Thursday, May 13, 2010

Deep Church

Deep Church: a third way beyond emerging and traditional, by Jim Belcher.

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 levelled 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–centred 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. [This last comment – the review is from Publishers’ Weekly - doesn’t necessarily seem to be borne out by those who provide reviews on the page for this book. ]
Published by IVP Sept 2009

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