6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Pagan Christianity ?,
This review is from: PAGAN CHRISTIANITY HB (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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Initial post: 31 Dec 2010 18:40:58 GMT
R. Marshall says:
As far as I understand it, the authors are not saying that if something derives from a non-Christian source it's simply wrong, but that adopting some of those practices and then making them non-negotiable may be detrimental to church life. It's clear to me that the authors aren't simply critical of the 'pagan' origins of these practices, but of the consequences of these practices.
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