Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional [NOOK Book]

Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional

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Overview

2010
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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 gospel–centered 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.)
Richard J. Mouw
"A marvelously reliable guide—indeed I know of none better—for our much-needed efforts to go deeper as churches by mining the depths of the gospel for creative and faithful ministry in the strange and exciting new world of the twenty-first century."
Collin Hansen
"Working out his ideas in the crucible of pastoral ministry, Jim Belcher proposes fascinating new ways to arbitrate today's disputes by appealing to the Great Tradition. Read it and learn how your church can go deeper."
Dan Kimball
"Deep Church takes us beyond just the surface with what is emerging, emergent or traditional and gives us some wonderful insights toward an alternative future."
Mark Oestreicher
"Many have written critiques of the emerging church, and some have attempted 'third way' books that attempt to describe a possible best-of-both path between traditional and emerging mindsets and practices. But I think Jim Belcher's book is the first to be truly gracious to both of these oft-contentious perspectives, suggesting a fair and honest critique of both. Belcher has clearly done his homework, and lives--as a lead pastor of a church plant--with one foot in the Reformed, traditional camp, and one foot in the emerging church. This is a great read for any who are tired of straw man arguments and polarization."
Tim Keller
"Jim Belcher shows that we don't have to choose between orthodox evangelical doctrine on the one hand, and cultural engagement, creativity and commitment to social justice on the other. This is an important book."
Alan Hirsch
"Deep Church is a narrative of one man's journey of spiritual discovery involving at core a search for a place to stand. Whether you can fully agree with Jim's findings or not, you will find this book to be an accessible, well-articulated, deeply personal and (thankfully) theologically irenic apologetic for the emerging church."
Doctor - John H. Armstrong
"Deep Church is a carefully balanced and helpfully critical analysis of the emerging church and the numerous negative reactions against it. It is a fair-minded, truly gracious undertaking that speaks the truth in love and charts a clear third way that I sincerely hope will be embraced by a multitude of younger Christian leaders. Only a thoughtful pastor who knows Scripture, the Christian tradition and the modern challenges to mission in our present context could write such an excellent book."
Scot McKnight
"Deep Church is the book we need--it's a genuine third way. Jim Belcher is poised like no other to evaluate the emerging movement: he knows theology, he loves the church, he cares about twentysomethings, he knows the entire emerging movement, and he remains faithful to theological orthodoxy. Most of all, Deep Church avoids the clamor for extremes. There are only two or three really good books about the emerging movement, and this is the best analysis I've seen."
Tony Jones
"Rising above the usual shallow, facile critiques of the emergent church movement, Jim Belcher has written for us a book that, indeed, goes deep. Jim took the time to listen to emergent voices, and as a result, he appreciates the movement for what it is. And, further, his admonitions ring true. While Jim and I have theological differences, I can heartily recommend Deep Church as an invigorating study of and healthy corrective to both the emergent and traditional church."
Ed Stetzer
"As Christians enter the third millennium, they are in the midst of a great reconsideration. They are asking if the forms of church they have inherited are the right forms for the mission in the future. For some, they believe the forms must be rejected and deconstructed. Others seek to defend and restore them. Jim Belcher points a way that ties orthodox theological moorings with creative thinking and missional engagement, providing a helpful guide to thinking about church."
Mark Driscoll
"Deep Church is a thoughtful, helpful and practical addition to the growing field of missional church thinking."
Crystal L. Downing
"Viewing Christianity and culture through the lens of the Reformed--and reforming--tradition, Jim Belcher judiciously assesses the divide between liberal and conservative factions of evangelicalism. Lucidly analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the emerging church as well as of the traditionalists who critique it, Belcher offers an inspirational 'third way,' the 'deep church,' that synthesizes the best of both."
Howard Ahmanson
"In Deep Church, Jim Belcher has given us great thoughts about how a church can walk the tightrope between emerging and traditional, between sound doctrine and openness to our culture, between modernism and postmodernism, and between 'belonging before believing' and the importance of 'community in the conversion process.'"
Makoto Fujimura
"Jim Belcher's Deep Church calls our attention to the pressing issues of our day to create a 'third language' conversation between the traditional and emergent church movements. Deep Church provides a healthy theological wrestling full of pragmatic wisdom, bringing a renewed perspective of birthing a church today. I highly recommend this book to pastors and lay leaders alike, to consider what the church, God's artwork, is called to become in the coming days."
Rob Bell
"Smart, passionate, thoughtful, hopeful and Jesus-centered--this is the Jim Belcher I used to hang out with in the early nineties (like it was so long ago!) at the Huntington--and this is the Jim Belcher in this book. Lots of people are going to find this book very helpful."
from the foreword by Richard J. Mouw
"A marvelously reliable guide--indeed I know of none better--for our much-needed efforts to go deeper as churches by mining the depths of the gospel for creative and faithful ministry in the strange and exciting new world of the twenty-first century."
Dr. John H. Armstrong
"Deep Church is a carefully balanced and helpfully critical analysis of the emerging church and the numerous negative reactions against it. It is a fair-minded, truly gracious undertaking that speaks the truth in love and charts a clear third way that I sincerely hope will be embraced by a multitude of younger Christian leaders. Only a thoughtful pastor who knows Scripture, the Christian tradition and the modern challenges to mission in our present context could write such an excellent book."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830878147
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication date: 9/25/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 220
  • Sales rank: 774,966
  • File size: 677 KB

Meet the Author

Deep Church.
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.
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Table of Contents

Foreword by Richard J. Mouw
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 8, 2010

    Outtanding book on the conflicts in DNA between the traditional and emerging Christian churches.

    This outstanding book cogently addresses the contrast and conflict between the traditional evangelical churches and the emergent churches. He clearly identifies the three groups within the emergent church communities and shows how difficult it is for them to understand and communicate with each other. It is fulled with specific examples and documented conversations as well as with examples of the strong voices in each section failing to comprehend or validate their lateral brothers and sistes within the Christian communites. He shares much of his own pilgrimage from the traditional mega-church to an entireley new perspective drawing heavily from the history of the ancient church. He puts for several helpful tools for assessing where your church operates and how we might establish transformational communities. Jim says that postmodern persons (and perhaps all people) need to belong before they can believe. This reverses the normal process where one has to check off the required points of local orthodoxy in order to accepted into the face community. This book is also on the top 12 list for reading as recommended by Christianity Today in January 2010.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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