Have you ever wondered why we Christians do what we do for church every Sunday morning? Why do we "dress up" for church? Why does the pastor preach a sermon each week? Why do we have pews, steeples, and choirs?
This ground-breaking book, now in affordable softcover, makes an unsettling proposal: most of what Christians do in present-day churches is rooted, not in the New Testament, but in pagan culture and rituals developed long after the death of the apostles. Coauthors Frank Viola and George Barna support their thesis with compelling historical evidence and extensive footnotes that document the origins of 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 Christ's revolutionary plan for his church-to be the head of a fully functioning body in which all believers play an active role-you'll be challenged to decide whether you can ever do church the same way again.
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Customer Reviews for Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices
Review 1 for Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices
A must read
Date:December 21, 2012
I agree with Sapphire, "I do not agree with all the authors’ conclusions and assertions, but I still strongly recommend this book" and add my name to those recommending this book.
Many in the Christian Church decry Christians taking part in Halloween celebrations (Easter sunrise services etc...) for its Pagan roots and yet put up a Christmas tree (taken from Paganism) as well as many other Pagan rituals - those people need to read this book.
So then what? Do we throw out those practices which are Pagan in origin? I would say - no, but we ought to know the origin of our Church traditions and rituals so as not to elevate tradition above God and His Word.
This book will put a light on the trivial things that cause division and upset in our churches, and that will upset a lot of people who have made tradition a first place thing and not secondary to Christ. People who will tell you not to read this book, but I contend this:
If you are not reading to challenge yourself but read and study only thos whose voice will affirm your current position - you are wasting your time, I will say it again you are WASTING your time and are singing to the choir - such behaviour does not produce spiritual maturity. Must we read everything contrary to our own beliefs? no, but we must not also swing too far in the opposite direction and read only those who affirm us. We must all challenge ourselves as our faith can and will stand up to it amd this book is an excellent place to start.
I will close my reivew with the same quote I started it with by Sapphire, "I do not agree with all the authors’ conclusions and assertions, but I still strongly recommend this book." I am a pastor in a mid-sized church, we have a nice building, we have worship leaders, we follow many to most of the practices outlined in this book as Pagan in origin, but we do it for the glory of Christ, and so in my personal opinion we redeem those rituals for Christ - but I am keenly aware that the traditions of our church are secondary things which must be seen through the lense of Christ and are not to be elevated to first things - that would be idolatary.
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Review 2 for Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices
Aside from the Bible, I only consider three books I have read to be deserving of my saying, “It changed my life.” This is one of those three. I do not agree with all the authors’ conclusions and assertions, but I still strongly recommend this book.
For years, I have grown increasingly dissatisfied with the large, institutional churches I’ve attended, yet noticed that I felt so enlivened at small-group gatherings where we could all edify each other and experience the Lord together. Yet, I experienced extreme guilt for feeling this way. “Pagan Christianity” liberated me by using the Word of God and history to *justify* what I’ve come to feel. It made me realize that I’m not crazy or wrong – I’m simply hungry for the type of church that God intended us to experience.
If you feel bitter toward church or are in a rebellious stage, do not read this book just to fan the flames. *But*, if you sense something missing from your church experience and are yearning for a more genuine church community, definitely read it. It will rock your world.
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Review 3 for Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices
Date:June 30, 2012
A must read book. Makes you think why we do what we do and dig deeper. Gives so much information.