy people getting together who might enjoy a dialogue on theology. In his small groups, he’s the only churched person in the room. Because of the nature of his ministry, he is justified to be very selective in the materials he uses.

      To Adam,

      As far as the idea to just buy the book because it’s just $11, what’s it going to hurt–there are a lot of books out there that are just $11.
      A. I can’t read them all.
      B. “It’s only $11” is an attitude that leads Americans to spend 105% of what they make. Why not, “$11 will feed a child in Malawi for 11 days”?


    2. Tim Avatar

      @Tony: My opinion regarding what you’ve written previously is based on content from your blog.

      @Adam: This thread got way out of hand from what the intention of my original comment was. For that, I apologize.

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