Author: Frank Viola
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Release Date: 2010-09-30
Have you ever wondered why we Christians do what we do for church every Sunday morning? Why do we “dress up” for church? Why does the pastor preach a sermon each week? Why do we have pews, steeples, and choirs? This ground-breaking book, now in affordable softcover, makes an unsettling proposal: most of what Christians do in present-day churches is rooted, not in the New Testament, but in pagan culture and rituals developed long after the death of the apostles. Coauthors Frank Viola and George Barna support their thesis with compelling historical evidence and extensive footnotes that document the origins of modern Christian church practices. In the process, the authors uncover the problems that emerge when the church functions more like a business organization than the living organism it was created to be. As you reconsider Christ's revolutionary plan for his church—to be the head of a fully functioning body in which all believers play an active role—you'll be challenged to decide whether you can ever do church the same way again.
Author: Leonard Sweet
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Inc
Release Date: 2010-05-30
“So that in everything He might have the supremacy.” —Colossians 1:18 Christians have made the gospel about so many things—things other than Christ. Religious concepts, ideas, doctrines, strategies, methods, techniques, formulas, "its" and "things" have all eclipsed the beauty, the glory, and the reality of the Lord Jesus Himself. On the whole, Christians today are starved for a real experience of the living Christ. We know a lot about our Lord, but we don't know Him very well. We know a lot about trying to be like Jesus, but very little about living by His indwelling life. JESUS MANIFESTO presents a fresh unveiling of Jesus as not only Savior and Lord, but as so much more. It is a prophetic call to restore the supremacy and sovereignty of Christ in a world—and a church—that has lost sight of Him. Every revival and restoration in the church has been a rediscovery of some aspect of Christ in the process of answering the ultimate question that Jesus put to His disciples: "Who do you say that I am?" Read this book and see your Lord like you've never seen Him before.
Author: Frank Viola
Publisher: David C Cook
Release Date: 2009-09-15
From the bestselling author of Reimagining Church comes an essential guide that provides practical, effective tools for finding vibrant Christian communities. Driven by a passion for the body of Christ, Frank Viola has written some of today's most authoritative and celebrated works on the growing home, organic, and missional church movements. Now Viola shares practical keys to a healthy and successful church plant. Viola contends that many congregations today are struggling to survive, not because of bad planning, but poor planting. He presents an essential guide for starting and nourishing organic churches in any culture. Drawing from both Scripture and a wealth of experience, Viola offers real-world tools, insights, and practical suggestions so churches won't just grow, but thrive.
Author: George Bloomer
Publisher: Whitaker House
Release Date: 2008-02-26
As surely as the absence of authority produces chaos, the abuse of authority produces destruction. Tragically, it's inside the church--where salvation and love should abound--that some of the worst authority abuse takes place. God's design for authority has been misunderstood, twisted, and manipulated, leaving innocent people as victims and prisoners of controlling, abusive situations. Wake up! This is not God's design for the church-or authority. Bishop George Bloomer will show you the key to breaking free from the bondage of spiritual abuse.
Author: Richard Jacobson
Release Date: 2016-07-12
Millions of believers are currently leaving the organized church, without giving up their faith. Sadly, many are only defining themselves by what they don't do, as Christians who simply "don't go to church." It's time for these believers to catch a vision for genuine spiritual community, outside the walls of organized Christianity, a way of being the church without going to church. Unchurching: Christianity Without Churchianity will challenge everything you thought you knew about church. Unchurching boldly examines whether organized churches are even biblical. It thoroughly deconstructs the idea of special church buildings, paid pastors, weekly sermons, mandatory tithes and offerings, gender inequality in church leadership, and much more. Unchurching is intended to empower believers who are done with organized church but aren't ready to abandon their faith. It will give non-churchgoing Christians a vision for genuine spiritual community that simply functions like an extended spiritual family. And it will equip them with the language to finally articulate that vision to others. Here's what others are saying about Unchurching: "Lots of books that invite Christians to follow Jesus outside of the four walls of churchianity are filled with harsh judgment and criticism of how others 'do church.' But not this book! Unchurching by Richard Jacobson is full of love and grace. There is no judgment, condemnation, or guilt-casting of any kind. Beginning with the Trinity of God, Jacobson presents a grand vision of what the church can be and how we can truly have community as followers of Jesus. Read this book and be encouraged to take the next step of your journey!" Jeremy Myers, author and blogger at RedeemingGod.com "Unchurching: Christianity without Churchianity validates and empowers the rapidly growing number of people who are in the transition between traditional church and an informal community of disciples meeting outside the four walls of the church building. Richard Jacobson has been on both sides of this shift and is uniquely qualified to write about it-which he does well, with insight, humility, and scholarship. I especially valued his comments on the freedom that women have to do and be everything God is calling them to. Highly recommended." Felicity Dale: author, An Army of Ordinary People; co-author, Small is Big "Unchurching presents us with a picture of a church that is all about one person-Jesus. As I read this book I felt my pulse quicken and my heart leap for joy because everything Richard writes about is centered on, around, and in relation to the One who would rather die than live without us. Anyone who loves Jesus and who longs to take hold of Him in a gathering where He is the focal point will delight in this book. It's truly amazing what happens when we get out of the way and allow Jesus to take center stage. This book shows us what that can look like, if we are willing to let go of our traditions and embrace the living, breathing Christ who longs to share His life with us throughout eternity, starting right now!" Keith Giles, author of This Is My Body: Ekklesia As God Intended; author of Jesus Untangled
A scholar of the New Testament Church and a forerunner of modern Church renewal, Frank Viola casts his gaze back at the birth pangs of first century Christianity in The Untold Story of the New Testament Church. Using a 'you-are-there' approach, this epic volume gives readers a first-hand account of how the witness of Christ's testimony impacted the world. In the era right after the Day of Pentecost, the power of Holy Spirit prompted a massive harvest of souls yet a great persecution surged against those preaching Good News to the lost. Now, get up-close with apostles Paul, Peter and John and learn of their personal struggles to fight for the faith amidst a backdrop of in-house strife and foreign tyranny.
After more than 52 weeks on the Toronto Star’s bestseller list and 43 weeks on The Globe and Mail’s bestseller list, Tom Harpur’s groundbreaking book, The Pagan Christ, is now available in paperback. This new edition includes the twenty-page discussion guide, with more than 100 questions, to help facilitate a deeper, chapter-by-chapter analysis and more profound understanding of the findings and arguments found in the book. Subjects for discussion include: the ancient Egyptian roots of Christianity, the real meaning of the Bible, the key to whether Jesus really existed, the re-mythologizing of Christianity, the meaning of the Christ within all of us and the need to understand myth and allegory. With a new introduction by Tom Harpur, this paperback edition sheds further light on what has become one of the most talked about books of the new millennium.
Author: George Barna
Publisher: Tyndale House
Release Date: 2014-09-19
Churchless people are all around us: among our closest loved ones, at our workplaces, in our neighborhoods. And more and more, they are becoming the norm: The number of churchless adults in the US has grown by nearly one-third in the past decade. Yet the startling truth is that many of these people claim they are looking for a genuine, powerful encounter with God—but they just don’t find it in church. What are they (or we) missing? How can we better reach out to them? What can we say or do that would inspire them to want to join a community of faith? Containing groundbreaking new research from the Barna Group, and edited by bestselling authors George Barna (Revolution) and David Kinnaman (You Lost Me), Churchless reveals the results of a five-year study based on interviews with thousands of churchless men and women. Looking past the surface of church attendance to deeper spiritual realities, Churchless will help us understand those who choose not to be part of a church, build trust-based relationships with them, and be empowered to successfully invite them to engage.
Author: James J. O'Donnell
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: 2015-03-17
A provocative and contrarian religious history that charts the rise of Christianity from the point of view of traditional” religion from the religious scholar and critically acclaimed author of Augustine. Pagans explores the rise of Christianity from a surprising and unique viewpoint: that of the people who witnessed their ways of life destroyed by what seemed then a powerful religious cult. These “pagans” were actually pious Greeks, Romans, Syrians, and Gauls who observed the traditions of their ancestors. To these devout polytheists, Christians who worshipped only one deity were immoral atheists who believed that a splash of water on the deathbed could erase a lifetime of sin. Religious scholar James J. O’Donnell takes us on a lively tour of the Ancient Roman world through the fourth century CE, when Romans of every nationality, social class, and religious preference found their world suddenly constrained by rulers who preferred a strange new god. Some joined this new cult, while others denied its power, erroneously believing it was little more than a passing fad. In Pagans, O’Donnell brings to life various pagan rites and essential features of Roman religion and life, offers fresh portraits of iconic historical figures, including Constantine, Julian, and Augustine, and explores important themes—Rome versus the east, civilization versus barbarism, plurality versus unity, rich versus poor, and tradition versus innovation—in this startling account.
Can business activity in itself be morally good and pleasing to God? Sometimes business can seem so shady-manipulating the "bottom line," deceiving the consumer, or gaining promotions because of whom you know. But Wayne Grudem introduces a novel concept: business itself glorifies God when it is conducted in a way that imitates God's character and creation. He shows that all aspects of business, including ownership, profit, money, competition, and borrowing and lending, glorify God because they are reflective of God's nature. Though Grudem isn't naïve about the easy ways these activities can be perverted and used as a means to sin, he knows that Christians can be about the business of business. This biblically based book is a thoughtful guide to imitating God during interactions with customers, coworkers, employees, and other businesses. See how your business, and your life in business, can be dedicated to God's glory.
What signals are you sending when you share the gospel? The importance of signs for communicating truth has been recognized throughout the ages. Crystal L. Downing traces this awareness from biblical texts, through figures from church history like John Wycliffe and William Tyndale, to more recent writers Samuel Taylor Coleridge and C. S. Lewis. In the nineteenth century, this legacy of interest in the activity of signs brought about a new field of academic study. In this book, Downing puts the discipline of semiotics within reach for beginners through analysis of the movement s key theorists, Ferdinand de Saussure, Charles Sanders Peirce, Mikhail Bakhtin and others. She then draws out the implications for effective communication of the gospel of Jesus Christ within our shifting cultural landscape. Her fundamental thesis is that "Failure to understand how signs work--as effects of the cultures we seek to affect--inevitably undermines not just our political and moral agendas but, worse, the gospel of Jesus Christ." Writing with humor, clarity and flare, Downing lucidly explains the sophisticated thinking of leaders in semiotics for nonexperts. Of value to all those interested in communication in any context, this work will be of special interest to students majoring in communications or English or to students in evangelism and preaching courses at the undergraduate and graduate level.
Protestantism carries on with the practice of making the "pastor" the focal point in church. Zens demonstrates that putting all the ecclesiastical eggs in the pastor's basket has no precedent in the New Testament.