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Pagan Christianity…

I finished Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and George Barna about a month ago.

I can see why people say it’s a controversial book, though I really wasn’t all that shocked by the content at all.  I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Below are some quotes (I swiped from Tony Morgan’s blog) of the book

  • “If the church is following the life of God who indwells it, it will never produce those nonscriptural practices this book addresses.”
  • “Almost everything that is done in our contemporary churches has no basis in the Bible.”
  • “The stunning reality is that today’s sermon has no root in Scripture. Rather, it was borrowed from pagan culture, nursed and adopted into the Christian faith.”
  • “There is not a single verse in the entire New Testament that supports the existence of the modern-day pastor!”
  • “Nothing so hinders the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose as does the present-day pastoral role.”
  • “Therefore, to our minds, these passages show that every Christian has the right to participate in ‘leading worship’ under Christ’s headship.”
  • “Giving a salary to pastors elevates them above the rest of God’s people. It creates a clerical caste that turns the living body of Christ into a business.”
  • “The one who plants a first-century-styled church leaves that church without a pastor, elders, a music leader, a Bible facilitator, or a Bible teacher… They will bring their own songs, they will write their own songs, they will minister out of what Christ has shown them–with no human leader present!”
  • Your thoughts?

    Below is a spoof trailer of the book

    { 5 comments… add one }

    • Sam. May 30, 2008, 11:02 am

      Yeah, I haven’t actually finished this but, similarly to you, wasn’t particularly surprised or shocked by any of it. Very little was new either. But that probably says more about my journey in recent years than the books relevance to other audiences (who, ironically, probably wouldn’t ever actually read it).

    • Shawn May 30, 2008, 7:01 pm

      Love it! this guy sounds brethren 🙂

    • josh Allan June 2, 2008, 9:34 pm

      You know, I’m always one to trust Lucifer’s opinion (in the video)… I’ll have to check it out. 😉

    • Joe Miller June 16, 2008, 12:40 am

      Interesting perspective considering your background. I will have to read more of your stuff. Meantime, if you are interested, I am posting a 5 part interview with both George Barna and Frank Viola. Please feel free to pass the word and share your thoughts.

    • Jill July 31, 2008, 11:29 am

      The sequel to “Pagan Christianity?” is out now. It’s called “Reimagining Church”. It picks up where “Pagan Christianity” left off and continues the conversation. (“Pagan Christianity” was never meant to be a stand alone book; it’s part one of the conversation.) “Reimagining Church” is endorsed by Leonard Sweet, Shane Claiborne, Alan Hirsch, and many others. You can read a sample chapter at
      It’s also available on Amazon.com. Frank is also blogging now at http://www.frankviola.wordpress.com

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