Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Ben Witherington has an on-going review of George Barna and Frank Viola's book Pagan
Christianity that is of great interest. It is wonderful to see a noted Christian scholar tackle this misleading and ill-informed publication. This is another example of sound and orthodox Christianity refuting a neo-theological perspective that should have undergone a more thorough academic review before hitting the presses.

Review Part 1

Review Part 2

Review Part 3

Review Part 4


Tim and Sarah said...

There's another biblical scholar who is taking Witherington's review apart piece by piece and showing the holes in it. You can read it at

He wrote part 1 yesterday and says he's doing part 2 today.

travelah said...

Whether Dr. Witherington's analysis stands scrutiny to the vested interest of Dr. Zens or not remains to be seen however those who take the time to read Witherington's analysis will notice that he is beng fair and reasonable in his critique. Dr. Zens has a horse in the race so to speak and Dr. Witherington is examining the horse so it is also wise to keep in mind that Zens has an inherent bias in this matter. Lastly, the mentioned link is to a sponsored site of the book being reviewed. This is not inappropriate but the various biases of certain reviewers should at least be understood.

Bradley said...

I think Witherington has far more to lose if the book is right. He's a conventional pastor. If Barna and Viola are correct, that would put him in a very difficult situation, so he really has to try to disprove the book. I don't think Zens has a real dog as he didn't write the book and he has nothing to lose if he didn't write a review. This can't be said about Witherington and other pastors.

travelah said...

bradley, such a claim as you are making here pits Christianity itself as a potential loser if a critic can disprove it. I am not at all clear what you think any pastor has to lose if the authors of the book in question can convince others to agree. Dr. Witherington has critiqued a book well within his academic field and done so with grace and good measure. As Christians whose measure of truth is found within scripture and it's orthodoxy, the hypothetical suggestion you are making really is of no consequence.
As for Dr. Zens, the "dog in this hunt" is his particular zeal for the topic of the book.
In any event, thank you for your comments.