Tony Jones the Internet and Reality TV

I get challenged enough online to know what it's like. It's not easy.

So, I'll admit that when someone else gets challenged online it's kind of like watching an accident. I just can't help it. I want everyone to be okay. Honestly. But I just can't seem to avert my eyes.

So when Tony Jones posted "Why Are You Still a Christian?" and proceeded to give his reasons, I couldn't help but watch. I'm not an accident scene expert, but I can propose theories as to why this accident happened.

going onto the internet cartoon nakedpastor david hayward

Tony Jones Sends the Wrong Signal:

He signalled that it had to do with Jesus of Nazareth but went in a totally different direction.

Tony Jones Has False Sense of Immunity:

He said that "well over 95%" of people believe in God, so he will too as an act of solidarity.

To say that atheism is "almost exclusively the purview of educated, white elites" and that's why you remain a Christian, when in fact you are an educated, white elite, is like presuming your vehicle gives you immunity on the road.

Rather, your vehicle is a weapon that needs to be driven with great care. The chances of you hurting others and yourself dramatically increase just by getting into your vehicle and getting on the road.

Tony Jones Followed Others Into the Accident:

Saying that most people believe in God is the reason you do, even for the sake of solidarity, isn't really the best reason to believe. It might be one reason. But not a good one.

Why does this remind me of this multi-car pileup in Wisconsin this year?

Maybe Tony Jones Was Driving Too Fast:

He also seemed to be in a bit of a hurry, as many of his commenters noted. The post seems to have been written in haste, and from my own experience that usually leads to trouble.

Jones tweeted during the aftermath of the accident:
"Today's pst = When Atheists Attack. And here I was simply trying to be honest and a bit vulnerable."
Peter Rollins responded:
"maybe it was when you called atheists a bunch of privileged white guys who are detached from the concerns of the world?"

Again, I somewhat sympathize with Jones because I have experienced this same thing.

I, like Jones, try to be honest and vulnerable on the internet.

So this is how I approach it:

the internet is like a reality TV show that anybody or everybody is watching and I'm one of the actors. If I want to be on the show, I'm exposing myself to the opinions of others. I positively know that I am going to get love and hate directed at me. I am going to be either ignored, praised or ridiculed.

When you're on the show, honesty and vulnerability are not only crucial, but inevitable.

And the various responses of the audience are just as crucial and inevitable.

This is the nature of reality TV.

We signed up for this.

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Where will the Great Gathering and Last Judgement take place?

The Answer: The knowledge is with God alone. The elevated instances of wisdom the All-Wise Creator displays in all things, and His even attaching vast instances of wisdom to a single insignificant thing, suggests to the point of being plain that the globe does not revolve in a circle aimlessly and pointlessly, but revolves around something important; it depicts the circumference of a vast arena. It travels around a huge place of exhibition and hands over its immaterial produce to it; because in the future the produce will be displayed there before the gazes of men. That is to say, it will fill the circle, the circumference of which is a distance of approximately twenty-five thousand years. Syria will be like a seed, according to one narration;3 the arena of the Great Gathering will be expanded out of that region. All the immaterial produce of the earth is for now sent to the notebooks and tablets of the arena which is beneath the veil of the Unseen, and in the future when the arena is opened up, the earth will pour its inhabitants into it too. Its immaterial produce will also be transposed to the Manifest Realm from that of the Unseen. Yes, as though it were an arable field, a spring, or a measure, the earth has produced crops enough to fill that vast arena, and the creatures that will occupy it have flowed on from the earth; the beings to fill it have departed from the earth. That is to say, the globe is a seed, and the arena of the Great Gathering and what it holds, a tree, a shoot, and a store. Just as a point of light becomes a luminous line or circle on moving at speed, so with its rapid, purposeful motion, the earth describes a circle of existence, and together with that circle of existence and its produce, gives rise to the arena of the Great Gathering.


Interesting fojap. Thanks for that thoughtful comment.


Wow! That’s about the biggest train wreck I’ve seen in a long time. He never even addressed why Christian and not something else. And, I believe because it’s very popular to believe, is just such a total crock. He must have been sleep walking. Either that or… I don’t like to call people idiots, so I’ll stop here.


Seems to be a pretty good summary of the situation.
Also: love the cartoon.


The comments…wow. But I’m still trying to figure out why he went there. I mean, what does believing in God have to do with answering the question “why Christian?” Why not Muslim? Or Pagan? I’m chalking it up to #4 for now.


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