"Okay, now what?" is apparently an open forum for offering any old thing you think the Holy Spirit has popped into your heart/head. May the Lord spare us from this kind of nonsense. 1 Cor. 12-14 is not the NT norm for the organization of the church. That church had a lot of problems, obviously (probably due to the lack of godly church leadership). The "organic" church movement is a fad that will go up like a rocket and crash into obscurity within a generation.
I read Pagan Christianity? by Barna and Viola when it first came out. I enjoyed the book, but it left me with the question, "Okay, now what?" Reimagining Church delivered on that question. It's given me lots of food for thought and a new vision for what church can be like.
The evidence for this is that the book doesn't argue for house church as a recent reviewer suggested. I'm still part of a traditional institutional church and I found this book to be refreshing and filled with a lot of great insights about what church should and can be. I've always heard "the church is an organism", but this book is the clearest explanation of what that means that I have come across. I especially liked the parts that connected the Trinity with the church. I've never heard this before and it was new to me. This is a great book. I haven't read the prequel yet called Pagan Christianity, but I plan on ordering it this week.
I was part of a house church for 8 years and let me tell you, the same problems exist in "organic" churches that exist in any other church. Different problems, same sinners. I'm just starting to get back into a regular church setting and it's refreshing. A typical Protestant evangelical church with pastors and deacons does not have layers of people between church members and God. I've learned through hard experience that that is nonsense. I'm slowly healing from my wounds as a part of the house church movement. There are some good things in it, but don't be duped. Contrary to what many people extol here, it's no heaven on Earth. People get hurt, bicker, fight over leadership, etc. regardless of whether they sit in chairs or in pews. This book by Viola is the typical stuff I've heard over the years as a true church solution. It isn't.
"Reimagining" explains so many of my Christian life experiences. For the past 25 years, I have wondered why God set up such an odd and malfunctioning organization that we call the church. I am a Seminary Graduate (M. Div.) and have served the Lord in almost every capacity within the institutional church. While many Christians will hate Frank Viola for this book my heart shouts and cries out with joy for his message. I now understand why I witnessed so much spiritual, emotional, and financial carnage within the institutional church and their Bible Colleges. For some of my friends this book caused panic and irritation, but for me it is a balm on the wounds of my broken heart. I hope many will apply its loving and tender counsel not only to their own disappointments with the institutional church, but also to the wounds of their family and friends who have been spiritually crushed, disemboweled, flogged, and beheaded by those who lead and seek to control the institutional churches. Our father, forgive them for they know not what they do!