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PAGAN CHRISTIANITY HB [Hardcover]

VIOLA & BARNA
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
RRP: 11.99
Price: 10.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: TYNDALE (27 Feb 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141431485X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414314853
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 14.5 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 492,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The three stars are not because it's a dull book! It is required reading for anyone who needs to ask `how should we do church?' Reading the book for me was like being on a rollercoaster. One minute I am shouting a firm AMEN! The next I am shaking my head in disgust because there is some serious bad teaching. Then I am saying, 'Yes... and... so what?'

There are some extremely important facts in this church which need to be disseminated widely. And yet I frequently felt that the authors* spoiled their message by going too far with their conclusions, creating an unfair straw man representing many churches or interpreting the Bible incorrectly. To me, this book is written by a man* with an agenda rather than someone who I can trust to come up with the whole truth.

Do not give this book to an immature Christian. Most of the book is what I would regard as Romans 15 territory. I need to say:
- You are not guilty because you dress smartly to church
- You are free to go to an East-facing church with an altar if that is where you need to be
- Your haven't sinned because you tithe to a church that owns a building and employs a pastor
- Don't look down on your brother because he goes to Bible College and likes listening to sermons.

In the wrong hands, this book can make one person self-righteous, falsely guilty, or it can even cause someone to withdraw from church completely - one family I know did just this because of Frank Viola's teaching. They later regretted this and joined an elder-led church.

Let's start with what I like about it.

I `get it'! A revolution in our church life needs to take place. The old wineskins are strangling what remains of the Christian church.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pagan Christianity ? 8 Dec 2010
Format:Hardcover
An interesting and compact book packed with bags of references should you doubt what they are saying. (although so compact that I needed a magnifying glass to read some of the references.) You may be challenged by this book and its slightly provocative approach as it charts the pagan influences which have shaped many of the practices of the Church to this day. At the end of each chapter there is a Q & A section where possible objections to their views are countered. Although I have not researched all of their assertions many of them are common knowledge and accepted or debated by many Christians (e.g. The influence of Constantine-good or bad?). However there are one or two surprises, such as the pagan origins of the sermon.The main question as I see it however is whether it is still a pagan practice or merely a reflection of the culture in which the church is emersed. For example, when Paul was in Athens he debated philosophers on Mar's Hill and quoted their own poets to them, was this pagan or Just Paul giving a Christian message in a culturally sympathetic way.
The authors do have some valid insights, especially regarding the practice of the apostolic church of being a "sharing" community, which included open and sharing ministry one to another.Quite how valid are most of the points they make will undoubtedly vary from reader to reader and may depend on how much of one's faith is invested in the institutional church itself. An interesting and informative read, if only from the historical perspective.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
A growing number of people have made it clear: they like Jesus, but they do not like "the church" or the whole "church/chapel culture." Barna and Viola pull back the curtain to reveal the unbiblical (in fact, "pagan") roots of today's institutional church practices. These guys have done their homework and I hope it makes the impact worldwide that they are hoping for.

Having a relationship with Jesus Christ does not require all the trappings of religion: in many ways, we've been sold a bill of goods that cannot be supported by the New Testament, whether you look at the teachings of Jesus or the apostles. This book clears the table, so to speak, and encourages us to go back to the Bible for our guidance rather than the accumulated traditions of the past 1,700 years.

So if you're sick of religion, get this book! As someone recently warned about its volatile content: don't drop it, because it might explode!"

Bill Lollar
The Thin Edge
"Pushing the limits of the status quo"
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unbalanced and unbiblical 29 July 2010
By TRA
Format:Hardcover
The title of this book is somewhat misleading. The subject is not Christianity in general but two aspects of the church: its structure and the form of its services. The authors are against both: any hierarchical structure, and any order within services.

Although this book bears two names as authors (Frank Viola and George Barna), frequently the author writes in the first person singular, usually putting "I (Frank) ..." (e.g., p. 234, 263, 266, 268 - I only started noting these down when I got near the end of the book.)

The book gives some interesting historical information and makes some valid points about the customs and practices of Christianity. Unfortunately, the author vastly undermines the credibility of his arguments by two most regrettable techniques:
1. He exaggerates his point.
Thus, for example, he describes the practice in some churches of having special garments for choir members as "dehumanizing" (pp 148-149) - whereas in reality in many cultures such garments are worn with pride.
2. He does not present balanced Biblical teaching.
He frequently totally ignores Bible verses that contradict what he says, and on other occasions relegates such verses to footnotes which are printed in a truly minute font size, listing the reference but not quoting the content, or he refers to such verses only in the appendices to chapters, which are also in a smaller font size and will inevitably be skipped by many readers, especially given the section title, "delving deeper", which implies that this is additional material for those who have the time to investigate the concepts more fully.

Although with my reading glasses I have normal vision, I had a to keep a powerful magnifying glass by the book for the purpose of reading the footnotes.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An important and useful book for all Christians.
This book is well worth the read for all spiritual Christians. If you are just a church person then it will not make any sense to you. Read more
Published 12 days ago by J. Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for those looking for truth
Excellent research book in regard to the origins of the pagan traditions in the church which also gives notes Qand As and references for further reading. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Andrea
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good points, some contradictions
The author makes some good points about how much of what we do in ‘church’ today bears little resemblance to the early church. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sue
1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly argued and mostly irrelevant book.
I was hoping that this book would educate me on the 'pagan' foundations of key Christian beliefs and customs. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Adam
5.0 out of 5 stars Every christian should read this book
Sitting in a pew for an hour or so, listening to the same pastor, doing the same worship service ritual every week... is this what Jesus planned for his church? NO!
Published 9 months ago by Mark
5.0 out of 5 stars Church will never be the same after reading this book
This book is a paradigm changing look at the church and its practices. A must for anyone who wants to live an authentic Christian life.
Published 10 months ago by Christopher Green
3.0 out of 5 stars Reviewer
A good read for a mature Christian. The content of the book will benefit someone who will not solely base their beliefs and understanding of the faith on someone else's opinions.
Published 11 months ago by Reviewer
4.0 out of 5 stars Valuable insights into church practices
This is an interesting and well-written review of how modern church practices have grown up.It covers many aspects, such as building shapes and sizes, interior layout, form and... Read more
Published 12 months ago by grasims
5.0 out of 5 stars review
the book was an excellent study of the subject. I would strongly recommend it to others, have in fact bought several more copies for friends who have been interested in the topic.
Published 16 months ago by Mrs H K D Stephens
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally
A difficult book to find and I bought this as a copy to loan. It's a difficult book to read and it does challenge your thoughts and traditions but it is well researched and well... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Miss P. Rawlins
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