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Customer Reviews for Barna Books Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices - eBook

Barna Books Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices - eBook

Many Christians take for granted that their Sunday morning worship service is rooted in the New Testament, but why does the church in the New Testament seem very different from our own expressions of corporate worship? Frank Viola and George Barna come to the startling conclusion that most of what Christians do in church is rooted more in pagan culture than in the New Testament.

Discover how many church customs really originated. This thought-provoking exploration into the background of how believers have worshiped for centuries uncovers many non-Christian roots. From the order of worship to the pastor's sermon, traditional dress codes to Christian education, Viola and Barna take a revealing look at Sunday morning. 304 pages, hardcover from Barna Books.

Frank Viola is an influential voice in the contemporary house church movement. Frank is a nationally recognized export on new trends in the church, holds conferences on the deeper Christian life, and is actively engaged in planting New Testament styles churches.

George Barna is the chairman of Good News Holdings, a multimedia firm in Los Angeles that produces Movies, television programming, and other media content. He is also the founder and directing leader of the Barna Group, a research and resource firm in Ventura California. He has been hailed as "the most often quoted person in the Christian Church today" and is counted among its most influential leaders.

Average Customer Rating:
4.053 out of 5
4.1
 out of 
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(132 Reviews) 132
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5 stars
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11 out of 1385%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices - eBook
Review 1 for Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

it challenged my assumptions in a really good way

Date:January 10, 2014
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Cheryl Berto
Location:Vancouver, B.C.
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I loved this book and have been recommending it to people in church ministry. it is kind in how it criticizes what we do and what we expect that a worship service should be and look like. for anyone who wants to break out of the "this is how we do things" box, this is the book for you! The authors challenge the how we do "worship"one piece at a time, and then near the end of the book offer a Holy Spirit driven alternative that is both scary (can we really trust what we do to the Holy Spirit?) and theologically grounded. If you think that people need to be in control of what God does on a Sunday morning, then this book will be a great challenge for you.
0points
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Review 2 for Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Excellent

Date:December 6, 2013
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wjcharliee
Location:Columbus, OHIO
Age:35-44
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Best 101 Book explaining why Christianity is failing the Western Civilization -- Why most of Europe are Darwinist/Secularist, low church attendance, few revivals, low foreign missionaries, and Why USA the greatest Christian Civilization (birthed from Pilgrim and Puritans) is now gone Pagan even on Christian TV, Magazines, and Churches. It also provides the Remedy -- Return to Historical Christianity of Christ and His Apostles and Cast away all "Christianized" Paganism.
0points
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Review 3 for Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Well Written, but falls short

Date:May 24, 2013
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ewias
Age:35-44
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The book really merits 5 stars if based solely on the historical data. But, I disagree with many of their conclusions and believe they skewed their research to promote their ideas. First, it appears that while they critique the Church fathers for introducing "pagan" concepts, they fully accept traditional Church doctrine and Bible canon that these same Church fathers were responsible for. What is pagan anyways? If I learn a business technique and apply it to a church model, is that pagan? If I have a background in secular science and connect scientific knowledge and the Bible in sermons, is that pagan?
While I'll concede that the Church has adopted secular mechanism, pagan to me signifies satan-driven worship and I'm not sure if all the traditions we have adopted are true pagan.
The authors failed to input in their writing that many of the Church fathers and great Christians were godly men and laid the foundation for our movement. Also, those institutional Churches have also discipled millions of godly men and women.
Ok, I'll concede that I have limited experienced in a home church, but I know of one first hand and that home church is limited in capabilities and resources to advance discipleship within its ranks or to spread the Gospel. On the other hand, I've attended a mega-church whose budget is in the millions and they support so many ministries to help the poor and disciple its members. Also, all churches I have attended have small groups that provide fellowship under the umbrella of church leadership.
Lastly, they deride Christian education for the purpose of ordination. Wow! I'm a reform minded guy attending a arminian minded church with no complaints because the clergy is solid theologically and under the leadership of a denomination. Ordination was a huge criteria I required when looking for a church. This book derides Christian education then in one section chastises a person for mis-interpreting the Bible to suit his needs. Strange.
All in all, this book spiked my interest in the subject and I will pray about it.
0points
1of 2voted this as helpful.
Review 4 for Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Excellent at challenging

Date:February 25, 2013
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MASH Mommy
Location:Leadville, CO
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This book I would recommend EVERY Christian to read! We are to be glorifying God in everything we do and I think we have gotten off track on how God had and has planned for us to do that as His church! This is a great book to help explain where alot of our traditions of church come from and also brings in scripture to help clarify that is not how it was originally supposed to be set up as in the New Testament church! Have an open heart and mind when you read this! This is an excellent find! It will challenge your socks off!
-1point
0of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 5 for Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices - eBook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Interesting

Date:April 27, 2012
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Carol Simmons
Location:Oregon state
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Interesting background on church roots. I would have liked to have seen pictures along with the articles. That would have made the book a bit more interesting to me.
0points
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Review 6 for Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

An absolute must read

Date:December 3, 2011
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Thanksgiving1622
Location:Auburn, Maine
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is one small book that is a must read by anyone who believes that the way most Christians worship is correct. Authors Viola and Bara have delved deep into history to show where most practices that Christians believe come from the Bible, in reality come far from it. Constantine, the Roman Emperor, is usually credited in promoting Christianity, when in fact, he veiled many pagan rituals that are practiced today by Christians.
An absolute must for anyone who wants to know the truth of why mainstream Christians worship as they do.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 7 for Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:August 18, 2011
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squeege
Location:Southwick, Ma.
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Little did I know when I purchased this book how informative it is. Unbelievable how much pagan influences are incorporated in Christianity both Catholic and Prostant.
How deceived we are by all the rituals, tithing etc that were never what Jesus wanted in the first place. We have to get back to basics and do what the bible states rather than listen to people who only have material gains in mind. I would recommend this book if you want to get to the nitty gritty of true religion then, you can make a decision which way you want to go. Remember Satan is like a lion on the prowl trying to deceive and spiritually devour as many people as possible for he knows his time is short.
+1point
2of 3voted this as helpful.
Review 8 for Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

easy to read and understand

Date:June 14, 2011
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Kvin
Location:Philadelphia,PA
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
this book will free your mind, read it, and get a better understanding of your faith and why we Christians shouldn't accept the traditions that have been passed down to us.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 9 for Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Brilliant Book

Date:June 8, 2011
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DoveTails
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is a brilliant book. The scholarship is solid. The writing is powerful, clear, and engaging. The content is compelling, insightful, and eye-opening. The footnotes are plentiful and contain awesome and fascinating facts.
I loved this book. The website also had a lot of great helps including a question and answer section with the authors.
People who don't want to be challenged by history and what the bible actually teaches will make up all sorts of excuses why they can't swallow the points of this book.
The sequel Reimagining Church was great too. I highly recommend both of these books to the person who takes the bible and history seriously.
+1point
2of 3voted this as helpful.
Review 10 for Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices - eBook
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Thorough Research but from a skewed view...

Date:March 8, 2011
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D Ritch
Location:Raleigh, NC
Age:25-34
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
I bought this book with high expectations, but I was very let down by this work. Barna and Viola do a remarkable job with their research of church history and current church effectiveness, but it comes with some bias. You can see Viola's background in the house church movement all over the work. At times this book seems like an all out assault of the institution of church but it leaves very little answers as to how to fix things.
This is a good book that raises questions, but provides few answers. Not a book I recommend...
-3points
0of 3voted this as helpful.
Review 11 for Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:January 7, 2011
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lisa
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
This is not an easy book to stomach. It will make you read your Bible. They have some very valid points that deserve prayer and Bible study. It was convicting to think of the millions we could reach for Christ if we cared less about "the Building"and more about the people . If you think your attending a True Bible Beliving New Testiment Church,then read this. I dont agree with getting rid of Pastors but taking a different look at what is tradition and what is the real word of God is important.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 12 for Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A great product for serious Bible students.

Date:November 22, 2010
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Ron Neeley
Location:Huachuca City, Arizona
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
For many years I have been wondering why "church" always seemed like attending a seminar. Now, thanks to Viola & Barna, I know! You must have courage to read this book...you must be honest with yourself. It shakes up the "traditional way of doing things," to focus on where the attention should be; Jesus Christ. The Body of Christ is a Living Church, not a building, institution, or denomination. Study this work carefully--it will challenge the way you currently worship Him & take you on a fascinating, liberating journey.
+1point
2of 3voted this as helpful.
Review 13 for Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:November 6, 2010
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Delta Dawn
Location:New York, NY
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Just the book I've been searching for. Its answers so many questions I've had about why christians do and believe what they do. I even bought a copy for a friend. She also thinks the book is great.
+3points
3of 3voted this as helpful.
Review 14 for Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices - eBook
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Date:September 24, 2010
I returned my copy. In the past I have appreciated George Barna for his statistical insights and observations but this book is a clear departure from his previous works. "Cultish," "ignorant" and "contemptuous" are words I would use to describe this book. Very sad.
-6points
3of 12voted this as helpful.
Review 15 for Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices - eBook
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Date:August 20, 2010
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Rev. Dr. Terri Hart Hunter
Reading this book is essential to serious student's of the bible! You may be astounded by what you learn.
-5points
0of 5voted this as helpful.
Review 16 for Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:July 31, 2010
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Vicki Bowman
I love reading this book! I love finding out how the early Church walked after Jesus ascended. The authors are merely showing the origins of our services, and allowing each brother and sister to walk in obedience to Jesus as HE leads them. While it may be sad to learn the truth about today's definition of Christianity in comparison to the first one, it is also true that the TRUTH will set you free! HE is worthy! I love the footnotes that contain so much information and references that enable us to be "good bereans" and check things out for ourselves. It should be on every Christian's bookshelf as a reference at least, but I think it has greater uses to all of us in knowing the faith that we proclaim! Take the plunge, the authors have put so much inside this book! CAUTION: I'm not saying that it's quick reading. It's one that needs to be taken in bite-size portions so you can digest it fully. It will definitely enrich your walk with Jesus, and isn't that what it's all about? Our journey in HIM as we continue to mature and be all that HE has created us to be? Vaya con Dios!
+2points
2of 2voted this as helpful.
Review 17 for Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:June 6, 2010
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Bob Crayfield
I have read this book twice from beginning to end. It's an outstanding and friendly yet serious critique of church practices based on history and the Bible. I appreciated the generous and humble attitude that the authors had toward disagreeing viewpoint. The book is objective, and with all the footnotes, impossible to dismiss. Readers who understand church history will enjoy it. Readers who are historically uninformed and tradition-stuck will dislike the message. The sequel Reimagining the Church is excellent and I found a lot of added historical information on their question and answers page.
+2points
2of 2voted this as helpful.
Review 18 for Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 21, 2010
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Garry Sahl
Very well researched and historically precise. The Story of Civilization, Caesar and Christ, by Will Durant that I have is a good reference.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 19 for Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices - eBook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:May 15, 2010
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Jamie Smith
I'm a student of church history and this book is right on the mark. The reviewers who gave it poor reviews have done so for the following reasons: 1. they do not know their history and want to defend practices that are clearly non christian in origin. 2. they are stuck in tradition and have put that above the testimony of scripture 3. they are conventiently overlooking the fact that this book is not a complete work but only the first part of a discussion that "Reimagining Church" and "Finding Organic Church" complete.The book is well written, historically accurate, but challenging because it exposes sacred cows that have no basis in the teaching of Jesus or the new testament literature. if you are an open minded christian who wants to follow God's Word, read the book. if you are close minded and are unteachable, keep your traditions and don't bother being challenged.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 20 for Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices - eBook
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Date:May 9, 2010
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Gerry Mundy
I have read this book from cover to cover. The writers of this book have taken what would have been an outstanding historical view of pagan influences to organized religion and turned it into a personal venomous critque against it. This book is neither uplifting nor beneficial to anyone due to the extreem hostility the writers appear to have toward main stream religious practices. This book is a one sided view of the Church, both local and universal, and you are deemed unspiritual if you continue worshiping where you feel the Spirit has placed you. Save your money.
-1point
4of 9voted this as helpful.
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