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In Search of Deep Faith: A Pilgrimage into the Beauty, Goodness and Heart of Christianity Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (September 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830837744
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830837748
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"'Come and see' is always and everywhere the invitation to the truest learning, and Jim Belcher is a remarkably gifted teacher, drawing young and old, believer and skeptic, into his own pilgrimage. Allowing us the unusual grace of seeing over his shoulder and through his heart as he leads his family into the stories of the people and places that have shaped his own soul, Belcher asks the honest questions about life and the world that we all ask, and answer. I want everyone I know and love to read In Search of Deep Faith, learning from Dr. Belcher about the things that matter most. A Pilgrim's Progress for the twenty-first century." (Steven Garber, The Washington Institute, author of The Fabric of Faithfulness)

"Equal parts pilgrimage memoir, parenting book, theological reflection and biography collection, In Search of Deep Faith takes you on a particularly fascinating journey. That combination might sound strange, but it totally works, allowing us to view historical authors, theologians, artists and dissidents through the eyes of the author and his family, and to reflect on theological anchor points as if we were traveling with them." (Mark Oestreicher, partner, The Youth Cartel)

"A generation that desires to be 'radical' needs to be reminded that the word actually means 'rooted.' Jim Belcher's beautifully written family adventure through Europe provides an accessible, and touchingly personal, introduction to our Christian roots and church history. He reminds us that if we think we've seen farther, it's only because we stand on the shoulders of giants." (Skye Jethani, author of With and Futureville)

"Jim Belcher's intimate portrayal of his family's year-long journey through Europe reminds us that it is in life's pain, suffering and trials that we discover beauty, and its Creator." (Daniel A. Siedell, author of God in the Gallery)

"Winston Churchill famously said, 'The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.' My friend Jim Belcher points the way forward by taking us on a compelling journey back through time and place in search for the ways in which the Christian faith has impacted the world, transformed people and shaped cultures. The fruit of Jim's year-long pilgrimage throughout Europe, In Search of Deep Faith is a personal, probing and provocative adventure into the robust realism of the Christian faith. Highly recommended." (Tullian Tchividjian, senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church and author of One Way Love)

"The first chapter was my favorite--until I read the second. The second chapter was my favorite--until I read the third. Chapter by chapter, Jim takes you and your family on a practical theology pilgrimage through Europe that will expand your vision for Christ-centered living. You'll be thinking about it and talking about it long after you finish the final page." (Kara Powell, executive director, Fuller Youth Institute, Fuller Theological Seminary)

"What an engaging and illuminating book Jim Belcher has written. He carries us on an intellectual, biographical and geographical journey with his spiritual and theological heroes. You will not be surprised to find that his heroes are yours also. But this absorbing and honest book gives that rarest of gifts: a new, poignant way of thinking about familiar history. In the process, his pilgrimage enhances our own." (Michael Cromartie, vice president, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington, D.C.)

"This book had me at hello. The more I read, however, the more I was drawn into Belcher's earnest pursuit of the holy and found my own faith being deepened. Belcher is a master weaver of memoir, history, art, literature and theology--strands not easily brought together in one place. Upon the last page, I am reminded of Thomas Merton's words, 'Sit finis libri, non finis quaerendi'--'Let this be the end of the book but by no means the end of the searching.' Powerful and moving, In Search of Deep Faith offers a pilgrimage through the pages not to be missed." (Carolyn Weber, author of Surprised by Oxford and Holy Is the Day)

"Jim Belcher's book is a great theological adventure story and Christian travel guide to Europe all rolled into one. But more than that, this book is just the ticket to a deeper faith for all who will take the journey." (Will Vaus, author of Sheldon Vanauken: The Man Who Received "A Severe Mercy")

More About the Author

THE STORY OF IN SEARCH OF DEEP FAITH BY JIM BELCHER
After almost 20 years pastoring two congregations, raising four children and finishing my first book, I was tired and worn down--out of gas. I needed to make a change, to find a way to regain my passion for my calling. While I was exhausted, my wife and I were also worried about our four children and whether they were developing a strong enough faith to last a lifetime. Were they being more influenced by the culture around them--the media, materialism and friends--than by the story of Christianity and its reality in their lives?

Then we hit on an idea. What if we traveled on a pilgrimage for a year to England and Europe, and studied and experienced the biographies and places of some of the great heroes of the faith--people like C.S. Lewis, Sheldon Vanauken, William Wilberforce, Corrie ten Boom, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Maria Von Trapp. Maybe this could get my passion back for my calling and at the same time help my children develop a deeper faith--a faith that shaped their imaginations and identities and futures.

So we left the comforts of Orange County,Ca and moved to Oxford,England.We didn't have any definite plans but upon arriving we discovered that a pilgrimage has three components: to rediscover our roots, to understand that life is a journey and to know our ultimate destination. These three ideas became our inspiration, shaping the themes we pursued, revealing the heroes we studied, and steering us across time and place. And as the pilgrimage unfolded, day by day, month by month, what we learned and experienced over the year would startle us and surprise us and change us forever. In Search of Deep Faith is the record of this pilgrimage, an unfolding drama marked by suspense and intrigue.

I hope you will take the journey with us and go deeper into the faith than you could ever imagine.


Biography

Jim is best known for his widely acclaimed, award-winning book, Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional (InterVarsity Press, 2009), which won Christianity Today's 2010 Best Book Award and Leadership Journal's 2010 The Golden Canon Award. His forthcoming book (October, 2013), In Search of Deep Faith: A Pilgrimage into the beauty, goodness and heart of Christianity (IVP) takes the reader on the year-long pilgrimage that Jim and his family took through England and Europe, pursuing a dozen heroes of the faith and weaving his family's journey throughout the book. Steve Garber of the Washington Institute calls it "A Pilgrims Progress for the 21st Century" and author Will Vaus calls it a "great theological adventure story and Christian travel guide to Europe all rolled into one."

Jim is the former founding and lead pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Newport Beach, California, where he served from 2000-2010 and led a period of steady growth. He was the co-founder of the Restoring Community Conference: Integrating Social Interaction, Sacred Space and Beauty in the 21st Century, a conference for city officials, planners, builders and architects.

Jim was an adjunct professor of political science at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Ca from 1993-1996 teaching classes on American government, international relations, and political philosophy.

In 1996 he earned a Ph.D. in Political Philosophy from Georgetown University.

He and his wife, Michelle, and four children live in south Florida, where they are raising four children--Jordan (14); Jonathan (12); Lindsay (9); Meghan (7). Michelle, a former elementary school teacher, home schools their son Jonathan, while the other three children attend a more formal school.

Most afternoons, Jim can be found on the field or rink coaching his kids' Little League and ice hockey teams. Along with raising their kid's in the faith, their family is integrated into the community of City Church/Forth Lauderdale, where Jim is an associate pastor and where Michelle teaches in the Sunday school.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The book is very well written, the prose is clear and lucid, and his stories resonate with emotion.
Samuel Lamerson
Jim Belcher's book In Search of Deep Faith: A Pilgrimage into the Beauty, Goodness, and Heart of Christianity is one of those special books.
Joshua Reich
I want everyone I know and love to read "In Search of Deep Faith," learning from Dr. Belcher about the things that matter most.
Steven Garber

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Matthew B. Redmond on October 15, 2013
Format: Paperback
There are some books that stay with you. They don't leave. The stories are too vivid. The subject matter so relevant. Or the writing hooks you in. They are the books you think about long after you finished reading. You may not have expected that to be the case while you were reading the book. But it happened, again and again.

And the best books take you to other books. They give you an itch that needs to be scratched. They take you on journeys to distant lands and into the lives of those who have gone on ahead of you. They make you wish for more. What sets these books apart is how they make you want to read more of the same. But you can't, because they are unique.

This is that kind of book.

When Jim Belcher asked me almost a year ago, to read his rough draft of In Search for Deep Faith and offer feedback, I did not know this would be the kind of book I would be reading. I expected to enjoy it, as I had Deep Church. But not knowing anything about it beforehand, I was unaware I would be reading a book I'd be thinking about and learning from months after finishing it.

This is a book telling the story of Jim and his wife searching for a deep faith for their family. And it's just that, a story. Over against being prescriptive, it is beautifully descriptive. And it's beautiful because it shows all the dreams of a parent in the context of all the difficult and hard moments of being a parent. It's honest and insightful. More than that, it's hopeful.

But that isn't what makes the book unique.

What makes the book so unique and vivid are all the stories Jim mines in search for a deep faith. And the stories he tells, he tells while walking among the monuments of the characters.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kara E. Powell on October 15, 2013
Format: Paperback
"The first chapter was my favorite--until I read the second. The second chapter was my favorite--until I read the third. Chapter by chapter, Jim takes you and your family on a practical theology pilgrimage through Europe that will expand your vision for Christ-centered living. You'll be thinking about it and talking about it long after you finish the final page."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steven Garber on October 20, 2013
Format: Paperback
I read a lot of books, or at least some of many books. But one that I believe is a very important book is just out this week.

On our way to Colorado this summer, I read Jim Belcher's "In Search of Deep Faith," and I am sure that it is a book for thoughtful, eager people everywhere. Here is the recommendation that I offered the publisher, and of course I mean every word.

"'Come and see' is always and everywhere the invitation to the truest learning, and Jim Belcher is a remarkably gifted teacher, drawing young and old, believer and skeptic, into his own pilgrimage. Allowing us the unusual grace of seeing over his shoulder and through his heart as he leads his family into the stories of the people and places that have shaped his own soul, he asks the honest questions about life and the world that we all ask, and answer. I want everyone I know and love to read "In Search of Deep Faith," learning from Dr. Belcher about the things that matter most. A 'Pilgrim's Progress' for the twenty-first century."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Brad Schmidt on October 15, 2013
Format: Paperback
​This is a great book. I found it very helpful to me in my own spiritual formation...and I can't get the stories out of my head. They really stick with you.

​One thing that I especially liked about the book was how Jim described the faith of the people of Le Chambon in France who bravely rescued so many Jewish refugees during World War II. I love history but I have never heard of this story before and thought that Jim did a great job of telling their story. I especially enjoyed learning about the way that the faith of the people from this little French town motivated them to act in such a courageous way. The story about the local pastor and his son in the train station was excellent (but I don't want to spoil the story by telling you what happened).

​The chapter on the suffering of Corrie Ten Boom at the hands of the Nazis in a prison camp during World War II was also extremely poignant. I was so moved by the way that this book explained how Corrie Ten Boomidentified her own degrading experiences at the hands of the prison guards with Christ's sufferings on her behalf. I really appreciated the realism in the account which had none of the glibness that Christian treatments of suffering often have.

​Lastly, I loved the section on William Wilberforce and how Wilberforce took his Christian faith into the political fight in to end the slave trade in the British Empire. This story is so needed today. It seems to me like a lot of people think that a Christian needs to leave their calling and become a pastor in order to apply their faith but Wilberforce is a great example to people who are trying to apply their faith in so-called secular callings.

​Bottom line, buy the book! It's a great read and you'll be challenged to apply your faith to your life just like I was.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Susan E. Powell on January 13, 2014
Format: Paperback
When he heard that I was planning a trip to Europe, a pastor friend of mine told me I had to read Jim Belcher's new book, In Search of Deep Faith: A Pilgrimage into the Beauty, Goodness, and Heart of Christianity. It was one of the best books he'd read all year, he said. A recommendation like that from a well-read friend who's lived in Europe himself is not to be ignored, so I looked up the book and found its trailer on Vimeo. Integral to Dr. Belcher's explanation of his motives was a concern for the shaping of his children. Hearing an implicit suggestion that Sunday School alone isn't strong enough to counteract the formative power of a secular culture in the hearts of his own kids intrigued me. It didn't hurt that the heroes he mentioned were my own heroes, too. I was sold.

The literary task Belcher undertakes in this book is remarkable and he executes it skillfully. In one complex stew he serves up theology, biography, history, travelogue, autobiography, and even parenting wisdom. To be honest, this was a bit frustrating to me at the outset. I don't have much patience for diversions when I'm reading, and In Search of Deep Faith felt like a textbook full of sidebars at first. But as I got accustomed to the format I began to get excited about the book's potential, and before the end of the first chapter I was visualizing the day when my kids would be old enough that I could read it out loud. The diversions and interruptions in the multiple story lines would be attention-grabbing. I was imagining my children's minds drawn back to their peers exploring Oxford's spires, left to wonder for a few pages what would become of imprisoned Thomas Cranmer.
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