The entire book was free for 2 weeks in 2014. But you can download the Introduction and Chapter 1 on PDF. Here's a description of the book.
Have you ever wondered why we Christians do what we do for church every Sunday
morning? Why do we “dress up” for church? Why does the pastor preach a sermon
each week? Why do we have pews, steeples, and choirs? This ground-breaking
book, now in affordable softcover, makes an unsettling proposal: most of what
Christians do in present-day churches is rooted, not in the New Testament, but
in pagan culture and rituals developed long after the death of the apostles.
Coauthors Frank Viola and George Barna support their thesis with compelling
historical evidence and extensive footnotes that document the origins of modern
Christian church practices. In the process, the authors uncover the problems
that emerge when the church functions more like a business organization than
the living organism it was created to be. As you reconsider Christ's
revolutionary plan for his church—to be the head of a fully functioning body in
which all believers play an active role—you'll be challenged to decide whether
you can ever do church the same way again.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Viola is a popular conference speaker and the bestselling
author of numerous books on the deeper Christian life and church renewal,
including Pagan Christianity? (coauthored with George Barna), God's Favorite Place on Earth, Reimagining
Church, Epic Jesus, Revise Us Again, From Eternity to Here,
Jesus Manifesto and Jesus: A Theography (both coauthored with Leonard Sweet). His blog, Beyond
Evangelical, is rated as one of the most popular in Christian circles
George Barna has
filled executive roles in politics, marketing, advertising, media development,
research, and ministry. He founded the Barna Research Group in 1984 (now the
Barna Group) and helped it become a leading marketing research firm focused on
the intersection of faith and culture before selling it in 2009. He has served
several hundred parachurch ministries, several thousand Christian churches, and
many other nonprofit and for-profit organizations as well as the US military.
Barna has written fifty books, mostly addressing leadership,
social trends, spiritual development, and church dynamics. They include
numerous bestsellers such as Revolution, Transforming Children into
Spiritual Champions, The Frog in the Kettle, Pagan Christianity?,
The Cause within You, and The Power of Vision. His most recent
books include Maximum Faith, which discusses his groundbreaking research
on how God transforms people's lives. Several of his books have received
national awards, and his works have been translated into more than a dozen
foreign languages. He has sold more books based on survey research related to
matters of faith than any author in American history.
His work is frequently cited as an authoritative source by the
media. Barna has been hailed as "the most quoted person in the Christian
Church today" and has been named by various media as one of the nation's
most influential Christian leaders. Reflecting his love of writing, he has
recently been ghostwriting books for others. He is also a consultant to
political organizations and candidates.
A frequent speaker at ministry conferences around the world, he
has been on the faculty of several universities and seminaries, and has served
as a pastor of a large, multiethnic church as well as a house church, and has
helped to start several other churches. Barna currently serves as Research
Fellow at the Center of American Culture and Faith.
After graduating summa cum laude from Boston College, Barna
earned two master's degrees from Rutgers University and a doctorate from Dallas
George has been married to his high school sweetheart, Nancy,
since 1978. They have three adopted daughters and live in southern California.
He enjoys reading novels, playing guitar, listening to music, rooting for the
Yankees and the Lakers, and relaxing on the beach. He and his family attend
Mission Church in Ventura.