And oh...the last time I issued one of those, such a kerfuffle! (thanks to Gary Miller over at Truth vs. the Machine for teaching me that wonderful word)...but I digress.
I have yet to read a single word of the new George Barna/Frank Viola tome Pagan Christianity, but I shall, and this reporter promises to faithfully render a thoughtful review and in-depth analysis for the enjoyment of all seven of you. OK, all six of you.
Barna's first book (Revolution) on the subject of "what's going on in the church/where is it headed?" was somewhat weakly data-supported considering the author's credentials, but nevertheless a wonderful exploration of the topic. It was of course virulently excoriated by all the usual suspects—those who have a career interest in the declining mega-church, seeker-church, authoritarian-church, corporate-church status quo—because it had the temerity to imply that many of the practitioners and gate-keepers of American evangelicalism may not be—gulp—absolutely necessary! That the wind of the Holy Spirit "blows where it lists," that believers can gather and function and the Church be engaged outside the hallowed worship centers and rented auditoriums, and that "where the spirit of the Lord is there is liberty." Don't panic, guys, the sun country Relevance and Next Gen Church Growth convocation is still on....lap-top, check...soul patch, check...snorkel & fins, check...Driscoll book for autograph, check....
(Note: If I knew how to put smiley faces all over, I wouldn't sound so mean-spirited. >emoticon here< I love the Church, even when it's silly!)
Barna's summary research on the subject can be read here. I am having some evil fun with one (slightly unfairly isolated) finding:
Among the pastors least likely to support the legitimacy of house churches were pastors who earn more than $75,000 annually;>emoticon with crooked smile<