Pagan Christianity is a book that seeks to examine the “source of our churches traditions and then ask how these practices square with Scripture and the practices of the first-century church” (ix). It’s been one of the most hotly debated books that I’ve heard of recently, creating quite a stir. Most people either love it or hate it.
He uses this argument to attempt to erase any semblance of order in a worship service, leadership, or place of worship. So with the one quote, he completely divorces himself from the Old Testament and any principles that may be applied, and moves on to his ideal worship service. He uses this same argument to disavow any use of pastors in the NT.
This quote, however, is in direct conflict with research done by Thom Rainer, author of Surprising Insights From the Unchurched, which shows that quality biblical preaching is one of the biggest factors in attracting the unchurched. Rainer says, “…we noted the high correlation between expository preaching and evangelistic effectiveness. Now we are hearing from the formerly unchurched that preaching that truly teaches the Bible in its original context is a major factor in reaching the unchurched…the formerly unchurched told us that they were attracted to strong biblical teaching and to understanding Christian doctrine” (58).
The reason that Christianity is a little different in every country and culture is because people have taken this missionary principle seriously. What we bring to culture is not a form of worship, or a building, or a model of leadership, we bring them Christ. And our job is to speak to them in the language that they understand, all for the purpose of them understanding and accepting Christ.