Pastor Believes “Deep Church” Will Bring Traditional and Emerging Churches Together

deepchurchbookby Teresa Neumann : Oct 22, 2009 : Lillian Kwon – Christian Post

“What I’m after is getting the church to be united around deep church or mere Christianity, as C.S. Lewis said first, so that we can work together and move into mission and really present a unified front to a watching world instead of one that’s always arguing and complaining. Why would someone out there want to join a family that’s always arguing?”

Writing for the Christian Post, reporter Lillian Kwon reveals the thought processes behind Pastor Jim Belcher’s passion to see unity in the church.

As the title of his book suggests—Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional—Belcher uses C. S. Lewis’ term “deep church” to describe what he calls a third alternative to what many currently label the “traditional church” vs. the “emerging church.”

For those unfamiliar with those terms, the “emerging church” represents and appeals to postmodern Christians who are dissatisfied, or disagree with, some of the extra-biblical teachings of the traditional church that emanate from the scriptural exhortation to “be in the world but not of it.”

For example, writes Belcher, pointing out the weaknesses in both: “The traditional church is pacifist in the area of culture but not in the realm of politics, and the emerging church is pacifist in the realm of politics but not in the realm of culture. Both sides suffer from the lack of a comprehensive view of Christ and culture that treats the private and public realms in a consistent manner.”

“The emerging voices,” he continues, “blame the traditional church for being sectarian, having no desire to reach people in postmodern culture, being uninterested in the biblical call to be creative in the arts and having sold out to Christendom (the church-state political alignment)…The traditional voices argue the emerging church has succumbed to the worst forms of syncretism, becoming indistinguishable from the postmodern world they say they want to reach. They have assimilated, become worldly and lost their ability to be salt.”

According to the report Belcher’s “third way” is for Christians to be distinct from the surrounding culture but also engage it. “It’s a starting point,” he says, “not the end all and be all. I don’t think we’ve got it all figured out.”

“What I’m after is getting the church to be united around deep church or mere Christianity, as C.S. Lewis said first, so that we can work together and move into mission and really present a unified front to a watching world, instead of one that’s always arguing and complaining,” he said. “Why would someone out there want to join a family that’s always arguing?”

Follow the link provided to read the report in its entirety.

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