This is an awesome book! I have felt this way for a long time, and I encourage anyone, who has felt that church run like a business is not the way God intended for His church to be, to buy this book. May God lead you in pursuit of His presence and His ways.
In Reimagining Church, Frank Viola has crafted a powerful and engaging book that combines theological precision, spiritual depth, and practical demonstrations which together offer a new vision of church for the twenty-first century. No one can read this book without discovering something fresh about the many texts in the New Testament that describe church and leadership as well as being provoked to look at both in an entirely new way. I found the book's consistent emphasis on the orthodox teaching of the trinitarian nature of God and how it relates to church practices to be refreshing and insightful. The experiential stories the author presents after each chapter make this a functionally practical book as well as a theological savvy one. Viola deals with such topics as the role of culture on church practice, the so called doctrine of "covering" and its abuses, the different models of church leadership, apostolic tradition, God's eternal mission and purpose, recent movements that have sought to reform the church, and the organic nature of church all in a brilliantly provocative and winsome manner.Since I have been a Christian I have always heard that the church is an organism, but this is the first book I have read that develops the implications of that statement and shows why it is relevant to every follower of Jesus.Some books are timeless in the issues they address. Others are timely. "Reimagining Church" is one of those rare books that are both.
One of the best books on ecclesiology to date. I couldn't put the book down. I've read all of Frank's books including The Untold Story of the New Testament Church and Pagan Christianity. This one is the best in my opinion.
For everyone who initially finished reading "Pagan Christianity?" and still had questions about leadership and how something like "organic church" was even possible, this book is a must have! "Reimaging Church" is the 3rd book in Frank's new 5(Two are left to be released I believe) part series. The first was "The Untold Story of the New Testament" which helped many of us finally make sense of the NT. The next book was "Pagan Christianity?" which traced the roots of the question back to reveal many startling conclusions. Now, "Reimaging Church" takes our breath away as Frank helps us make sense of the concept of organic, first-century church life in today's world. From the stories of organic church life at the book to the answers to tough questions at the end, "Reimagining Church" continually answers questions that we were left with at the end of "Pagan Christianity?" I'll admit that I personally had tears come to my eyes when I thought of how beautiful the church really is and now my heart is constantly burdened when I think of the bondage the church has allowed to come on herself. If you read "Pagan Christianity?", this book is the next puzzle piece needed to help complete the picture. I'm sure that the next few books will help complete the picture one piece at a time. One thing's for sure, you can never view the Bible, church, or our Lord the same way ever again. In fact, with a mural this beautiful, you wouldn't ever want to turn your eyes from it.
I just finished reading Frank Viola's new book: Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity. You've got to read it! Frank has done an excellent job putting together the theological and practical aspects of organic church. This book's message will transform the Christian who has left the institutional church as a reaction to their pain, their offenses, and their disgust and will turn them towards the theological, biblical reason why they need to do church organically. Frank does not pull any punches, and anyone whose life is tied up in the business of churchanity may have trouble with his conclusions. But be careful - truth changes hearts of clay, but will harden hearts of stone. He is also truthful when it comes to the errors seen throughout the house church movement. In fact he even goes as far to say that some of the institutional models are being used by the Lord more than "so-called house churches that are elitist and sectarian." (pg. 267) If you choose to read "Reimagining Church", (and I hope you do) you will certainly be challenged and encouraged by what the Lord is doing as he builds His Church. Frank's observations and wisdom shines through his attention to detail. This book will serve the Church for ages to come and serve as a tool to keep us focused on real Church. It is truly a benchmark for the body of Christ. Thank you Frank!