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Reimagining Church

Posted by on January 21, 2011

I started reading Reimagining Church by Frank Viola last week.  I read Peagan Christianity by Viola and Barna last year and enjoyed the book, so thought this would be a good read to take a break from leadership reading.  

I am going to do something i rarely do, i’m putting the book down before finishing it.  There are just too many other good books to read.  It’s not that it’s a bad book or that i disagree with everything Viola is saying, but i do disagree with the overall premise – that organized churches are undesirable to God.  Viola makes many good points that could be applied to home churches, small churches and small groups.  He has a good view of how groups of people form organisms.  Unfortunately he cant extend his mental picture to include organizations as organisms, Viola holds these two in contrast.

I believe there is a place and desire for the organized church in God’s plan.  I also believe all organizations are organisms. The human body is an organization (with a "head") of parts and a living organism.  The family is an organization of people with a "head" and a living organism.  The church is likewise.  Viola is set against church leadership but i don’t read that in the bible, i read many places where God set up organizational structure and leadership (even before the kings – Jacob, Moses, etc).  I agree with Viola that poor leadership damages any organization, but Viola is throwing the baby out with the bath water.

I read half the book and failed to be convinced at all of Viola’s opinion, in fact the more i read his examples the more i could see counter examples.  If there weren’t so many other books i want to read i might finish this one, maybe someday if my list runs out …..

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