The God Who Smokes: Scandalous Meditations on Faith


A church divided?
Emergent theology is raising some of the most provocative and divisive questions in the church today. For some, these ideas embody the true spirit of the gospel, trading tired religion for authenticity and relevance. Others dismiss it as a heresy that compromises the gospel in the name of tolerance and dilutes the truth to attract a jaded generation.

Is there any room for middle ground?


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A church divided?
Emergent theology is raising some of the most provocative and divisive questions in the church today. For some, these ideas embody the true spirit of the gospel, trading tired religion for authenticity and relevance. Others dismiss it as a heresy that compromises the gospel in the name of tolerance and dilutes the truth to attract a jaded generation.

Is there any room for middle ground?

Timothy Stoner thinks so. Join him as he provides an honest response to the postmodern cry for authentic spirituality. Filled with humorous insights and challenging ideas, The God Who Smokes imagines a twenty-first-century church where hope hangs with holiness, passion sits next to purity, and compassion can relate to character.

Timothy celebrates the good within Emergent while providing a balanced and thoughtful critique. Throughout, you’ll discover not only the issues that can divide but also the burning passion that can unite us all. Tyndale House Publishers

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781600062476
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/16/2008
  • Series: Living the Letters Series
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,412,026
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Timothy Stoner grew up in Chile and Spain, where his parents served as missionaries. He attended Grand Rapids Theological Seminary before going on to law school. He has been practicing law for twenty years and lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with his wife, Patty. They have five children. Timothy is also president of Orphan Justice Mission.
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Table of Contents

Prologue: So What's with the Weird Title?     11
King of Fools     17
Velvet Rembrandts     35
A God Who Lets You Drop     53
God Is an Earthquake     73
The God Who Smokes     89
Jesus Is in the Way     105
You've Got to Love Somebody     123
Warrior for Justice and Righteousness     143
Servants of the Glory, Part One     161
Servants of the Glory, Part Two     177
Dancing in the Dark     189
Good Sex and Bad Sex     207
David's Dance     221
Waiting till Father Returns     239
Longing for Home     257
Epilogue: Shall We Dance?     275
Notes     277
About the Author     315
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing book on theology and what Jesus really taught.

    One of the reasons I decided to review this book from NavPress was the intriguing title. as well as the last name of the author. "It's going to be an interesting book," I thought. As it turned out, my hunch proved right.

    The tagline of the book is "Is there any room for middle ground?" and Timothy devotes the discussion to the question of Emergent vs. Fundamentalist Christians. This has been a popular debate for the last few years but so far no one has reached any conclusions. that is, before Tim and those who agree with him.

    The slightly humorous approach and personal stories that fill the pages make the discussion relatable. In his own unique way, Timothy does not simply criticize Emergent Christians or Fundamentalists, but rather carefully shows the dangerous trends within both movements. Stopping the pendulum of arguments, he comes to the golden middle of who Jesus really was and what He really taught His followers (and us).

    This is a book to read for those who are, like me, wondering about the entire contest between "left" and "right." It is also a book which, while asking good questions, also provides a lot of answers to the important questions of what Christianity means.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Good answers to hard questions

    This is a book which, once finished, needs to be started again at the beginning. Immensely readable, it's also extremely relevant. And relevancy seems to be what many of us struggle with most, as we seek to carve a path through life.

    Sometimes, if we are honest, the solid Christian truths we all know seem a little shaky. God seems remote from our lives, difficulties threaten to overwhelm and it all seems rather 'wearisome'. Tim Stoner drags these thoughts and feelings out into the light, authenticates them with stories from his own experiences, and gives us a fresh look at our faith. He looks at the questions we all struggle with, pointing us always to the God of Scripture. You might not agree with everything he writes; yet 'truth' is never solid, certain and nicely packaged but often glimpsed from different angles. Tim Stoner gives us those glimpses of a 'truth.that holds reality together; there is meaning and purpose' and motivates us to keep on with The Way, as the Christian life was known in the early church.

    So dive into this book. Find the God who IS in the earthquake, wind and fire. The God who smokes.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The God Who Smokes

    The God Who Smokes by Timothy J. Stoner reflects the irony of God's powerful traits which are often overlooked, dismissed and watered down by many of today's modern and emerging a.k.a "Emergent"/ "Emerging", Christian churches. Nevertheless just as God, is the God of peace and love, He is also the God of justice, as well as a warring God against injustice, lies and evil. Hence, the unique title chosen for the book. Many modernists within so many Christian churches don't like to see this side of God, and thereby simply dismiss it as old fashioned, and intolerant.

    Stoner fluently uses biblical passages to illustrate the many facets of God's personality and the message of salvation. Modern society and culture erroneously portrays God as a kind, sweet, dismissive, quaint, old grandmother who excuses away the misdoings and so-called mistakes of mankind. There is no such thing as sin in today's society and many churches as well, for that matter. The author points out the deadly error of relativism and ambiguity. Essentially, man made ideas as well as half-truths are conisdered to be deadly lies that disregard or conceal the words of Jesus- the truth of salvation.

    The modern push towards relatavisnm, prevelant in many churches can not be denied! Even essentials to faith and salvation are up for debate or second guessed. The prevelant question in modern churches is whether one can reject Jesus, follow other paths and still be saved. For many Emergent modern, relativisitc churches, that claim to be Christian, the answer is a resounding- yes! This put countless sincere, yet misguided people in grave danger. Timothy Stoner responds that the answer is "No", that there are not multiple paths to salvation! How is he so sure? It is because the bible- as well as the words of Jesus- tell us so. The author makes the distinction between essential truths and the message of salvation from secondary issues of theology. For example, the length of time it took for God to complete the creation of the world, charasmatic gifts of the Holy Spirit, or the specific timeline of events that will occur in the Tribulation or end-times are secondary issues. But Jesus as being the truth and the way to salvation is not up for debate- it is an essential fact of Salvation. Just as Jesus himself was blunt, not caring about political correctness when it came to matters of Salvation, the Church as well, needs to be firm and blunt just as Jesus and just as the bible message. Jesus never watered down the truth even when it offended or upset his listeners. "Not every religious disagreement is a matter of life or death. But- and here is the big but- some are." P. 45

    This book is written in a way to appeal to today's generation of post modern parishiners and readers. It does not comprimise on truth of the bible to gain the acceptance or approval of the reader. Nevertheless, it is written with humor and sensitivity as well- speaking out powerfully to today's generation. It brings to life the words of Jesus using modern day analogies. This book points out the dangerous error of many post modern as well as Emergent churches. As a blogger of Navpress I recieved a copy of this book for the purpose of writing a review. The opinions expressed are my own.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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