As I stated in my previous post, George Barna and Frank Viola's recent collaborative project, Pagan Christianity, has created some lively discussion and debate among bloggers, particularly those who serve in full-time vocational ministry. This is to be expected. The book simultaneously engages multiple targets that impact them and their future: like sermons, pastors, church buildings, ministers of music, tithing, clergy salaries, and Christian education. Continue reading
With so much heated rhetoric flying around the blogosphere regarding the newly revised and updated Pagan Christianity by George Barna and Frank Viola, I thought some readers might like to read the Publisher's Preface, written by Tyndale House, especially noting the statements I have underlined:
Perhaps you wonder why a publisher of Christian books would release a book that questions so many common church practices. Please be aware, however, that the authors are not questioning the validity or importance of the church. Instead, they are asking us to thoughtfully consider the source of our churches' traditions and then ask how those practices square with Scripture and the practices of the first-century church. Many in the church hold to tradition, even if it is not grounded in Scripture, and these same people wonder why the church seems to be losing its relevance and impact in the contemporary world.
Tyndale does not necessarily agree with all of the authors' positions and realizes that some readers may not either. At the same time, we stand united with Frank and George in our desire to see the church operate according to biblical principles and be a full expression of God's grace and truth. Furthermore, the authors raise important questions based on their careful research, study, and experiences, and we believe these questions should not be ignored. Our aim is for you to consider their conclusions and then pray seriously about your response.
I just received my copy of this book today, so I may be sharing a few pertinent quotes and insights as I make my way through its pages over the next several weeks (or months if I take the footnotes seriously).
Our church is launching 40 Days of Community this Sunday: virtually the same time as last year's 40 Days of Purpose. My attitude towards anything Saddleback has not improved since I left the United States; in fact, I came to the United Kingdom hoping to get away from the bravado of such ultra-American evangelical cheesiness. But God evidently has a sense of humor and so here I am, the director of a Saddleback campaign: a 40-day program to bring "community" to the local church. I've never liked bandwagons or jumping on the nearest one. Continue reading
Before the holidays, I sold a few sets of books that were collecting dust in my library and ordered a stack of new ones from Amazon, including Divine Nobodies: Shedding Religion to Find God (and the unlikely people who help you) by Jim Palmer. What a ride! I’m trying my best to finish the last couple of chapters, but I wanted to share a few quotes from the chapter entitled, “Sex, Lies, and Paratroop Deployment.” Continue reading
Remember the “Tower of Babel” story in Genesis 11:1–9 where the descendants of Noah and his sons began using their construction technology to make a name for themselves? I have a friend who believes that the technological advances of their day might surprise even a twenty-first century time traveler; and his imagination goes a little wild—especially when he’s off his medication—saying that they might have invented things that makes our best stuff look like it came with a Happy Meal at McDonald’s. He’s dead serious. Things like personal space craft (George Jetson-style), teleportation devices (“Beam me up, Scotty!”), and prepackaged intelligence downloads (Neo’s martial arts training in Matrix). I’m not sure I agree with him, but I do sometimes wonder about the cool stuff that Steve Jobs and the Apple gang could invent if they lived 969 years like Methuselah! Continue reading
It’s that time of the year when I spend four to six weeks doing family history research, which takes nearly every minute of my spare time (nights and weekends). I normally start in mid-December, but this year I’m running a little behind because I’m trying to learn a new Macintosh genealogy program, iFamily for Tiger. It will be extremely painful, if not impossible, to migrate from my favorite genealogy software, Legacy; and I may fire up my old Dell Latitude (800 mhz. Pentium III) to do the job with Legacy again this year. It’s tough to beat!
Anyway, I may post a few quotes or links here at The Thin Edge, but don’t expect anything more till middle or late February. If you’re new to my blog, I could heartily recommend browsing Categorized Edginessâ€”my article archives, arranged by category. Thanks for stopping by!