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Pagan Christianity? by Frank Viola and George Barna


This is an amazing new book that ought to interest every member of the Network. In Chapter 5 the authors slay the traditional idea of a single pastor and set forth the biblical view of an eldership team. They also go after many other traditional concepts that are preventing the Lord from manifesting as fully as He desires.

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Well, I’m 39 pages into the book of A Western Jesus, and Jesus has not rode into town looking like Roy Rodgers … yet! But at this point I am very well pleased with my purchase. I would think, at this point, this would be a very good read and discussion for all elders-in-training. This guy can wake us up to the difference in western and eastern Christianity, and for that matter, 1st century and modern Christianity as well.

Below are a few excerpts that I found worthy of highlighting so far. While many may seem negative, the overall tone of the book is certainly not.

-Statistics show that professing believers live no differently than the world.

-We have made Jesus fit our culture to the point that he follows us. We call the shots, for our yoke is easy and our burden is light. We direct his steps, for we are a lamp unto his feet, and a light unto his path. We tell him to trust in us with all his heart and that he should not lean upon his own understanding.

-This book is …about a jesus (lower case intended) that has no teeth in his bite. He us tame, anemic and timid. He has been fashioned by our western culture to accommodate our flesh. He doesn’t rule. He calls no shots. He is, in fact, not the Jesus of Scripture.

-…if we embraced the fact and confessed the truth that we are just passing through? What value would be put on the mall and movies if we cherished such truth?

-…we are going against the grain (by following the Lord). That always results in splinters.

-They don’t share their faint in the marketplace because they fear that once it has been disclosed that they are a believer, their life will be on display…and they may actually have to live a life consistent with the gospel.

-Unity is the fruit of corporate humility.

-Church in the west is something you go to and do while the church of Scripture is who you are.

-Can you imagine the apostle Paul providing movie reviews?

-You will never understand church until your building is gone.

-Ninety-nine percent of what the apostle Paul teaches in his letters deals with the church scattered, and less than 1 percent deals with the church gathered.

-The world creeping “into the church” is actually what happens to the local body of believers when they are not in the building.

-The greatest battle any pastor has is how to effectively help his people live a godly life for the 167 hours they are not in the building.

I would recommend buying this book. Like I said, I got mine on Amazon.com for $1.29.
The Western Jesus book:

I'm glad Bro. Steve Ryerson suggested this book. I really like it...have highlighted much of it and will probably refer to it again from time-to-time. As Steve stated, it is well written and with a very good attitude. In fact, I'm surprised at this man's insights and wisdom offered. Wish he were apostolic, but he is in a pulral eldership assembly the best I can tell. I mentioned that I got a "real deal" on my book, but it would have been worth the full retail price as far as I'm concerned. Without trying to repeat any more sections from the book here, allow me to just state that I think this book would be a very valuable read for any minister and especially useful for elder meetings and elders-in-training...in other words - buy it!

One last note: Jesus never did ride into town on a palomino with a ten gallon stetson, studded holsters lined with silver bullets - woulda made interesting story though.
Thanks for the report, Bro. Donnie. Sounds like a worthwhile read. We will definitely be getting some copies. Yippy-ky-yeah!
ROFL!!! Gittum up Scout!

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