Emerging from the Chinese Church

Deep Church

October 6, 2009
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I have started to read Jim Belcher’s “Deep Church” and it has already started to profoundly hit me over the head with a metaphoric 2×4!  Even though I’m a young pastor, I feel like I’ve been going through almost exactly the same motions he’s gone through in thinking through differences in emerging church and traditional church and looking for a “third way”.  I think this has been especially tough for me since I’ve also been looking through the cultural lenses of the Chinese immigrant based church in Canada.

This book, which has been getting some good praise from people all over the christian writer spectrum, from Mark Driscoll, to Rob Bell, to Tim Keller, to Tony Jones, to Ed Stetzer…  I knew I had to read this book!

Just finished the first part and this passage came out of the pages for me:

“The emerging conversation is bigger than postmodernism and more expansive than even Brian McLaren.  Brian would agree.  As Scot McKnight says, we must define our conversation partners in a way that they would recognize.  Most definitions of the emerging church would not even be recognized by them.  This would include McLaren.  it is wrong, cautions McKnight, to narrow emerging to emergent, emergent to Brian McLaren, Brian McLaren to postmodernity and postmodernity to denial of truth.  This is a stereotype that is not fair to BRian, who is not a hard postmodernist, and the emerging conversation.

The same bone cane be picked with the emerging church.  They too need to recognize the vast differences in the traditional church.  Linking everyone in the traditional church with the worst case of fundatmentalism, sectarianism, foundationalism and irrelevance is simply not fair.  Doing this can be just as sectarian and divisive as the worst kind of fundamentalism.”

Belcher asks us to listen and fairly represent each other, whether, emerging church or traditional, or even across denominations.  He does ask us to hold to a common ground in classic/orthodox christianity and defines it in a interesting way (more to come later) but also says “Dialogue is always a good thing even with those outside the bounds of orthodoxy.”

Anyways, I will blog more about this as I’m reading through it 😉  Meeting time!


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