The image above is the second edition of Frank Viola’s original book, Pagan Christianity, because George Barna, Christian pollster, wanted in on the arguments. It’s a great book for anyone wanting to trace the origins of certain Christian practices, or at least that’s what I thought at the time I read it. Who knows now. It might need to be critically evaluated by someone… and not me right now because I don’t have the time.
But back to my tale, I attribute this book with the first honor of skepticism about Christian practices. I was quite the young fundamentalist (although I did always try to excuse away the chauvinism the epistles to Timothy) and I never thought about whether tithing was biblical or if there should be more than one pastor per church. But Pagan Christianity showed me that there were things that the evangelical “church,” note that I use it loosely here, simply did from tradition rather than the Bible. And I wanted church practices to derive from the truth! I was a six-day creationist, anti-charismatic (not hostile though, for I had several friends who were Pentecostals or charismatics), I aspired to be a leading apologist, etc. etc.
But then I wondered why Viola didn’t criticize the idea of the Trinity just like he did with other practices derived after the first century. I doubt he ever would doubt it from the way he writes.
All of this reminds me that I failed to start at the beginning and should turn there next. Here is the link to check out this book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00APOW7JI/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_p8WKCb7K393DR
I will have to come back to this book again as I continue my story, but for now, I’ll say that I have a special post coming out the 27th as a review of a new book and that my next in this series involves a fiery 14 year old fighting against the “lie of evolution.”