- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Tyndale Momentum; Revised, Updated edition (February 1, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1414364555
- ISBN-13: 978-1414364551
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 918 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices Paperback – February 1, 2012
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This evocative title put Viola's expertise in church history on the grid. Viola teamed up with research heavy-weight George Barna to create a formidable, devastating, prophetically written tour de force on ecclesiology. From the jolting opening to the challenging ending, this is a bittersweet, compelling, and dramatic progression of historical and challenging content. Love it or lump it, you can't read it and remain settled. This book sparked a revolution that set the stage for Viola's other groundbreaking works, establishing him as a voice that couldn't be ignored. Pagan Christianity is a milestone of raw passion and energy.
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From the Back Cover
Are we really doing church "by the Book"?
Why does the pastor preach a sermon at every service?
Why do church services seem so similar week after week?
Why does the congregation sit passively in pews?
Not sure? This book makes an unsettling proposal: Most of what present-day Christians do in church each Sunday is rooted, not in the New Testament, but in pagan culture and rituals developed long after the death of the apostles.
Authors Frank Viola and George Barna support their thesis with compelling historical evidence and extensive footnotes that document the origins of our modern Christian church practices.
In the process, the authors uncover the problems that emerge when the church functions more like a business organization than the living organism it was created to be.
As you reconsider Christ's revolutionary plan for His church―to be the head of a fully functioning body in which all believers play an active role―you'll be challenged to decide whether you can ever do church the same way again.
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Make no mistake, this book is a critique and the authors paint the topics in a negative light. As the authors have stated elsewhere, this book is a deconstruction of modern church practice and it is up to the reader to figure out where to go from there.
This book hit me like a fist in the gut. Everything I knew about my faith practice was challenged and it was an uncomfortable few months after finishing the last chapter. That being said, I recommend that everyone read this book. Once you realize how much of church practice has superseded Scripture, you will begin the search for a more focused fellowship. This book should be read with others to gain more insight about simple fellowships/house church ideals that are present in the book.
I hope you have the courage to be tested in your preferences.
At some point, the question came to me: Will I be content to simply know some new historical trivia and Bible facts? Or was my faith in Christ strong enough to compel me to begin walking a different path? Even if most of my Christian friends would not understand and walk it with me? While continuing to read and learn, every time I sang the song during the church assembly with the line, “Though none go with me, still I will follow,” it pierced me. “Would I?” Because I wasn’t merely singing mindless lines in a song, I was making a promise right then and there, to God and to everyone listening. But did I mean it?
My wife and I walk a different path today. A path that allows us to experience what Jesus meant when He said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” We sought to be unburdened by the heavy, ritualistic yoke of man so that we could share the easy yoke of Christ. Eventually, our consciences would not allow us to do both at the same time.
Oh, and I apologized to my brother. He is now my friend.
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But I loved it.
If you've considered not going to church
anymore, you may understand why.
Loved reading the book.
Recommended it to friends and family