Deep Church, author Jim Belcher has been both an insider and an outsider to the Emerging Church movement. Now he brings the best insights of all sides to forge a third way. With appreciative critique, he explores the proposals of the emerging church leaders and provides constructive models of what this alternate deep church looks like - a missional church committed to both tradition and culture, valuing innovation in worship, arts, and community but also creeds and confessions. Plumb the depths of Christianity in a way that neither rejects our postmodern context nor capitulates to it. Instead of veering to the left or right, go beyond the extremes and go-deep.
2010 Christianity Today Book Award winner! 2010 Golden Canon Leadership Book Award winner! Feeling caught between the traditional church and the emerging church? Discover a third way: deep church. C. S. Lewis used the phrase "deep church" to describe the body of believers committed to mere Christianity. Unfortunately church in our postmodern era has been marked by a certain shallowness. Emerging authors, fed up with contemporary pragmatism, have offered alternative visions for twenty-first-century Christianity. Traditionalist churches have reacted negatively, at times defensively. Jim Belcher knows what it's like to be part of both of these worlds. In the 1990s he was among the pioneers of what was then called Gen X ministry, hanging out with creative innovators like Rob Bell, Mark Oestreicher and Mark Driscoll. But he also has maintained ties to traditionalist circles, planting a church in the Presbyterian Church of America. In Deep Church, Belcher brings the best insights of all sides to forge a third way between emerging and traditional. In a fair and evenhanded way, Belcher explores the proposals of such emerging church leaders as Tony Jones, Brian McLaren and Doug Pagitt. He offers measured appreciation and affirmation as well as balanced critique. Moving beyond reaction, Belcher provides constructive models from his own church planting experience and paints a picture of what this alternate, deep church looks like--a missional church committed to both tradition and contemporary culture, valuing innovation in worship, arts and community but also adhering to creeds and confessions. If you've felt stuck between two extremes, you can find a home here. Plumb the depths of Christianity in a way that neither rejects our postmodern context nor capitulates to it. Instead of veering to the left or the right, go between the extremes--and go deep.
Jim Belcher (Ph.D., Georgetown) is associate professor of practical theology at Knox Theological Seminary. He is the founding and former lead pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Newport Beach, California, where he served from 2000-2010 and led a period of steady growth. He is the author of the award-winning book (IVP, 2009).
Mouw is president of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Before coming to Fuller in 1985 as professor of Christian philosophy and ethics, he was for seventeen years professor of philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Passionately, articulately and with sometimes winsome self-confidence, Belcher seeks to chart a third way between the often divided factions within the traditional and emerging wings of American evangelicalism. The author, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, Calif., asserts that it is possible to forge a new ecumenism and unity based in creedal orthodoxy, while also respecting the particularities of denominations and faith communities. After defining what impels the emerging church movement, he analyzes the seven protests leveled by the movement against traditional churches within the evangelical movement, from being too caught up in the rationalism of the Enlightenment, to overemphasizing doctrinal purity and an unwillingness to engage modern culture. Following that, he responds to each critique with an alternative solution that blends both reform and tradition to create a new body of Christian gospelcentered believers. A caveat: readers who think that mainline Protestantism has anything to contribute to this dialogue will not find any encouragement. Focused on the internal struggle within the American Christian evangelical wing, Belcher barely mentions this other flank of Christianity. (Sept.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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