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Pagan Christianity?
Pagan Christianity by George Barna and Frank Viola


 
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Author: George Barna and Frank Viola
Subtitle: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practice
Format: Paperback
Length: 290 Pages
Published: 2002/2008

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Description
 
Are we really doing church by the book?

Why does the pastor preach a sermon at every service? Why do church services seem so similar week after week? Why does the congregation sit passively in pews?

Not sure? This book makes an unsettling proposal: most of what present-day Christians do in church each Sunday is rooted, not in the New Testament, but in pagan culture and rituals developed long after the death of the apostles. Authors Frank Viola and George Barna support their thesis with compelling historical evidence and extensive footnotes that document the origins of our modern Christian church practices.

In the process, the authors uncover the problems that emerge when the church functions more like a business organization than the living organism it was created to be. As you reconsider Christs revolutionary plan for His church to be the head of a fully functioning body in which all believers play an active role youll be challenged to decide whether you can ever do church the same way again.


Table of Contents:


Acknowledgements
Preface by Frank Viola
Introduction by George Barna
Chapter 1: Have We Really Been Doing it by the Book?
Chapter 2: The Church Building
Chapter 3: The Order of Worship
Chapter 4: The Sermon
Chapter 5: The Pastor
Chapter 6: Sunday Morning Costumes
Chapter 7: Ministers of Music
Chapter 8: Tithing and Clergy Salaries
Chapter 9: Baptism and the Lords Supper
Chapter 10: Christian Education
Chapter 11: Reapproaching the New Testament
Chapter 12: A Second Glance at the Savior
Afterword: The Next Step
Final Thoughts: Q&A with Frank Viola and George Barna
Summary of Origins
Key Figures in Church History
Bibliography


Endorsements

Most contemporary Christians are massively ignorant as to how the church got to where it is today and of how much current church practice is due simply to accumulated tradition, with little or no roots in Scripture. This book provides a useful service in peeling back the layers of tradition, showing the origins of much that we today call church. Christians who want to be biblically faithful, regardless of their particular tradition or church form, can learn and benefit from this book.
Howard Snyder, Professor of history and theology of mission, Asbury Theological Seminary

Why do we do church the way we do? Most folks seem to assume that our Christian religious trappings can be traced all the way back to the first century. But they cant. The things we hold dear sacred buildings to meet in, pulpits, sacramental tables, clergy, liturgies, etc. were unknown among Pauls assemblies. Pagan Christianity? looks at our major church traditions and documents when and how they appeared in the ages long after the apostles. Havent you ever wondered why people dress up in their best clothes for the Sunday morning service? Pagan Christianity? unfolds the answers to this and numerous other questions looming in the back of many folks minds. Reading Pagan Christianity? will open your eyes to the fact that the ecclesiastical emperor really has no clothes on.
Jon Zens, Editor of Searching Together


About the Authors:


Frank Viola is an influential voice in the contemporary house church movement. For the last twenty years, he has been gathering with organic house churches in the United States. Frank is a nationally recognized expert on new trends for the church, holds conferences on the deeper Christian life, and is actively engaged in planting New Testament styled churches. He has written eight revolutionary books on radical church restoration, including Gods Ultimate Passion and The Untold Story of the New Testament Church.

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. To date, George Barna has written 39 books, including Revolution and Revolutionary Parenting. He has been hailed as the most quoted person in the Christian Church today and is counted among its most influential leaders. George lives with his wife, Nancy, and their three daughters in Southern California.