Sunday, February 08, 2009

Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity
by Frank Viola
David C. Cook (2008)
Paperback, 272 pages

Grammar read results: grabbing the ideas

Purpose: To give a biblical, spiritual, theological, and practical account for viable church life outside the institutional church, so that Christ may again be central in his church.

Introduction (Toward a New Kind of Church): The non-New Testament structure of the institutional church is the base of its ineffectiveness; only reimagining New Testament church from the ground up will work.

  • Ch1 (Reimagining the Church as an Organism): As an organism, the Church carries the DNA of the triune God; the expression of that
  • Ch2 (Reimagining the Church Meeting): While church planting (apostolic), evangelistic, and decision-making meetings are
  • Ch3 (Reimagining the Lord's Supper): The Lord's Supper, as intended in Scripture, is a theologically-rich, celebratory meal,
  • Ch4 (Reimagining the Gathering Place): Meeting in homes expresses the nature of church.
  • Ch5 (Reimagining the Family of God): The church is a familial community, not a business.
  • Ch6 (Reimagining Church Unity): The only true unity is in Christ alone; maintaining it takes struggle and commitment.
  • Ch7 (Church Practice and God's Eternal Purpose): What church does here ought to correspond to God's mission (as revealed in key passages: Genesis 1-2; Revelation 21-22; Ephesians; Colossians)
  • Ch8 (Reimagining Leadership): New Testament leadership is functional and communal, not positional and hierarchical.
  • Ch9 (Reimagining Oversight): Elders model, watch out for, and care for the church.
  • Ch10 (Reimagining Decision-Making): The whole church makes decisions by dialogue and consensus, seeking the mind of Christ.
  • Ch11 (Reimagining Spiritual Covering): Only God has authority over his people.
  • Ch12 (Reimagining Authority and Submission): Whole Body authority and mutual subjection among persons mirror the love and mutuality within the Trinity.
  • Ch13 (Reimagining Denominational Covering): Denominational covering is not only unnecessary, but also harmful.
  • Ch14 (Reimagining the Apostolic Tradition): The apostolic tradition, found in the New Testament, consists of normative beliefs and practices, and is authoritative today.
  • Ch15 (Where Do We Go from Here?): Given a biblical understanding of church, organic church is the only viable, bio
Appendix: Objections and Responses about Leadership


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