Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and George Barna

Interesting. I haven’t read the book, but it sounds interesting.

Here’s the issue though. Christianity is meant to be culturally flexible and embodied in thousands of cultural ways. This is the very human beauty of Christ’s mission and teaching – and it’s power as the central human story.

As long as the book does not disembody Christianity from historical process and culture, all is well. If it demonizes the fact that human beings change along the way, experiment, entrench, and need course correction, then I can’t go with it.

God is not afraid of our history, our minglings with culture, nor our struggles to free ourselves from historical sins. He is present in the process.

i.e. Beauty can be found in “pagan” roots – because they are cultural roots. Pagan means “country dweller” – the people on the outside fringes of the empire.

There is a baptism for broken beauty in culture, and it can be reclaimed by this redemptive faith.

Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and George Barna


Sheltering Mercy: Prayers Inspired by the Psalms

Sheltering Mercy, along with its companion volume, Endless Grace, helps us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. This book contains 75 prayers drawn from Psalms 1-75, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning in the Psalms. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

This artful, poetic, and classic devotional book features compelling custom illustrations and foil-stamped hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms.