Author Frank Viola gives readers language for all they knew was missing in their modern church experience. He believes that many of today's congregations have shifted from God's original intent for the church. As a prominent leader of the house church movement, Frank is at the forefront of a revolution sweeping through the body of Christ. A change that is challenging the spiritual status quo and redefining the very nature of church. A movement inspired by the divine design for authenticity community. A fresh concept rooted in ancient history and in God Himself.
Join Frank as he shares God's original intent for the church, where the body of Christ is an organic, living, breathing organism. A church that is free of convention, formed by spiritual intimacy, and unbound by four walls.
FRANK VIOLA is a popular conference speaker and the bestselling author of numerous books on the deeper Christian life, including From Eternity to Here, Revise Us Again, and Jesus Manifesto (co-authored with Leonard Sweet). His blog, "Beyond Evangelical," is rated as one of the most popular in Christian circles today: frankviola.org.
"In Reimagining Church, Frank Viola is at the top of his game, showing a serene, soaring mastery of the theology of church as organism rather than organization.
- Leonard Sweet, author of Soul Tsunami, Soul Salsa, and 11
"Dissent is a gift to the Church. It is the imagination of the prophets that continually call us back to our identity as the peculiar people of God. May Violas words challenge us to become the change that we want to see in the Church ... and not to settle for anything less than God's dream for Her."
- Shane Claiborne, author, activist, and recovering sinner
"True to form, this book contains a thoroughly consistent critique of prevailing forms of church. However, in Reimagining Church, Frank Viola also presents a positive vision of what the church can become if we truly re-embraced more organic, and less institutional, forms of church. This is a no holds barred prophetic vision for the church in the twenty-first Century."
- Alan Hirsch, author of The Forgotten Ways and The Shaping of Things To Come
"Frank not only pulls fresh insights out of well-known concepts, but also keeps challenging us to go back to basics and focus on Christ himself. Thank you, Frank! This practical book will identify what church can look like when it is focused on Jesus."
- Tony Dale, author and editor of House 2 House magazine, founder of The Karis Group
"Reimagining Church is a valuable addition to the resources being produced on the subject of organic churches. Written from the perspective of a long-time practitioner, Frank conveys these concepts with his usual clarity and insight and covers many of the practical aspects of starting a church. I recommend this book to anyone interested in organic church."
- Felicity Dale, author of An Army of Ordinary People and Getting Started: A Practical Guide to Starting Simple Churches
"Reimagining Church will be certain to disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed at the same time. Frank Viola cuts through the fog by putting his finger on the problems of man-made churchianity, while providing a solidly biblical, practical, and strategic vision for a powerful New Testament expression of the body of Christ."
- Rad Zdero, PhD, author of The Global House Church Movement and editor of Nexus: The World House Church Movement Reader
"Reimagining Church is a readable (and livable!) description of organic, New Testament-rooted church life for the twenty-first century. Avoiding the weeds of both wooden fundamentalism and unreflective over-contextualization, Frank Viola paints a winsome and attractive portrait of a gospel people, inhabited by the Holy Spirit with God in Christ as their energetic center. Frank helps us learn from the peculiar genius of Jesus and his earliest followers, planting seeds for authentic, deeply rooted life together."
- Mike Morrell, Graduate Fellow in Emergent Studies, MA in Strategic Foresight, Regent University; zoecarnate
"If Pagan Christianity? exposes the reality that much of our current church practice has little basis in the Bible, Reimagining Church takes the next step to establish what truly biblical church life looks like. With the inner life of the Trinity as the starting point, Viola paints an amazing picture of organic church life."
- John White, community facilitator, LK10: A Community of Practice for Church Planters
"If we are indeed at the cusp of the next major reformation of the church, as many suggest, then Frank Viola is one of the significant voices we all should lend our ears to. Frank's humble heart and bold keyboard have once again delivered a book to be read by those who desire to take an honest
look at the state of the contemporary church. Reimagining Church calls us to first remember the church from the original blueprint of Scripture."
- Lance Ford, co-founder and director of Shapevine
Viola, co-author of Pagan Christianity, continues his discussion on the non-institutional church in Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity. Having left an organized church in 1988 for a home -- or "organic"-- church model, the author draws comparisons from the early church to the way modern churches operate.
Through chapters that focus on "reimagining" the Lord's Supper, the family of God, church unity and authority and submission, Viola, who doesn't believe in clergy, denominations or doctrinal statements, argues that most churches are set up like corporations, while those in the early church were overseen but not controlled by apostles.
In the foreword, Viola warns that offense could rise from readers with sacred loyalty to their churches. However, even though he presents what some might consider an extreme position, there are points anyone could glean when it comes to being members of the church -- institutional or not -- truly caring for and serving one another.
Viola (Pagan Christianity), a leader in the house church movement, believes the church as we know it today is nothing like what God intended it to be. According to Viola, the first-century church, which should be our pattern, met in homes without any official pastor. All members of the church were involved in worship, spontaneously breaking out with teaching or song as they were moved. Decisions were not made until everyone reached consensus. There were no official leaders or elders, but there were men who served and taught and helped others, thus leading by example. Viola believes that to bring the church back on track, both clergy and denominations must be completely abolished. Churches should not have buildings nor should they worry about doctrinal statements. Such radical ideas will best be received by Emergent and postmodern readers. Skeptics will cringe at Viola's strident tone and all-or-nothing approach. More concrete examples of what Viola has seen work well in his 20 years of house church work would have greatly strengthened the book. (Aug.)Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.