I have a Facebook friend named Jim Belcher, and let me be honest: I have no idea how Jim became a Facebook friend to me. Yet, to my utter astonishment, there he is.
Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional, which he was kind enough to send me for the sake of promotion and review.
I haven't finished reading Jim's book yet, but I linked it, above, because you ought to read it. Particularly, you need to spend a lot of time in Chapter 4, which is titled "Deep Truth", and Chapter 8, "Deep Preaching".
I have taken copious notes in this book. It makes me angry about every third page, but angry in the right way. Angry enough to do something about what he's saying.
This is not a review of Jim's book: this is a recommendation for you to get it and read it before I review it -- because unless you read that book, any comments you will make about this book will, frankly, be pretty useless. I don't agree with everything he says (he's a presbyterian, after all); most of you won't agree with most of what he says. But his book is an insightful look into the question of whether there ought to be a church which emerges from what exists today, and what that church ought to look like.
While I'm recommending books here, it's with a very heavy heart that I find myself about to take a vacation from being a Southern Baptist. I'm not going to walk you through the ecclesiologically-sordid details, but suffice it to say that I love the convention, I honor the men who have taught me to love Christ and his Gospel who were, all in all, products of the SBC, and I am proud of the direction that body is taking to yet again reform itself. In spite of some of the hyjinx you will find in local SBC churches, the future is bright in the SBC because it takes the charge to be renewed and not conformed to the world seriously and sets an example for other associations and denominations to follow.
Southern Baptist Identity, By David S. Dockery. It's an anthology of essays from what amounts to the elder statesmen of the convention talking about what unites the churches of the SBC, and what ought to guide the SBC into the future. A great book from Crossway for people who read Jim Belcher's book and would frame his critiques of traditionalism toward the SBC -- and which would stand, I think, as a counter-apologetic to their high-sounding criticisms of "traditional" churches as products of "foundationalism".
I'd like to conduct a blog seminar on Jim's book in two weeks, so go ahead and buy one or rent it from the library or download it to your Kindle, and take good notes. I expect that you'll have plenty to say when you're done, and I know I will have plenty to say to incentivize your comments.