I bought this book with high expectations, but I was very let down by this work. Barna and Viola do a remarkable job with their research of church history and current church effectiveness, but it comes with some bias. You can see Viola's background in the house church movement all over the work. At times this book seems like an all out assault of the institution of church but it leaves very little answers as to how to fix things.
This is a good book that raises questions, but provides few answers. Not a book I recommend...
This is not an easy book to stomach. It will make you read your Bible. They have some very valid points that deserve prayer and Bible study. It was convicting to think of the millions we could reach for Christ if we cared less about "the Building"and more about the people . If you think your attending a True Bible Beliving New Testiment Church,then read this. I dont agree with getting rid of Pastors but taking a different look at what is tradition and what is the real word of God is important.
For many years I have been wondering why "church" always seemed like attending a seminar. Now, thanks to Viola & Barna, I know! You must have courage to read this book...you must be honest with yourself. It shakes up the "traditional way of doing things," to focus on where the attention should be; Jesus Christ. The Body of Christ is a Living Church, not a building, institution, or denomination. Study this work carefully--it will challenge the way you currently worship Him & take you on a fascinating, liberating journey.
I returned my copy. In the past I have appreciated George Barna for his statistical insights and observations but this book is a clear departure from his previous works. "Cultish," "ignorant" and "contemptuous" are words I would use to describe this book. Very sad.