My parents in law put this book in my hands a few years ago. It was a sample copy from their book selling business. It never made it on to their distribution line. Perhaps it has too controversial a sounding title?
I started to read it back then, but never continued with it. From my previous posts it is obvious that I have thought about topics of organic and home church for a long time.
More recently I bought Frank Viola's "Reimagining Church" on Amazon Kindle for the iPad. I began to read it, and felt really discouraged. Why? Because I so badly want what is written about in his books, in fact I have even had glimpses and tastes of "organic" or "open particapatory" or house church in my life in the past. But it just feels so impossible for this to happen where I live in Russia right now. I can't imagine any of the Christians I know being interested in organic church. So I put the book down. But I did sign up for Frank Viola's twitter feed. I did this, because he requested to follow me first.
Then Frank tweeted that his book was available on Kindle for $2.99 (it is now $9.99 again), I decided to get it. (I didn't bring many hard copy books here to Russia.) I seem to be a lot more frustrated with my church experience here in Russia, that I was again ready to read it. I also read Neil Cole's "Organic Church" while here in Russia.
One of Frank Viola's recent tweets was a quote: "Once your mind has been stretched it is impossible for it to go back to the shape it once was." Over the years my mind keeps getting stretched further and further....
I will not give a full review of this book here. What I will do is implore you to read it. Frank Viola and George Barna have done extensive research in backing up their claims in this book. They have hundreds of references in their bibliography and hundreds of footnotes to substantiate their premise.
What is their premise? That much of the practices we have in the modern institutional church are pagan in their roots and not biblical at all. The book calls us all to authentic worship and expression of the Body of Christ. They are very gracious in their approach towards the institutional church. They have some very important things to say. Everything they say is carefully researched and carefully lines up with scripture.
I know that I need to make a change in my life. I am completely and utterly stuck about how to do this.
I am now on to reading Viola's next book "Reimagining Church", which while full of hope will probably only make me sad about all that I am missing out on in my own Christian walk.
Help me Lord!