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    Friday, January 8, 2010

    Deep Church

    I am very excited about this book because someone has finally put down on paper the way I feel about the wars between the Traditional and the Emerging Church. This book will hopefully go a long way to mending the tears between each camp so people can see the reality of the Church today.

    Jim Belcher painstakingly reviews 7 items that have cause controversy between the two camps and shares how there can be and IS a 3rd way. The 7 topics he talks on are: Truth, Evangelism, Gospel, Worship, Preaching, Ecclesiology and Culture.

    However, before defining these out and sharing his third way (which he calls "Deep Church") he defines out the Emerging church and how he has intersected with it in his life. I was overjoyed that he did this because it let me see a window of his life most pastors leave out. Jim has close ties with the Emerging movement and has real inside discussions that he brings to the table.

    Jim initially defines out three camps of The Emerging Church. Those camps are: Relevants, Reconstructionists, and Revisionists. (Page45-46 summarized from Ed Stetzer)

    Relevants: Are theologically conservative and desire not to change theology or doctrine but simply desire to be relevant to the people of this culture by updating worship styles, preaching technique and church leadership structure. They are dedicated to the Word and make sure they are within the bound of Scripture. If I were to pigeonhole Jim (who is making the point for a third way) I would say if he were "Emerging" this is where he would lie. It is also where I find myself (however Jim has really brought some new thoughts to my mind with this book)

    Reconstructionists: typically hold a more orthodox view of the gospel and scripture but are rethinking the current form of the church and its structure. They are playing with organic church ideas as well as home church ideas.

    Revisionists: When most people think of the Emerging movement, they think of these guys. This group is the "Rethink everything" group even Biblical ideas, Biblical mandates and Biblical truth. They don't think anything about the current church is correct and have a strong desire to rethink all of what it has done and do it differently...it gets dangerous and heretical when they question the Bible and the truth within its pages.

    After Jim sets this picture of the church he quickly shares that most of what he will write will look at how the Reconstructionists and Revisionists think since most of what the Relevants think and feel doesn't tick off the Traditional church as much.

    Jim then goes through the 7 points of the Emerging church and give the Traditional view, the Emerging view and the new 3rd way he's proposing. It is an excellent and thought provoking read! I recommend that if you are interested in these topics you pick this book up and educate yourself on this new third way! It is a GREAT way now known as the Deep Church.

    10 comments:

    A. Amos Love said...

    Marv

    “but are rethinking the current form of the church and its structure. They are playing with organic church ideas as well as home church ideas.”

    Hmmm?
    Can’t seem to find “Emerging Church?”
    in my antiquated KJV;
    Or “Organic Church?” Or “Home Church?”
    Or “Traditional Church?”
    Did I miss something? ;-)

    When you hear words that are NOT in the Bible?
    don’t you wonder why we use them?
    and where they came from?

    Isn’t it challenge enough understanding?
    the truth of the words that are written?
    How much harder word's that we make up?

    Doesn’t the Bible warn us about;
    *The commandments of men?
    *The doctrines of men?
    *The philosophies of men?
    *The traditions of men,
    that make the Word of God
    of non effect?

    Making the word of God of none effect
    through your tradition...
    Mark 7:13

    Hmmm? A simple word, church?
    What do most people understand
    the word “church” to mean?

    Building with a steeple on it?
    Is that in the Bible? ;-)

    Pastor in a pulpit preaching to people in pews?
    Is that in the Bible? ;-)

    That’s what the world thinks,
    the unbeliever, and us, isn’t it?

    When I hear the word “Church” I like to think of;

    The redeemed of the Lord.

    The habitation of God.

    The Israel of God.

    The body of Christ.

    Haven’t we told the unbelieving, unsaved, and us,
    they need to go to a good Bible believing church?
    Is that in the Bible? ;-)

    How many will know and understand that they can
    become “the ekklesia of God?”
    The called out one’s of God?

    How many will know that
    “The Church of God” is NOT,

    Traditional,
    Emergent,
    Organic,
    Full Gospel,
    Evangelical,
    Charismatic, etc...

    Theses are all “man” made words.
    Traditions of men - AAARRRGGGGHHHH!!!! ;-)

    “The Church of God." "The ekklesia,"
    "the called out one’s of God” ARE;

    Kings and preist’s unto God.
    The Bride of Christ.
    Servants of Christ.
    Sons of God.
    Disciples of Christ.
    Ambassadors of Christ.

    Thank you Jesus.

    Did Jesus shed “His Blood” for an organization,
    an institution, a denomination, or a corporation?

    Should we call a 501 (c) 3, non profit,
    tax deductible, religious corporation,
    “The Church of God?”
    NO... NO.... NO... NEVER...
    Traditions of men - AAARRRGGGGHHHH!!!! ;-)

    FIRST... Don’t we have to define the word “Church?”

    Be blessed in your search for truth... Jesus.

    Marv Nelson said...

    A. Amos Love,

    Hey, thanks for your legnthy response. We do need to define church, I agree but we mustn't become like the Pharisees when we go at church. The Bible is the highest court of truth for sure, however we use many words in our churches and lives that are "not in the Bible" we must be contextualized, NOT conformed to the world around us. We MUST speak the truth of the Bible but we must be contexualized. Paul in the book of Acts at Mars Hill shows us this fact.

    Using different words to define the church such as "organic", "Home" and the like are not sinful in and of themselves, they aree simply different ways of doing church. There are some (ie The EmerGENT church) who have gone off and become heretical, this I condemn. HOwever, there are other sects of Bible believing people who have found a way to "do church" in a biblical yet contextualized fashion.

    A. Amos Love said...

    Marv

    You write...
    “Using different words to define the church
    such as "organic", "Home" and the like
    are not sinful in and of themselves,
    they are simply different ways of doing church.”

    That’s the opposite of the point I’m trying to make.
    Oy Vey! Let me try again.
    Jesus, help me explain what I’m seeing...

    If “Sin” means to miss the mark so as to
    fall short of the prize?

    Then labeling “The Church of God” as Organic, Home or Traditional is missing the mark
    and falling way short of what of “the Church” is.

    Yes, using those unbiblical names is “Sin” because it’s Missing the mark, and falling short.

    And in the Bible;
    Did anyone ever “do church?” Hmmm?
    Or, did they become “The Church of God?”

    To “do church” is a “tradition of men”
    that makes“The Word of God” of none effect,
    and nullifies “The Word.”

    In the Bible, you don’t “do” church.
    In the Bible, you “be” The Church of God.

    “Traditions of Men.” AAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!! ;-)

    Haven’t we missed the awesomeness of God?
    How we all become “One” in Him?
    The beauty of “His Church?”

    Ga 3:28
    There is neither Jew nor Greek,
    there is neither bond nor free,
    there is neither male nor female:
    for ye are all “one” in Christ Jesus.

    Does this verse say male and female are equal?
    Or Jew and Greek are equal?

    Or does this verse say,
    male and female, Jew and Greek,
    have put down their “titles” and “identity”
    with this carnal world system? Hmmm?

    Or, does this verse say,
    male and female, Jew and Greek,
    do NOT exist in Christ?
    “for ye are all “one” in Christ Jesus.”

    No longer, male nor female.
    No longer, Jew nor Greek.

    Is our new identity ”One?”

    For as the body is “one,” and hath many members,
    and all the members of that “one” body,
    being many, are “one” body: so also is Christ.
    1 Corinthians 12:12

    That they all may be “one;” as thou, Father,
    art in me, and I in thee,
    that they also may be "one" in us:
    that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
    John 17:21

    Neither Organic nor Institutional.
    Neither Emergent nor Traditional.
    Neither Complementarinism nor Egalitarianism.
    Neither Denominations nor Non-denominations.
    And the list goes on...
    All obeying Jesus, All following Jesus,
    as “one” new man.

    So, I would say, now that you mentioned it,

    Yes, using those unbiblical names is “Sin” because it’s missing the mark, and falling short
    of what “The Church of God"” really is.

    And you can’t “do church.”
    You become ”The Church of God.”

    “Traditions of Men.” AAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!! ;-)

    “Traditions” that make void and nullify
    “The Word of God” have to be
    rooted out, pulled down and destroyed.
    Then we can build and plant
    “The Word of God” "Jesus" in hearts.
    Jerimiah 1:10

    In His Service. By His Grace.
    Peace...

    Glenda said...

    I think everyone is missing the mark here.

    It sounds a lot like brethren accusing the brethren. However,
    I am also concerned about the church today, especially in America.

    It is not that we do not know the truth, we do; we know the Word of God is true altogether, and that is our roadmap to following Christ and growing in Him, in our faith of Him, and in out love for Him. Then, if that is so, we simply need to focus on what He said to us, "Love God with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength...love you neighbor as you love yourself. The real question we need to ask and answer is, "How do we do that?".

    One reason Christians are so discontent with church today is that when we leave church, after being well fed, we don’t then go and exercise ourselves by obeying our Lord and Savior.

    Scripture says that if we don't love our brother whom we have seen, then we cannot say we love God.

    Well, let's say, "I love God with all my heart, with all of my mind, with all of my soul and with all of my strength...", then say to ourselves, "Really"? How does THIS play out? How deep is my love for God?

    Did Jesus not say that, "If any man will follow me let him deny himself and take up his cross and come, follow Me..."; I don't know any Christians in my church who are denying themselves anything especially their quest to find the best restaurants, the newest bucks flavor, their favorite football, basketball, baseball teams and all their games. Many Christians I know can tell you the stats for the players but don't know the names of the 12 disciples, or their stats.

    Love your neighbor as you love yourself...how do I love myself? How do you spend your money?

    I have the privilege of knowing a few Christians who have laid down their lives for Jesus...they have taken in 41 orphans and have a goal for 100 this year...but they need the help of my church, and other churches or individuals ...they are trying to plant churches in their tribal regions which are of the Hindu religion mostly...some just very superstitious animist...and have NEVER heard about Jesus. But these dear Christian ministers WALK miles to get to some of these villages to show the Jesus film, get permission from the head man, or chief of their village first. The children who are in their home now had no opportunity to go to school, who had only rags to wear, whose parents have AIDS, TB or are alcoholic or a single mother who supports her children by breaking huge rocks into smaller stones. These Christians feed the lepers of their community at least once a month...and give them rice and a little money to buy their special shoes they need for their crippled and deformed feet.


    I am deeply thankful to God for allowing me the great privilege of coming to know these sincere Christian brothers and sisters, and I want to be a member of their church.

    I want the church in America to rise to the occasion to give half of what they take in to helping these Christians do this awesome work OF the Lord and FOR the Lord.

    What the church is lacking today is self denial, total love for God and for their neighbors.

    Glenda said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Glenda said...

    I would like to know what the Revisionist believe about the Atonement, please.

    Thank you.

    Glenda

    Marv Nelson said...

    The revisionists don't believe in the power of the atonement...which is heresey!

    Glenda said...

    I am concerned about the message given from Mr. Viola and others who are trying to reimagine church.

    They are accusing other generations of Christian of being inept at being the church. But what about all the missionary movements that began with them and indeed was the only means of carrying out the Great Commission on the level that Christ inteneded...one on one. He still intends that today, the "church" is not in love with missions or the Great Commision and therefore lost their first love...taking the Gospel into all the world. Instead, they are caught up in debating how to reimagine the church, how to save it from pagan Christianity, etc., etc. Why do we need books are books trying to communicate how to be the church? Is not the Bible good enough anymore? Is not the plain language of the Word of God plain enough? Or, is not the Holy Spirit able to give discernment to EACH Chrsitian and not just a special few who want to write books telling everybody else what theya re doing wrong, or not doing right, or HOW to be a Christian of how to be the church? If we are a body, and Christ is hour Head, then, who are they really complaining about?

    I belive that the church is exactly what it should be, and doing everything exactly as it should even though individual local "churches" are missing the mark. Because, Christ is moving in this world, hundreds of thousands of people are ministering in His Name and hundreds of thousands are coming to Christ. Even in China where there is NO organized church, whether organic or not, the Holy Spirit is moving where He will, just as Jesus said. God is Spirit and they who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth; in thought, word and deed.

    So, do church however you will, just obey the One Who established His church and take the Gospel to all the world; support the poor churches and individual members of the Body who are doing just that in places that the Gospel has NEVER been taken; children who are without food or clothing or knowledge of Jesus are being brought into loving, caring and Christ honoring homes by the droves; yet, the western churches are lavishing their money on large, large and larger church buildings, programs that die out in days or weeks and do not really edify the church or stir up their members unto good works...works of God Himself. We MUST go where God is working...He is visible...He is palpable in the poor countries and the poor areas of this nation. Individual members of the Body ARE exercising their gifts of the Spirit and doing those good works that they were born unto in Christ Jesus.

    Let us be about these things and we will be the church Jesus established, not some poor contrivance of the mind of man.

    A. Amos Love said...

    Glenda

    You write... January 12, 2010 7:37 AM

    “I think everyone is missing the mark here.”

    “It sounds a lot like
    brethren accusing the brethren.”

    I’m not sure, but,
    it sounds like “you are accusing”
    everyone here of missing the mark. ;o)


    You also write... January 14, 2010 10:42 AM

    “I am concerned about the message
    given from Mr. Viola and others
    who are trying to reimagine church.”

    “They are accusing other generations of Christian
    of being inept at being the church.”

    Then you, Glenda, “accuse” “The Church”
    of losing it’s first love. ;o)

    “the church" is not in love with missions
    or the Great Commision
    and therefore lost their first love...
    taking the Gospel into all the world.
    Instead, they are caught up in debating
    how to reimagine the church,
    how to save it from pagan Christianity, etc., etc.”

    Then you “accuse” the western churches...

    “the western churches are lavishing their money
    on large, large and larger church buildings, programs that die out in days or weeks and do not really edify the church or stir up their members
    unto good works...works of God Himself.”

    Why is it okay for "you" to want to encourage,
    and instruct, the body of Christ, “The Church” to obey Jesus and exercise the gifts of the Spirit?

    But it’s "NOT okay" for others to read the scriptures
    and see that “The Religious system” today
    is no where near “The Church” we see in the Bible?

    Blessings...

    Glenda said...

    I am responding in kind and in defense of those in past generations who have fought the good fight and are now being maligned by those who think they have all the answers.

    The church are the people, as I said, who are too busy doing what the Lord commanded to write books or to read anything but the scriptures for their guidiance. As I said, the Holy Spririt is the teacher and the best source of informtion on being the people of God today as God is the same yesterday, today and forever...or is that too boring and old fashioned for those who want to reimagine church?

    If these new words, "deep church" or "reimagining church" are not sinful they certainly are presumptuous, which is a sin.