George Barna and Frank Viola have written a prophetic critique of the prevailing forms of church and a positive vision of what the church can become if Christians discard institutional forms of church and embrace more organic forms. "Pagan Christianity" by George Barna and Frank Viola, and "Reimagining Church" by Frank Viola are two books that belong together. Although one preceded the other (January and August 2008), the first was never meant as a stand alone book since it is deconstructive and the second book is the constructive argument. With Pagan Christianity the authors were saying that “the picture on the box has been wrong, and that's why the pieces haven't been fitting together.” With the second book Viola presents a fresh vision of the picture on the box that's rooted in the teachings of Jesus and the apostles.
Evangelicalism has often proudly viewed itself as the correction to lifeless dead formalism and sacramentalism. How scandalous is it for evangelicals to admit that something is wrong with church as they know it. But how redeeming can it be to introduce a new style of responsible, interactive Christianity. These books are easily worth a read.
Luke reported in Acts 2 that 42 …” they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved." God, help us to be today what you intended back then.
* a great site with so much provocative info to challenge your thinking.
* An audio file of an interview with George Barna and Frank Viola