This is the fourth in a series of posts discussing the book Pagan Christianity (PC) by Frank Viola and George Barna. We have warmed up to the topic in the discussions of the preface and introduction and I hope you are all finding it stimulating. Now we can start the book! In the first chapter, the authors put forward their challenge: “Are we really ‘doing church’ according to the Bible?” According to them, the answer would shock you if you actually investigated it for yourself. Here is one provocative quote which gives their answer: “As startling as it may sound, almost nothing that is done in our contemporary churches has any basis in the bible. As much as pastors preach from their pulpits about being ‘biblical’ and following ‘the pure Word of God’, their words betray them” (page 4). From what follows, it seems that Viola and Barna are making a call in their book for all Christians to take responsibility for how they practice their faith, to question what they have been taught and to actively follow Jesus rather passively following ‘the way of our fathers’.
“The unexamined life”, said Socrates “is not worth living”. Unfortunately, say the authors, most Christians are living an unexamined Christian life while claiming to model it on the bible. The reason for this hypocrisy, they say, has to do with the incredible power of tradition in people’s lives. Continue reading