Welcome to Home Shalom!

Welcome to Home Shalom and Shalom Farm. We pray your visit here be blessed. We are learning to walk in the Ways (Torah) of our Father YHWH and follow Y'shua, His Messiah until He returns to "set things straight". We call it a "Messi-Life". Our walk is neither tidy nor perfect, but it is filled with passion, devotion and desire to serve our King. We are learning to be humble servants, and to be good stewards of the things that He has entrusted to us: His Word, our marriage, our children, our family, our community, our health, and our farm. Hitch your horse and stay a while--our door is always open!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Pegan Christianity?, Barnes & Viola

Book Review **** 4 Stars
Have you ever asked yourself - why is it that there are so many denominations and "interpretations" of the Bible? This book may begin to shed some light on the answer to that question.

It is very educational, thick in references on church history. The foot notes for the sources are 1/4 of each page! They wanted to make it really clear that what they have written is not their opinion, it is documented fact. It explains many things about church history that most people don't know and few have even thought to ask. I think it would do every believer good to read the book. We all must stand account for the things we do and believe. Even though many churches may not like to be examined, it is really what we should do.

We mustn't allow ourselves to plot along and just do what we have always done, because that is what we were taught or that's what someone else did. We must be seekers of truth. We must put our allegiance to truth before our allegiance to man (AKA the denomination we call church).

The authors are firm believers in home church/simple church. That will be obvious at the end of the book. However there is very little vision in that direction. There authors have other books that go into that in great depth. I suppose that wasn't the point of this book, so they didn't give it much space.

The two things I didn't like about this book where the title and the cover. It makes it hard to discreetly share with others. It's rather "in your face". I took the red sleeve off, just to read it myself, it bugged me. However, it is worth getting over and reading! The other thing I wish it would have contained was more old testament wisdom. I find it lacking, but these are real "new Testament Church" authors so...it is what it is. I yearn to witness (and better understand, myself) a greater understanding of the full picture of Scripture, so I look for that in the books I read. It is lacking everywhere in the NT church.) The only two OT references they did make was when connecting it similarly to "pagan rituals" as a bad thing and that rubbed me wrong, but it was a fleeting statement (and some of that is reality!). The other statement which is a very commonly held understanding in the Christian church (and I was taught and used to believe) is that all of Torah / OT has passed away. I am learning that that is a HUGE error in the church's understanding. That our ignorance of the OT and Hebrew culture, because of the man-made doctrine that is so clearly documented in this book, we have applied our own "version" of understanding about the OT out of ignorance. I believe YHWH is calling His people back to Himself and out from under those doctrines of man and into His truth. He is bringing us into a more complete understanding of Himself in the last days as we (the bride) get ready for the coming groom.

Having said all that, I chose not to the throw the baby out with the bathwater, and I think the books is worth reading and sharing. :-) It is sure to stimulate conversation at least and hopefully it will do more that and help us examine our own "doctrine" humbly and honestly. Some people who find great comfort in their traditions, and cling to these things will be offended by this book. However those who are seeking truth and are willing to process facts will also be challenged. :-) This book really exposes us..one and all... "What are we going to do with this new awareness"...is the greater question. I pray it humbles us, helps us shed our doctrines of man, and brings us closer to one another and our God, so we can better prepare for His return.

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