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Discussion Forum : General Topics : "Pagan Christianity"-by Frank Viola

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 Re:

I've read about 3/4 of the book. It is true that the author pulls out a lot of good historical facts, and some of the information is kind of helpful. But, it's certainly not edifying in the Spirit in terms of building one up in the faith or teaching sound doctrine of the Word or encouraging in the least.

I found that the book was far too critical on modern "church" practices. -For example, it's not *evil* to preach from behind a pulpit or to go to a building that is set aside purposely for meeting, though the book would have you think you're almost a pagan for doing it.

There's a number of other things that could be mentioned too, such as the author's anti-evangelism comment (saying we shouldn't be in a hurry to evangelize the world, it'll get done without us). Or the mindset that the only *proper* place for the assembly of saints is in a house. (Side note: I'm ALL FOR having meetings in houses, or in the woods, or in back jungles, or in caves, or in a building, or wherever is best practical, it's just a shame to major on such minors and make a sect out of it.)

Ultimately, I would say that if the Lord leads you to read it, then read it prayerfully, but if not, there are many other great books by godly authors that will build you up in the knowledge of Christ. I certainly wouldn't go around recommending it to everybody.

 2008/6/18 1:20
ruck1b
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Joined: 2008/6/18
Posts: 2


 Re:

I would just like to say that Pagan is not to build you up. It is more of a resource than a book that establishes a model. If you have read Pagan, or are reading Pagan, I would encourage you to read Rethinking the Wineskin. This gives the proper balance to that book. Pagan is like an encyclopeda. It is filled with alot of information, small and great. Pagan is not meant to establish you and build you up (imo). It is meant to give you some good information about organized church practice.

Once again I encourage those who have read this book, or are reading it to also read Rethinking the Wineskin.

 2008/6/18 6:44Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
I've read about 3/4 of the book. It is true that the author pulls out a lot of good historical facts, and some of the information is kind of helpful. But, it's certainly not edifying in the Spirit in terms of building one up in the faith or teaching sound doctrine of the Word or encouraging in the least.



I agree with Josef here. I have also read about 3/4 of the book and honestly had to take it about a paragraph at a time and then set it down. It is like trying to do surgery with a machete. The 'spirit' of the book is entirely too hostile. I'm pretty familiar with the whole "Out of church" movement, but even that preparation did not prepare me for this book.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2008/6/18 10:18Profile
RobertW
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 Re:

Quote:
Pagan is like an encyclopeda. It is filled with alot of information, small and great. Pagan is not meant to establish you and build you up (imo). It is meant to give you some good information about organized church practice.



The trouble with this approach is that one can find a parallel for almost everything we do, even in a house church meeting, if we look long and hard enough in history. I reject this approach to measuring our practices as many measures and methods we have of expressing our faith have non-Christian parallels. The Messianic Jews use this approach to overthrow many traditions in the Church and then insert their own. We need to return to the New Testament to gain some understanding of how to express our religion; but it would be folly to say that right here on the Internet we are practicing a pagan ritual because pagans use the Internet also. This is the finality of that approach. We would be left with almost no real means of expression, because the world has counterfeited so many of the things of God.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2008/6/18 10:25Profile









 Re:

If you approach this book as "informative" and "educational" concerning where the institutional church got most of what it believes to be Biblical traditions, this book is an excellent resource.

I dont think book was ever intended to be an encouragement to the Body... it was meant to educate the Body and open the eyes of those who need to be opened. The encouragement part comes when your eyes are opened up to the fact that we hold to many traditions that simply have no root in scripture, but rather in paganism.... and then you become free from those traditions! That subsequent freedom associated with this knowledge is the "encouragement" and "building up" part.

There is power and freedom in knowledge of the truth.

Krispy

 2008/6/18 10:46
BlazedbyGod
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Joined: 2007/8/22
Posts: 462


 Re:

Quote:

KrispyKrittr wrote:
If you approach this book as "informative" and "educational" concerning where the institutional church got most of what it believes to be Biblical traditions, this book is an excellent resource.

I dont think book was ever intended to be an encouragement to the Body... it was meant to educate the Body and open the eyes of those who need to be opened. The encouragement part comes when your eyes are opened up to the fact that we hold to many traditions that simply have no root in scripture, but rather in paganism.... and then you become free from those traditions! That subsequent freedom associated with this knowledge is the "encouragement" and "building up" part.

There is power and freedom in knowledge of the truth.

Krispy



Amen Krispy, and I will say of myself-I personally have been encouraged by what I have read thus far in the book-I have been very much encouraged, edified, and Blessed.

And I migh add as well, it is indeed refreshing to read of the such beauty and emphasis he puts on Christ being the Headship of his Church (bride/body) -remarkably beautiful, in a Church age that has seemingly forgotten this.

 2008/6/18 11:36Profile
bonni
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Joined: 2005/8/9
Posts: 100
montana usa

 Re:

Krispy wrote


" There is power and freedom in knowledge of the truth."




I agree with this. I'm so thankful that where I attend church there are 3 elders who share in the responsiblility of shepherding and they don't stand behind a pulpit. All of the men are welcome to share, or comment, or "judge" during the meeting. There is much freedom to operate as the body of Christ, but there is also order.


I also realize that a good "formula" doesn't guarantee healthy body life. The life of God alone can edify and bring growth to the body.

I would much rather attend a "traditional, organized church" where the people had the vibrant life of God present than to attend a fellowship that was "doing church" the apostolic way, but were dead and lifeless.


I have to say that the ideal is to have a fellowship where the people are not bound by the traditions that hinder true body life, functioning without the hinderances that the institutional church system brings. There is great freedom and opportunity when this is the case, if you have people that are vitally real with God.


Blessings, bonni


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Bonni

 2008/6/18 11:47Profile
PreachParsly
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 Re:

Quote:
they don't stand behind a pulpit.



Some churches have the "speaker" sit on a bar stool. Would that be better than a pulpit?

I've preached with a garbage can as my "pulpit." Is that better than a piece of wood or glass? Or just as "dirty?" :-)

I don't mean to come off wrong, but it just seems silly to me. Maybe we should debate about whether a "preacher" should ware lace-up shoes or Velcro.


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Josh Parsley

 2008/6/18 12:13Profile
bonni
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Joined: 2005/8/9
Posts: 100
montana usa

 Re:

I'm sorry brother (preach parsley). I should of clarified myself, it is just hard sometimes to cover every side or thought in a small post.

It would be better to say I'm glad that one man doesn't take over the service in a way that the other men feel like they could not participate, just sit in the pew and be spoon fed. That seems to be the feeling when one man gets up and stands in the front, instead of sitting with the rest of the body.


That's not to say that there is no place for a man to stand behind a pulpit and preach towards the people, like in an open air service,or a very large church or gathering it would probably be neccesary, or when an evangelist or missionary etc comes to speak, we obviously want to give them our undivided attention. But in everyday (or week) church body life it seems to stifle participation.

I hope that clarifies it. There is certainly nothing "wrong" with standing behind a pulpit, or on a platform, even if the world (pagans) started this tradition. Many things can be used of the world that are not inherently evil within themselves, I just think it's more productive to sit with the people and encourage body interaction.



Blessings, bonni :-)


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Bonni

 2008/6/18 16:01Profile
PreachParsly
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Posts: 2164
Arkansas

 Re:

Quote:
I'm sorry brother (preach parsley). I should of clarified myself, it is just hard sometimes to cover every side or thought in a small post.



No problem. I haven't read the book but I was thinking you were saying something in the same vein as Josef said the book conveyed.

Quote:
For example, it's not *evil* to preach from behind a pulpit or to go to a building that is set aside purposely for meeting, though the book would have you think you're almost a pagan for doing it.



Thanks for clearing it up.


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Josh Parsley

 2008/6/18 16:06Profile





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