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.
Christ manifested Himself to me in 1981. After being baptized and serving in many different areas of the â€œchurch,â€ I received a degree in biblical studies, felt called to preach, was â€œordainedâ€ in 1996, and have since served as â€œPastorâ€ in 3 churches. . . . In short, your book (Pagan Christianity?) has opened my eyes so wide, they hurt. To finally read in print the scattered thoughts of my heart was both exciting and alarming. For as you warned, many (those whom I hold the dearest) respond only angrily to any mention of the truths presented in the book.
This book is one of the few that has truly revolutionized my thinking and perspective. Where do we go from here?
I am 56 years old. I was a pastor for 10 years and was attached to several churches before and after that time in my life. I pioneered a church and left it a thriving congregation of 200 young men and women. However, I questioned my organizationâ€™s methods and practices and left that fellowship, which led me on a personal quest to discover my faith in Christ. As I read Pagan Christianity? I was very excited because much of what I was saying about the church I found in the book; the only difference was you had done the historical research that I couldnâ€™t seem to find. I sincerely thank you for your effort. . . .
Hi, Iâ€™m an associate pastor at a church, and I just read Pagan Christianity? It confirmed a lot of the things Iâ€™ve been seeing in my own studies and opened my eyes to some things I never would have seen. Thank you.
I just finished reading your book Pagan Christianity? today. I told my wife that if I had the chance to write a book, thatâ€™d probably be the one, but you beat me to it. I have read Mr. Barnaâ€™s materials for years. Iâ€™ll add you to the favorites list as well.
Thank you for writing your book and making me feel like there are others out there that share some of the same priorities that I do.
Dear Frank and George,
Iâ€™m a senior pastor of a large congregation. When I first heard about your book, I read a number of negative reviews, so I dismissed it entirely. This changed after I read some of the endorsements and reviews by men whom I respect. So I got a copy and read it. I want to thank you both for your painstaking research.
I sure appreciated reading your book Pagan Christianity? Thanks for doing all the research and taking the time to shed light on issues that need to be brought to light. I imagine you are receiving a number of responses like mine, so Iâ€™ll get right to the point. Iâ€™m sure Iâ€™m not the only person that can tell you that after 23 years in full-time ministry, I, too, am fully aware that â€œthisâ€ is surely not what God had in mind for His church. The issues you brought out have bothered me for many years, and Iâ€™ve been viewed as somewhat of a rebel for how I felt about such issues. . . . Thanks for your help, and again, thanks for the work youâ€™re doing to bring the church back to its original intent.