This is the third installment of my review of the book Language in America published in 1969.
This is the second installment of my review of the book Language in America published in 1969. I would like to thank the Indiana Wesleyan University library for their book check-out policy for full time staff. I think I’ve had the book for over a year. It was worth every minute.
I just finished reading Language in America: A report on our deteriorating semantic environment. It is a collection of essays on, well, language in America. It was published in 1969 and it’s so far out of print that I couldn’t even find a picture of the cover on the internet. One of the editors is Neil Postman who is most famous for Amusing Ourselves to Death and will change your life in magical ways. I’d like to share a few thoughts from the book if you’ll bear with me.
Todd Hunter has an interesting story. Having grown up in the Methodist Church he spent several years in the Vineyard movement, and now finds himself serving as an Anglican Bishop. Hunter has one of the most eclectic church backgrounds I have seen. It was this broad experience coupled with several positive referrals that led me to Todd's book, Giving Church Another Chance: Finding New Meaning in Spiritual Practices. Having been in a variety of ecclesial settings myself and still wrestling through those different models and forms I found immediate resonance with Todd's story. His book is truly born out of this vast experience, and is birthed out of thoughtful and honest reflection on his life in the church.
Todd takes a different approach than many of the other voices in the evangelical world trying to answer the current frustration and ambivalence with all things church in the evangelical world. Fundamentally Todd is arguing for the "repracticing" of the spiritual practices of the church for the sake of living the Christian life well. He seeks to cast a vision of the weekly gathering of the church for corporate worship as a "launching pad" for living the Christian life in the every day.
I have been reading through Deep Church the last few days. I must say up front I really like what Belcher is doing. Of course, the fact that I am likely going to finish the book in two days and the fact that it has made its way to the top of my neurotic pile of "must read" books tells you I think highly of Belcher's project. However, it is not just what Belcher is saying, but the irenic posture of his writing that I greatly appreciate. As I read I can't help but think that I have suspected over the past few years that a book like this was needed, but in diving into Belcher's writing I find myself finally realizing what it was I suspected needed to be done. He has truly filled a need, but beyond that has pushed a conversation stuck in stalemate forward with hope, grace, wisdom and creativity.
That being said, I want to simply note some points of the book which touch on spiritual formation concepts. I think this may be helpful for us as spiritual formation is strangely enough often disconnected from a robust discussion of ecclesiology which is truly the centerpiece of Belcher's project.
So, I offer this quote for reflection and dialogue.