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Discover how many church customs really originated. This thought-provoking exploration into the background of how believers have worshiped for centuries uncovers many non-Christian roots. From the order of worship to the pastor's sermon, traditional dress codes to Christian education, Viola and Barna take a revealing look at Sunday morning. 304 pages, hardcover from Barna Books.
Frank Viola is an influential voice in the contemporary house church movement. Frank is a nationally recognized export on new trends in the church, holds conferences on the deeper Christian life, and is actively engaged in planting New Testament styles churches.
George Barna is the chairman of Good News Holdings, a multimedia firm in Los Angeles that produces Movies, television programming, and other media content. He is also the founder and directing leader of the Barna Group, a research and resource firm in Ventura California. He has been hailed as "the most often quoted person in the Christian Church today" and is counted among its most influential leaders.
|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Publication Date: 2010
Availability: In Stock
- Howard Snyder, Professor of History and Theology of Mission, Asbury Theological Seminary, author of The Problem of Wineskins and The Community of the King.
"PAGAN CHRISTIANITY is a landmark, a true milestone in the overall task of bringing in a new style of responsible, interactive Christianity to replace the old, severely paganized ecclesiastical forms. Frank has done us a great favor, drawing together revealing tidbits from hundreds of sources to create a continuous picture of the formation of today's institutional church. There's nothing like it in print. It is now THE book on church history from the point of view of the underground, open church."
- James Rutz, author of Megashift and The Open Church.
"PAGAN CHRISTIANITY contains a wide variety of interesting and helpful historical information of which most Christians - or non-Christians - will be completely unaware. The book identifies - in part or in whole - the pagan roots of many of our current church practices, as well as indicates some borrowed from earlier Jewish or, occasionally, more recent Customs."
- Robert Banks, New Testament scholar, author of Paul's Idea of Community and The Church Comes Home.
"This feisty book attacks the incipient paganism that has been absorbed into historic Christianity over the years. It exposes the syncretistic weak spots in what we assume to be basic in our way of doing church. Thoroughly iconoclastic, it is also at the same time a good apologetic for the house church movement which has strong restorationist impulses. My guess is that it will anger some readers and thrill others. I am one of the latter. Whatever, it wont be too easy to dismiss as it is really well researched and substantiated. I think it is definitely worth the read even if I do think it is a tad purist in tone. Just don't drop itit is likely to explode."
- Alan Hirsch, author of The Forgotten Ways and The Shaping of Things to Come.
"As a Christian Artist/Musician I've had a chance to experience many different kinds of churches all over the world, from huge cathedral services to bizarre charismatics and strange Third World stuff to stiff denominationals-- and good and bad "house churches". For nearly 35 years in North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Australia I've been involved with almost every conceivable kind of Christian expression. I've even served on staff as Worship Pastor at a large church here in the U.S. The result? I've already learned from study and experience what Frank Viola and George Barna have proven by historical documentation in PAGAN CHRISTIANITY: The traditional model of how we "do church" is very wrong -- and it's strangling Christ's Body. No matter where you are in your Christian journey, you need to read this book. It's truth whose time has come. Those who have never experienced His tangible presence as a regular occurrence when they meet will find it hard to believe that there is something more than what they know: It's very hard to walk away from what you've invested your life in when you don't know anything else. And the very grace of God Himself can be confusing: He'll fill whatever cup we lift to Him, no matter how small."
- Don Francisco, Christian musician/songwriter
"It's a great read and my copy has already been STOLEN by my neighbor who is probably just as fascinated in its contents as I was. PAGAN CHRISTIANITY by house church guru Frank Viola and researcher/author George Barna who have teamed up to give us the most thorough treatment yet of the pagan origins of many of our most cherished Sunday church traditions. Actually, Jim Rutz nailed a few of these in his book "Open Church," but Viola and Barna have gone far beyond Rutz, or anyone I know, in exposing more elements of Protestant church traditions to the scrutiny of historical research. Like dressing up for church. Pulpits and 3 point sermons. Clerical dog collars. Church steeples and seminary training. PAGAN CHRISTIANITY lets George Barna unpack his argument why the new Revolutionaries mentioned in his previous book are not rebelling against God by setting up organic house communities. And it gives Frank Viola the chance to put forward his best thinking yet in a series that has already assisted thousands of people in dealing biblically and historically with accusations of "lack of covering" or "neglecting church" or more recently, of adopting "pagan" practices in starting emerging churches. Ha! Watch as Franky and Georgy turn the tables! Controversial? Yes . . . DUH! . . and the backlash has already started. Frank has responded to questions and objections on his site. Anyway, the book is a great read.
- Andrew Jones, tallskinnykiwi
"This is an important book which demonstrates that many of the practical aspects of contemporary church life, ministry and structure have little or no biblical basis and are, in fact, inspired by a wide variety of non Christian patterns and ideas most of which are inimical to Christian life and growth. Many readers will find this book challenging in the extreme but all who are concerned with the future of the church should read it."
- Dave Norrington, Lecturer of religious studies at Blackpool and the Fylde College, author of "To Preach or Not to Preach"
Cheryl BertoVancouver, B.C.Age: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5it challenged my assumptions in a really good wayJanuary 10, 2014Cheryl BertoVancouver, B.C.Age: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I loved this book and have been recommending it to people in church ministry. it is kind in how it criticizes what we do and what we expect that a worship service should be and look like. for anyone who wants to break out of the "this is how we do things" box, this is the book for you! The authors challenge the how we do "worship"one piece at a time, and then near the end of the book offer a Holy Spirit driven alternative that is both scary (can we really trust what we do to the Holy Spirit?) and theologically grounded. If you think that people need to be in control of what God does on a Sunday morning, then this book will be a great challenge for you.
wjcharlieeColumbus, OHIOAge: 35-44Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5ExcellentDecember 6, 2013wjcharlieeColumbus, OHIOAge: 35-44Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The Best 101 Book explaining why Christianity is failing the Western Civilization -- Why most of Europe are Darwinist/Secularist, low church attendance, few revivals, low foreign missionaries, and Why USA the greatest Christian Civilization (birthed from Pilgrim and Puritans) is now gone Pagan even on Christian TV, Magazines, and Churches. It also provides the Remedy -- Return to Historical Christianity of Christ and His Apostles and Cast away all "Christianized" Paganism.
ewiasAge: 35-44Gender: male4 Stars Out Of 5Well Written, but falls shortMay 24, 2013ewiasAge: 35-44Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The book really merits 5 stars if based solely on the historical data. But, I disagree with many of their conclusions and believe they skewed their research to promote their ideas. First, it appears that while they critique the Church fathers for introducing "pagan" concepts, they fully accept traditional Church doctrine and Bible canon that these same Church fathers were responsible for. What is pagan anyways? If I learn a business technique and apply it to a church model, is that pagan? If I have a background in secular science and connect scientific knowledge and the Bible in sermons, is that pagan?
While I'll concede that the Church has adopted secular mechanism, pagan to me signifies satan-driven worship and I'm not sure if all the traditions we have adopted are true pagan.
The authors failed to input in their writing that many of the Church fathers and great Christians were godly men and laid the foundation for our movement. Also, those institutional Churches have also discipled millions of godly men and women.
Ok, I'll concede that I have limited experienced in a home church, but I know of one first hand and that home church is limited in capabilities and resources to advance discipleship within its ranks or to spread the Gospel. On the other hand, I've attended a mega-church whose budget is in the millions and they support so many ministries to help the poor and disciple its members. Also, all churches I have attended have small groups that provide fellowship under the umbrella of church leadership.
Lastly, they deride Christian education for the purpose of ordination. Wow! I'm a reform minded guy attending a arminian minded church with no complaints because the clergy is solid theologically and under the leadership of a denomination. Ordination was a huge criteria I required when looking for a church. This book derides Christian education then in one section chastises a person for mis-interpreting the Bible to suit his needs. Strange.
All in all, this book spiked my interest in the subject and I will pray about it.
MASH MommyLeadville, COAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Excellent at challengingFebruary 25, 2013MASH MommyLeadville, COAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This book I would recommend EVERY Christian to read! We are to be glorifying God in everything we do and I think we have gotten off track on how God had and has planned for us to do that as His church! This is a great book to help explain where alot of our traditions of church come from and also brings in scripture to help clarify that is not how it was originally supposed to be set up as in the New Testament church! Have an open heart and mind when you read this! This is an excellent find! It will challenge your socks off!
Carol SimmonsOregon stateAge: Over 65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5InterestingApril 27, 2012Carol SimmonsOregon stateAge: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Interesting background on church roots. I would have liked to have seen pictures along with the articles. That would have made the book a bit more interesting to me.
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