Archives For Frank Viola

 

Seven Shocking Beliefs
that C.S. Lewis Held!

 
An Excerpt from 

ReGrace: What the Shocking Beliefs
of the Great Christians Can Teach Us Today
Frank Viola

 
Paperback: Baker Books, 2019.
Buy Now:
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Hearts & Minds Books ]

 
 

[ AUTHOR’S NOTE:
The intention of this chapter (and the book) is not to degrade or criticize Lewis. It’s rather to show that despite his brilliance, he may not have gotten everything right. Because evangelical Christians, as a whole, regard Lewis to be the greatest apologist (defender) of the Christian faith in modern history, these beliefs of his will surprise (and perhaps even shock) many evangelicals because they might be regarded as unbiblical by some evangelical standards.


God undoubtedly used Lewis despite whatever he may have believed that was inaccurate or questionable. Therefore, let’s extend grace to our fellow Christians when we find ourselves disagreeing with them. The book explores how to disagree in a Christ-like manner. ]
 
 
[Despite] his amazing contribution to the Christian faith, here are seven shocking beliefs that [C.S.] Lewis held.

1. Lewis believed in praying for the dead.

Here’s a quote:

Of course I pray for the dead. The action is so spontaneous, so all but inevitable, that only the most compulsive theological case against it would deter me. And I hardly know how the rest of my prayers would survive if those for the dead were forbidden.

 
 
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“What we play [when we play jazz] is life.”
– Louis Armstrong,
who was born on this date, 1901
 
 
Poem of the Day:
“To A Star”
Percy Bysshe Shelley
,
who was born on this date, 1792

 
Kindle Ebook Deal of the Day: 
Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity
by Frank Viola

Only $2.51!
 
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The Wake Up Call – August 4, 2014

 

A Brief Review of

946011: Jesus Manifesto: Restoring the Supremacy and  Sovereignty of Jesus Christ Jesus Manifesto:
Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ

By Leonard Sweet & Frank Viola

Hardback: Thomas Nelson, 2010.

Buy now:  [ ChristianBook.com ]

Reviewed by Jeff Rhodes.

“The gospel that’s so often preached today lacks a revelation of Jesus Christ. The contemporary gospel boils down to a fire-insurance policy, a Santa Claus God, or a performance-based religion. As long as we stay on that plane, we’ll never see or comprehend the staggering enormity of our Lord.”

Frank Viola and Len Sweet have combined their writing prowess to form one of the most powerful pieces of Christian literature of our generation. Jesus Manifesto is a no-holds-barred examination of the Bible’s infatuation with Jesus Christ. Viola and Sweet articulate the awe-inspiring truth that the Old Testament is taken up with Jesus Christ; the New Testament is taken up with Jesus Christ; Paul was taken up with Jesus Christ; the Apostle’s “doctrine” was taken up with Jesus Christ; the Father was taken up with Jesus Christ; the Holy Spirit was taken up with Jesus Christ; the early church was taken up with Jesus Christ; and throughout the last 2000+ years, whenever a serious refocus of God’s people occurred, they were taken up with a fresh revelation of the supremacy of Jesus Christ. From the Creation narrative, to the summation of all things in the last two chapters of Revelation, Jesus Christ is the One through whom all things were made and the One in whom all things will be consummated. He is the Alpha and Omega.

Viola and Sweet illustrate Jesus to be the aperture through which the light of the Godhead is focused, harnessed, and glaringly intensified. They take time to develop the truth that Truth is not a statement, religion, system, buildings, or any other man-made initiative; but rather Truth is a person, the person of Jesus. They laboriously insist the gospel is not merely social activism, moral objectivity, or a system through which to make the world a better place. Instead the gospel is nothing short of a monumental unveiling of Jesus Christ in all His mercy, love, compassion, grace, wisdom, and grandeur. The gospel is both death and life. It marks the beginning of a new race, a new humanity that never existed before Jesus Christ’s atoning work on the Cross. Jesus is the gospel! Furthermore, according to Viola and Sweet, the Bible never advocates just the following of Jesus’ sayings or teachings. Rather, Jesus said, “Follow me.” This distinction separates Christianity from all other religious systems whose leaders are dead and cannot be followed.

If you’ve never glimpsed the “sight of peerless worth,” you’re in for a jaw-dropping, breath-taking, whirlwind of emotions and spiritual advancement as you journey through this masterfully written work of art. Jesus exudes its pages. No other agenda outside of exalting the Exalted Christ is at hand. Though this book may be an affront to modern religionist ideologies of social justice, doctrinal creeds, health-and-wealth purveyors, and many other religious institutions of thought, Viola and Sweet make one thing clear: Christianity is NOT about us, but is totally about Him who is all and fills all, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

A Review of

768667: Finding Organic Church: A Comprehensive Guide to Starting and Sustaining Authentic Christian Communities Finding Organic Church:
A Comprehensive Guide to Starting and Sustaining Authentic Christian Communities

By Frank Viola

Paperback:

David C. Cook, 2010.

Buy now: [ Christian Book.com ]

Reviewed by Kevin Book-Satterlee.

The term “organic” with regards to church lends to the idea of a small, spontaneous group of people that come together and immediately become church.  There are little things to work out, for instance people must show up.  Somebody has to prepare something, but it is ad hoc.  I tend to pin organic church somewhere between a weekly class reunion and a Quaker meeting – not quite so flippant and social, but not quite so programmed either.

Yet, anyone who understands organic gardening (which I do not) knows that careful time and planning must go into the organic food.  Organic foods tend to be more vulnerable under many situations.  Regular care must be given and the plant must be nurtured.  For all that work, the end result is astounding:  a tastier, healthier vegetable.

Frank Viola, in his new book, Finding Organic Church:  A comprehensive guide to starting and sustaining authentic Christian communities, has written, in effect, a manual for church planters to raise an organic church.

Organic foods are still fighting an uphill battle against non-organic foods, so too do organic churches fight an uphill battle just to survive against the institutional church.  Like the parable of the sower, many organic churches will land on bad soil, maybe one in four will land on good soil and produce fruit.  This pessimistic view by Viola is not all that encouraging, but if it was easy why would he need to write a manual?

Viola does not seem to take into account the soil in which the organic church seed is sown.  Soils have different properties, different contexts.  Viola speaks nearly nothing to the varying contexts.  His organic church feels like a white, middle-class, suburban house church with their four-door sedans parked out front.  His rigid guidelines include a scripted format for services so as to be the most effective, but only most effective in a certain context.

Viola is also very ardent at the beginning of the book that church planters hold a specific calling to be church planters (which I believe), but their form must be that of Paul’s, who comes into an area, plants a church and soon – within six months, generally – leaves.  I don’t know too many church planters interested in popping into an area, planting a church and taking off.  Viola does say that while growing an organic church takes a great deal of attention, it can become sustainable quite quickly.  He implies that loss of sustainability occurs when the organic church becomes the pet project of the church planter.  While I don’t agree with him that church planters must continually move on, his warning about who has “ownership” of the church is one to be heeded.

Finding Organic Church could be a great first tool for somebody who is just now being disillusioned by the institutional church.  For those who have read Viola and other organic church authors, this book can be skipped.  To get the best content of Viola’s book, read Watchman Nee instead, as Viola uses his works frequently.  It is a quick read, but Viola’s writing style seems rushed and reaching.  He has a wealth of experience in working with organic churches and is a good consultant, but outside of a singular context, this manual will gather more dust than dog-eared pages.

 

FINDING ORGANIC CHURCH
Frank Viola.

Paperback: David C. Cook, 2009.
Pre-order now:  [ ChristianBook.com ]