This book is by far the most objective and understandable evaluation of the emerging church I have seen. Jim Belcher not only clearly explains and evaluates postmodernism and the emerging church, but also assesses the traditional church's reaction to them, and suggests a way forward based on his experience with his own church. His extensive knowledge of the subject, his superb communication skills, his commitment to orthodox theology, as well as his gracious attitude towards others, even when he disagrees with them, all combined to make this one of the most helpful books I have read in several years.
I highly recommend this book. The author does a great job of outlining the strengths and weaknesses in what he calls the traditional church (what many of us grew up in) and the emerging church. His purpose is to draw the reader to the conclusion that the "deep" church is a better alternative and he does a good job of outlining what that is. He has an obvious bias which may have him looking at the deep church with less critical eyes.Either way, what he has to offer does a great job of stimulating conversation on the issue of how to do church in the 21st Century. I consider it a must read for those who want to understand the issues of postmodern Christianity without the vitriol. It is a really good book.
For someone who resonates with many of the same issues the Emerging Church movement has with some in the greater church at large, but has problems with their answers...this is a great read! You might get hung up on thinking Belcher is trying to promote "his way" of doing church and you would miss the whole point...because Redeemer (SoCal) is one of plethora of churches that are or have been taking the "Third Way" for many years.
Deep Church arrived on a Thursday afternoon. I read it cover to cover before I could go to sleep. It answered many of the questions I had regarding the frustrations I have with the traditional mode of church and the hesitancy I have with the emerging church.Jim Belcher seeks to be honest and passionate about both the traditional and emerging modes of worshiping God. You can sense his pastor's heart in his analysis.This is an excellent read if you are looking for an honest approach to a third wave, a possible bridging of the gap between traditional and emerging philosophies of ministry.