Deep Church 2

One of the things this chapter does well is identifying the concerns associated with the “emerging” church.  So which (if any) of the protests are ones that you share as well?

Just so you don’t have to go back and look them up, here they are again…

1) Captivity to Enlightenment Rationalism
2) A narrow view of salvation
3) Belief before belonging
4) Uncontextualized worship
5) Ineffective preaching
6) Weak ecclessiology
7) Tribalism

Ok, even as I type, I am recognizing that some of this sounds fairly esoteric.  Let’s try to flesh it out.

One Reply to “Deep Church 2”

  1. I may be affected more deeply than I realize on the other four, but these three seem to hit home the most for me:

    1) A narrow view of salvation
    Belcher writes, “The critics say the good news is more than forgiveness of sins and a ticket to heaven; it is the appearance of the kingdom of God. Jesus invites people to enter it and thus live differently.” If you haven’t read Dallas Willard’s “The Divine Conspiracy” start lifting weights immediately so you’ll have the arm strength to even hold the book upright, and then read it. Great “Kingdom of God” writing.

    2) Belief before belonging
    Belcher writes, “They are calling fora new way of doing evangelism that includes the importance of community.” Who knew…belonging should precede belief?! What a brilliant idea. Man, if only we had had a model to follow that. If only one person had ever lived that way. If only people had written about or even just sang about it…
    I once heard someone say they don’t refer to their student ministry as a “youth group” because that sounds exclusive and clique-ish instead of inclusive and inviting. That affected me way more than simply helping me to not use that term. It opened my eyes to the issue at large.

    3) Tribalism
    Belcher writes, “The church is known for what it is against more than what it is for.” Did you know the CHURCH-at-large has real hopes and dreams and beliefs? Did you know there were issues other than abortion and gay marriages. I went to a great private university. But within that, I spent much time in the Christian community. Community is used loosely here, because “belief” was certainly a prerequisite to “belonging”. I was seen as radical as Shane Claiborne for questioning Iraq or not voting for Bush. But isn’t there more to our faith than just these “issues”? Of course there is. Belcher finishes here by writing (yes, esoterically) “[the church] has lost its ability to model a different way of life and to actually create beauty.”

    Now that is beautiful. I’m not quite sure what it means yet, or what it tangibly looks like, but I’m certainly up for it.

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