Frank Viola, George Barna, & the Emerging Church
The following is from the July email version of the "Present Testimony Ministry Newsletter" 7/8/08
What is so tragic is that, to many, Frank Viola represents a major part of the "House Church Movement". At a time when modern Evangelicals ought to be learning about what the New Testament teaches about being the Assembly of Christ, including the house church approach, Frank Viola is usurping this trend and merging it with Emergent - Contemplative traditions.
Update from Frank - A Remarkable Six Months
I've not stopped being amazed at what the Lord is doing in 2008. And the year is only half way finished.
Here are a few unprecedented events that come to mind.
(1) God has given me the privilege of collaborating on a book with George Barna (Pagan Christianity), and He's allowed it to be published by a major Christian publisher (Tyndale House). What's unique about this is that no Christian publisher would have touched Pagan Christianity a few years ago. Times have dramatically changed. Add to that (to our surprise), the book has become a bestseller. In addition, the reaction has been extremely encouraging. Since it's official release in January, I've received over 10,000 emails from people all over the world. With the exception of a few emails (some of it "hate mail" :-), the overwhelming majority of the responses to the book has been very positive. We are thankful and awed.
(2) N.T. Wright has written a classic that I believe has the potential of changing the course of church history. Like no other book ever written (in my opinion), it is the clearest statement on the resurrection of Jesus Christ and its practical implications on the mission of the church. It's called Surprised by Hope. I had the privilege of spending hours with Wright last year where we both spoke at an Emerging Church conference (along with Brennan Manning, another giant in the faith). There are few men who I respect more in the Lord than Tom Wright. He's one of the foremost figures that God is using in this hour.
(3) I'm pleased to announce the release of my new book, Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity. So much of my heart is tied up in this volume. As the constructive sequel to Pagan Christianity, Reimagining Church seeks to paint a picture of what church can and (in my judgment) should be. The book roots the spiritual principles of church life in the New Testament and in the nature of God Himself. It also contains stories and practical examples.