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Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2008

    A reviewer

    ¿Pagan Christianity? Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices,¿ may very well be the most important book written on the Christian church in the last two millennia. Frank Viola and George Barna team up to give their readers a critical examination of the last 1700 years of church history. Does the institutional church have any biblical and historical right to exist? ¿Are the practices of the institutional church 'the clergy/laity system, salaried pastors, sacred buildings, the order of worship, etc.' God-approved developments to the church that the New Testament envisions? Or are they an unhealthy departure from it?¿ The first edition of this book entitled, ¿Pagan Christianity: The Origins of Our Modern Church Practices¿ by Frank Viola¿ is the third book written in a set of five books on church restoration and organic church life. Viola and George Barna, Christian pollster and author of the book ¿Revolution,¿ have co-authored the newly revised and updated ¿Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices.¿ Barna brings to the book a fresh look and a polished language that improves on the delivery of Viola¿s original work. Barna, who has caused no small stink upon his recent confessions regarding the church, makes his decision to leave the institutional church complete with the publication of this book. If it wasn¿t clear in his book ¿Revolution¿¿ it is certainly clear now. I enjoyed the new format of this book. At the end of each chapter, the authors give the reader a ¿Delving Deeper¿ section which lists common questions with answers in return. I felt that this helped to clarify what the authors were truly saying in order that fact might be separated from fiction. I also enjoyed the updated references and the plethora of footnotes listed at the bottom of each page. These references may be in a smaller font, but they are the entire foundation of historicity which resulted in the penning of this book. Therefore, the serious reader will not want to overlook the footnotes. The reader will also find the ¿Summary of Origins¿ and ¿Key Figures in Church History¿ in the back of the book a great help as well. The book may look like a long read¿ yet, you will find that your interest is peaked beyond that of any other historical book you have ever read. You will read until you are done¿ or until you have thrown it out the window. The serious questions raised in this book will give the Christian reader more than enough to wrestle over. Viola traces the pagan origins of almost every church practice that institutional Christianity holds dear and holds it to the light of the New Testament. I know how hard this read will be for many people, especially clergy members. ¿Pagan Christianity?¿ will, no doubt, be a most uncomfortable read for all those who believe the Body of Christ is an institution. For the clergy member, the read will almost be impossible. At every turn of the page¿ the flesh will flare up in a horrible display of arrogance and pride. Many will scoff at its claims and discourage others from reading it before an honest examination can be made. If the reader is not prepared to reexamine his faith and practice for a paradigm shift¿ he or she might as well leave this book well alone. If the reader is not yet at the end of their rope in frustration against the church practices and shallow conception of Christ that is believed and taught within the institutional church¿ this book will only breed anger and confusion. But, if you were like me a year ago¿ you are tired and want answers¿ and, most importantly, you want more of Christ¿ then please read this book and allow yourself to be moved by it. I encourage you to have an honest conversation with the Lord as you read. And listen to his still small voice. To the rabid opponents of this book, I strongly recommend you speak to no one before you have done truthful research concerning these matters AND have had an honest conversati

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2008

    The blue pill can wait...

    Reviewed by: Nicholas Andrew Depew, author of: 'Character in Transition ¿ A Guide to Not Burning the Bridge.' 'Pagan Christianity?' is a must read for anyone who is sincere about seeking truth and who is willing to ask difficult questions regarding matters of the practice of faith. Having personally authored a book that examines both the right and wrong ways to handle personal and professional transitions, I can attest that within 'Pagan Christianity?,' the authors are not trying to advocate the onset of a mass civil war as some reviewers would lead you believe. Instead, they are simply presenting the substantiated facts to validate those who have chosen a route that leads beyond the typical confines of tradition. They are attempting to open up a dialogue for greater freedom, purpose, and participation. As the authors assert on page five in reference to people reading their Bibles through conditioned lenses and never challenging denominations or what they teach, ¿At this moment, all the rebellious hearts are applauding and are plotting to wield the above paragraphs to wreak havoc in their churches. If that is you, dear rebellious heart, you have missed our point by a considerable distance. We do not stand with you. Our advice: Either leave your church quietly, refusing to cause division, or be at peace with it. There is a vast gulf between rebellion and taking a stand for what is true.¿ It is also worthy to note what author George Barna writes in his introduction on page xxx, ¿If you are skeptical ¿ and we encourage healthy skepticism that leads to fact-finding and truth ¿ then commit yourself to identifying exactly what did happen over the course of time. This matters!¿ Is this book for everyone? The answer is, 'No.' To continue 'The Matrix' analogy 'only slightly modified for proper context', ¿Most people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it.¿ Nevertheless, if you are someone who has questioned why churches are the way they are, why nothing ever seems to change, or why the hype of their varying prospects and programs is often short lived with things rarely coming to fruition, this book can definitely point you in the right direction for finding some of those long-time, elusive answers. For those who may be just a little curious about 'Pagan Christianity?,' but who are not certain about taking the plunge, I would kindly and benignly offer the following as food for thought: Insanity has often been defined as doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting different results.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 22, 2010

    Won't Buy

    Why is this book not available for the Nook?

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2010

    Not For the Faint of Heart

    This book doesn't provide information that isn't available from many other sources, but what it does do is pull it together in one location. The book may have had a different title if the goal was to get the most Christians to read as possible. What many suspect is proven by history and Frank does an excellent job in putting the information together in a readable manner. I recommend this book for anyone that wants the facts instead of the "doctrines of men that make the word of no effect".

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    LG

    A great book for those who want to know why about the church services, dress codes, tithing, preaching and Sunday school teaching. A blessing of truth in understanding the history of church traditions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2012

    Stunning truths!

    After reading one can see why, sadly, Christians have been led down the primrose path and held captive by traditions of men, a mere shadow of what Christianity was intended to look like...to BE in this world. Jesus never intended His Church to be pew-sitters...and this book explains how and why we got there. Fantastic book ! Not for "religious" folk.

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  • Posted November 4, 2011

    RECOMMEND FOR HISTORY

    The history part of the book is very well put together and I give it four stars for that part of the book. The author does have an agenda in the book to promote house churches. If you can get passed that and learn the history of the evolution of church worship then you will enjoy the book and be more learned at the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    INTERESTING READ ON THE ORIGINS OF CHURCH PRACTICE

    I FOUND THIS BOOK TO BE INTERESTING IN GIVING QUICK DETAILS INTO THE BEGINNINGS OF CHURCH FUNCTION. THE BOOK DEALS WITH THE ISSUES OF THE CONTEMPORARY CHURCH AS WE KNOW IT TODAY.

    THE SECTION ON TITHES AND OFFERINGS WAS NOT ACCURATE. THE TITHE WAS NOT ONLY FOR THE LEVITES BUT WERE ALSO FOR THE POOR (DEUT. 14:29)-DESCRIBES THE DOUBLE TITHE. IN OTHER WORDS, TITHING IS STILL AN ESSENTIAL PART OF CHRISTIANITY.

    OVERALL...THE BOOK WAS VERY INTERESTING AS WELL AS TRUSTWORTHY EXCEPT FOR THE TITHING ISSUE.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2008

    A MUST-READ for Church-Goers!

    This has been the most informative book on the history of church I've ever seen. We have been 'going to church' all these years and yet we have had NO clue of its Biblical basis. After going to an institutional church for nearly 40 years, I will never see myself going back. Thank you for all of your research and hard work that has given people like myself a reason to question doing things like we always have.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2011

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    Posted January 13, 2010

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    Posted December 16, 2009

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    Posted January 6, 2009

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    Posted January 1, 2011

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    Posted December 17, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2011

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