A Book Review (Part 1): Pagan Christianity?

Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices

Authored by: Frank Viola and George Barna

Hardcover: 336 pages

Publisher: Barnabooks (Tyndale House)

List Price: $17.99 (Purchase for as low as $9.00 here.)

In February, 2002, I attended my first home church seminar in Oxnard, California. Tony and Felicity Dale were the speakers. The man, sitting next to me, was a disgruntled denominational pastor. As time progressed, he asked, “Why did you come to this meeting?”

“I read some books by Frank Viola,” I said.

He removed his glasses and stared at me. “You know, he’s a radical,” he replied as if the word “radical” was a poison to be avoided at all costs.

I did not reply. But I thought, hmm! Radical – that’s my type of Christian. I better read all of his stuff.


Frank Viola is a Christian author and speaker. He graduated from the University of South Florida (Tampa, Florida) with a degree in social science education. For 15 years, he taught in the public school system.

In 1988, Frank left the institutional church. Since that time, he has been gathering in organic churches in the United States. He has also been active in planting, aiding, and encouraging organic churches since the late 90s. In 2003, he began authoring books full time. On occasion, Frank speaks at house church, simple church, organic church, and emerging church conferences. His public speaking covers a wide range of topics including the all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ, the deepening of the spiritual life, Christian community, church planting, and radical church restoration.

Frank’s books include: Pagan Christianity, Reimagining Church, Bethany, The Untold Story of the New Testament Church, Gathering in Homes, Rethinking the Will of God.

Frank’s website. Frank’s blog. Frank’s MySpace.

George Barna founded the Barna Research Group (now The Barna Group) in 1984 and helped it become the nation’s leading marketing research firm focused on the intersection of faith and culture. The company has served several hundred parachurch ministries and thousands of Christian churches throughout the country. It has also supplied research to numerous corporations and non-profit organizations, as well as the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army.

To date, Barna has written 39 books, mostly addressing leadership, trends, church health and spiritual development. They include best-sellers such as Revolution, Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions, The Frog in the Kettle, and The Power of Vision. His most recent book is Revolutionary Parenting. His work is frequently cited as an authoritative source by the media. He has been hailed as “the most quoted person in the Christian Church today” and has been named by various media as one of the nation’s most influential Christian leaders.

George’s website.

(To be continued in Part 2)


Filed under African-American, black people, Christianity, Emergent Church, Gifts of the Spirit, Home Church, Kingdom of God, Prophecy, Race, reformation, Religion

2 responses to “A Book Review (Part 1): Pagan Christianity?

  1. jilliefl1

    The sequel to “Pagan Christianity?” is out now. It’s called “Reimagining Church”. It picks up where “Pagan Christianity” left off and continues the conversation. (“Pagan Christianity” was never meant to be a stand alone book; it’s part one of the conversation.) “Reimagining Church” is endorsed by Leonard Sweet, Shane Claiborne, Alan Hirsch, and many others. You can read a sample chapter at http://www.ReimaginingChurch.org. It’s also available on Amazon.com. Frank is also blogging now at http://frankviola.wordpress.com/. Also, have you seen the spoof video for “Pagan”? Very funny. Check it out at http://youtube.com/watch?v=hslswIal9u4.

  2. Pingback: A Book Review (Part 2): Pagan Christianity? « Larry Who

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