Monday, August 24, 2009

Deep Church, Diverse Blurbs

I haven't yet read Jim Belcher's Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional (IVP, 2009), but the diversity of blurbs is enough to get one's attention (Keller, Driscoll, Stetzer, along with McKnight, Jones, Oestreicher, etc.

Below are some sample materials, followed by some of the blurbs:

PDF Foreword by Richard J. Mouw
PDF Introduction
PDF 1. There from the Start: How to Be an Insider and an Outsider at the Same Time

"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."

—Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City

"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."

—Alan Hirsch, author of The Forgotten Ways, and founder of Forge Mission Training Network and

"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."

—from the foreword by Richard J. Mouw, president, Fuller Theological Seminary

"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."

—Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies, North Park University

"Deep Church is a thoughtful, helpful and practical addition to the growing field of missional church thinking."

—Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church, Seattle, president, Acts 29 Church Planting Network, president, Resurgence

"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."

—Tony Jones, author of The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier (

"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."

—Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research,

"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."

—Collin Hansen, editor-at-large, Christianity Today, and author of Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist's Journey with the New Calvinists

"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."

—Dan Kimball, author of They Like Jesus but Not the Church

"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."

—Mark Oestreicher, president, Youth Specialties