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Paperback Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity Book

ISBN: 1434768759

ISBN13: 9781434768759

Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity

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Book Overview

Author Frank Viola gives readers language for all they knew was missing in their modern church experience. He believes that many of today's congregations have shifted from God's original intent for the church. As a prominent leader of the house church movement, Frank is at the forefront of a revolution sweeping through the body of Christ. A change that is challenging the spiritual status quo and redefining the very nature of church. A movement inspired...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Finally, some answers to my questions

A great follow-up to Pagan Christianity. As I am beginning a new experience of organic church, Reimagining Church brought answers to some nagging questions, like "How do you celebrate the Lord's Supper without it being a ritual?", "What about biblical church leadership?", and "What does an every-member functioning church look like?". The last chapter is worth the price of the whole book. In it, the author outlines various recent solutions to problems typical to the Church, and gives an insightful and inspiring alternative. I was left with an appetite for more. If you're searching for the kind of church life you see in the New Testament, this book will show you that it is not only possible, but it is happening in our generation. Read it!

The Dream of Organic Christianity

"Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity" by Frank Viola, is sure to send every "clergy-laity" member scratching around for a biblical defense to the claims made against the 1700 year old institutional form of church. And according to Viola, they will not find a "shred of biblical warrant" to support its existence. At last, the sequel to the highly controversial book, "Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices," has arrived! And it is for certain that not all will applaud its arrival to the bookstore. No doubt, many readers are still trying to grapple with the favorable recognition and popularity of the first book to this series of 4 books (2 not yet released) on organic Christianity. The first time, Viola had the help of George Barna and Tyndale in gaining a few listening ears. Now that he has the attention of no small number of readers... he has set off to propose serious answers to an audience that is filled with sincere questions. And "Reimgaining Church" will not leave readers dissatisfied in their quest for the normal Christian church life. In fact, it will leave them hungering for authenticity in the New Testament fashion. As the saying goes, "You can't judge a book by its cover." Many readers have learned that from PC. So let the reader first understand the title. Viola states, "it's the present practices of the church that I'm seeking to reimagine, not the church itself" (p.13). He clearly outlines his purpose so that there is no misunderstanding. He writes that the purpose of the book is: "to articulate a biblical, spiritual, theological, and practical answer to the question, Is there a viable way of doing church outside the institutional church experience, and if so, what does it look like" (p.12)? Let there be no mistake, any serious reader cannot accuse Viola of impure motives or building the house of God on sand. Indeed, the foundation of the ideas communicated in this book are constructed upon the triune God (i.e. Trinity as archetype for the church). Therefore, RC should be understood as a proposal that the church of Jesus Christ mirror the very image of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Viola writes, "the church is the earthly image of the triune God" (p.35). In the spirit of Stanley Grenz, Leonardo Boff, and Miroslav Volf... Viola has wonderfully woven together the fabric of God's eternal purpose in a clear, concise, and intelligent way. Its inspiration can be questioned, as with any author, but its scholarship is insurmountable in its presentation. This is a work for the carpenter and the scholar. "The Reformation recovered the truth of the priesthood of all believers. But it failed to restore the organic practices that embody this teaching. It was restricted to soteriology (salvation) and didn't involve ecclesiology (the church)" (p.59). In the pursuit of an organic Christianity that is rooted in the triune God, the greatest hurdle will be with what lies at

Covering Collapses

As one who has encountered the covering teaching in action I found this book to be a breath of fresh air into the stifling atmosphere that this teaching promotes. The adherents to this teaching may be sincere and well meaning. However, I agree with the author, the covering teaching promotes a ". . . system that is bereft of Biblical support and driven by a spirit of control." Viola advocates an alternative understanding of Christian leadership. This alternative does not emulate a military style chain of command but instead is modeled on the more scriptural example of the human body. Viola clearly and thoroughly outlines the Biblical basis for this alternative but also provides Biblical answers for those who would question that alternative. For those of you have had concerns and doubts about the biblical basis for the covering teaching, this book is for you. For those of you who are actively promoting the covering teaching and are not afraid to honestly examine your position in light of the scripture, this book is also for you.

One of the best books on NT leadership ever written!

Frank Viola has done a spectacular service to the body of Christ here with his book, "Who Is Your Covering," by cutting the cords of traditional misunderstanding that have affected how people percieve that leadership in the church is intended to operate... The greatest misunderstanding of course being that the concept of "church covering" is not taught anywhere in the Bible!No biblical stone is left unturned in this discussion of how the New Testament defines "leadership." The reader is taken through a study of virtually every passage in the New Testament that pertains to "oversight" in the church. It becomes clear that many of us have fallen prey to devices of human wisdom when it comes to our perceptions about authority and submission and its connection with those who are "official ministers" in our churches.It would be well, in my opinion, if every pastor, prophet, deacon, elder, evangelist and every lay person read this book! It is most certainly an eye opener. But the grand thing is that Frank only expounds from the original writings what the Bible teaches. There is no "new revelation" here, no "proof texting" and no mis-handling of the context of Scripture. Just an honest examination of the New Testament story and a closer look into the meanings of the Greek words in select passages that deal with the subject of leadership in the church. I personally found myself encouraged and desiring to see the expression of servant ministry that Frank describes so beautifully in this book.Some readers will be amazed to find that "official" and "positional" or "hierarchical" forms of leadership are NEVER expressed in the New Testament with respect to the Lord's Church. In fact, these are largely a product of romanistic influence on the text and church tradition over the centuries, but were largely unheard of, not to mention unpopular, during the first few centuries of the Church. No doubt this will be a difficult pill for some to swallow, but the medicine is much needed, and as yo momma used to say, "it's good for you!" (grin)This book is not anti-leadership, but it puts the term "leadership" in its proper, biblical context.Highly recommended! Especially if you have been subjected to "covering theology" or have been asked by leadership to read other books on the subject (like John Bevere's book called "Under Cover"). I also recommend Watchman Nee's book, "The Normal Christian Church Life."

The Church

After experiencing salvation late in life (48), spending five years in an evangelical church, and studying the demographics of modern-day Christianity, I began asking the following question: "If the church is truly the Body of Christ, why is the world changing the church more than the church is changing the world?" I left the institutional church in search of an answer to that question. After studying the history of the church for two years, I found the answer in this book by Frank Viola. The answer is that so much of what we understand to be the church, today, has little or nothing to do with what Christ gave His Life to create.
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