Interview with George Barna and Frank Viola: Four
Years Since “Pagan Christianity”
It’s been four years since George Barna and I released
Joe’s questions were excellent.Here’s the interview.
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1. Before we get to your current life, can you tell us, what has been the mostenduring and positive legacy of your book, "Pagan Christianity?"George Barna:
The book has helped many people to open their minds to the factthat the organized, localized, congregational form of ministry commonly known in
the west as “the church” is a human construct that was neither dictated by God
nor described or found in the Bible. In that sense I think the greatest legacy of the
book, based primarily on Frank’s extensive research, is giving p
eople anawareness of the truth about the history of the modern local church body and thetremendous possibilities for more meaningful ministry experiences andexpressions.
One of the most enduring qualities (and effects) of the book is that ithas given millions of Christians permission
biblical and historical permission
toquestion cherished church practices and traditions
in the light of God’s
writtenWord. It has effectively driven many believers
to reexaminethe way they practice church in view of New Testament principles and churchhistory. Since I have a very high view of Scripture, I count that as a positive thing.
lso given many Christians a new appreciation for those believers in the past(like the Anabaptists) who dared to challenge the religious establishment of theirday on the basis of Scripture. In this regard, the Reformation has never ended,including the Radical Reformation of the Anabaptists. As John Stott famously said,