Some of you may already have discovered Ben Witherington’s ongoing critique of Pagan Christianity: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices, by Frank Viola and George Barna. But for those who haven’t, I want to recommend his review here. Of course, as a Reformed Baptist I would not share many of his views, but this series still looks to be very helpful and informative. Dr. Witherington is especially knowledgeable about Church history, but he offers some very solid responses to Viola & Barna on Biblical and theological matters as well. He has written a series of articles which interact with the book one chapter at a time, and he may yet add to them, so keep tuned in for the whole series, as it promises to be a good one. Here are the links to the first four of his posts:
PAGAN CHRISTIANITY: by George Barna and Frank Viola [Part One of the Review]
PAGAN CHRISTIANITY—REVIEW PART TWO
PAGAN CHRISTIANITY—REVIEW PART THREE
PAGAN CHRISTIANITY—REVIEW PART FOUR
And here is the link to a fifth post:
Pay attention to the Comments following each article as well, where you will find interactions between Dr. Witherington and Jon Zens, one of the leading figures of the House-Church Movement. I think it worth pointing out, by the way, and think you will soon discover, that Zens has some good points of his own to make in rebuttal.
Dr. Witherington has also reproduced Howard Snyder’s Review of ‘Pagan Christianity’ at his blog.
I hope you find these posts and comments helpful in sorting through the issues.
P.S. As far as a thorough response to the book goes, I still think the best guy for the job is James White.
5 thoughts on “Ben Witherington’s Response to Pagan Christianity”
Hi, I came across your site via Dr. Worthington’s post. I thought you might be interested in this interview I did with Viola and Barna. I am an Elder in a Baptist church, and I think I bring out a few other insights worth reading.>>< HREF="http://www.morethancake.org/2008/02/pagan-conversations.html" REL="nofollow">Prelude-Pagan Conversations<>>< HREF="http://www.morethancake.org/2008/06/gorge-barna-and-frank-viola-speak-out.html" REL="nofollow">Interview Part 1<>>< HREF="http://www.morethancake.org/2008/06/gorge-barna-and-frank-viola-speak-out_15.html" REL="nofollow">Interview Part 2<>>< HREF="http://www.morethancake.org/2008/06/george-barna-and-frank-viola-speak-out.html" REL="nofollow">Interview Part 3<>>< HREF="http://www.morethancake.org/2008/06/george-barna-and-frank-viola-speak-out_17.html" REL="nofollow">Interview Part 5<>>< HREF="http://www.morethancake.org/2008/06/george-barna-and-frank-viola-speak-out_19.html" REL="nofollow">Summary<> – which you will be interested to know includes some comments from Jon Zens.
Joe,>>Thanks for the response and for the links. I enjoyed reading your interviews with Viola and Barna, and I thought your summary regarding issues with the book was very good.
liirYou are welcome. I glad you fond them of value. >>I have been reading some of your articles and they provide some good insights. I bookmarked the site and will keep reading along.
I am glad I have been helpful. I would appreciate any feedback. Obviously, I am dealing with a particular manifestation of the HCM, but these men are representative a common set of ideas and arguments I have encountered.
Jon Zens’s entire response to Witherington is posted here>http://www.paganchristianity.org/zensresponds1.htm