Several weeks ago, I announced that The Thin Edge would be hosting the very first blog interview of George Barna and Frank Viola, co-authors of the new book, Pagan Christianity: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices. Their eye-opening book has been printed under the Barna imprint of Tyndale House Publishing and officially launched earlier this month. Amazingly, the book has rocketed up the charts for Amazon: as of this moment, it’s ranked #16 among Christian books and #285 in all books (out of 6,000,000 titles) sold by Amazon.com. Reviews are also overwhelmingly positive. Out of 37 customer reviews at Amazon, 28 readers award the coveted 5-star rating: there were only 3 negative reviews.
If someone had predicted five or six years ago that these two men would collaborate on any type of book, I might have questioned your sanity and I would almost certainly have been willing to dismiss such a proposal as total nonsense. I had read books by both authors andâ€”at least from my perspectiveâ€”they seemed miles apart. In my mind, Frank Viola was the stereotypical, iconoclastic, “house church” advocate whose writings were relatively unknown in mainstream evangelicalism; however, nearly every American evangelical had the words “George Barna” etched in their minds through repeated quotations from The Barna Group in sermons, seminars, denominational training sessions, seminary classrooms, as well as print media. Well, all that has now changed!
Before we get started with the interview, I want to express my appreciation to George and Frank for their willingness to answer my questions. Each brother brings a unique perspective to Pagan Christianity, yet they have found common ground and a common voice within the pages of this project. One thing is certain: you will not be able to read this book and simply walk away unchanged by its message. Well, let’s get started, shall we? Continue reading