Jones' Utopian Dreams is fascinating. I was expecting it to be a boring, 'I should read this to connect with contemporary thought' sort of book, but he has exceptional insight into our culture and its interaction or engagement with "spirituality" and "religion".
As a non-Christian, Tobias seeks out communities, tired with our individualised world. He finds himself asking the question, "Can a community exist without being religious?" and rather concludes in the negative. However, as he experiences these communities, he becomes more attracted and persuaded by Christian values. Having started admitting that he looked to see not whether the doctrines of the faiths represented were true, wacky or insane, he in fact concludes that Christianity not so much is true because it works, but works because it is true.
With fascinating insight I'd recommend this book - but I'd pray two things for the author. That he'd recognise the true community God is creating not in communes but in a people set aside by his word - not just in submitting to God and thereby experiencing true freedom, as Jones affirms, but in being called out by his Word savingly, and living in his grace. In brief, that he'd discover God's true community in the church being lived out around him.
And secondly, that he would see that it is not only the truth of the teachings and values incarnated by Jesus which make Christianity work. That in fact, he would see that Jesus is the Truth, the Way, and the Life: that He is God's community and we in him. And so that he would experience the grace of resurrection life, and the joy of knowing God the Father, through his Son, by the Spirit at work in us: in true communion with God and each other.
I was directed to this book by a review much more helpful than that above by Damaris' Culturewatch here.
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