I read this over at . CreedScot McKnight recently highlighted this article by Frank Viola who is a proponent of what is called the “Organic Church.” Viola is a critic of organized religion or for that matter the institutionalized church. For him a better fit of doing ministry and church is to model it after the biblical perspective, or should I say a more historically directed approach to doing church.
He says a lot of good things in his proposal. Most of which must be commended. But I think he is far to harsh in his criticism and proposal. Here is the comment that I posted regarding the article by Viola on the Jesus Creed blog (you can read other comments as well):
Although what Viola proposes is commendable and in some ways biblical, my only question is, “what authenticity are we seeking really? Is it simply being confined to the way things were back in the biblical days or are we to simply fill in the blanks where the bible seems silent, by that I mean in how we do discipleship?” I think we cannot restrict ourselves to the age old model but seek ways to enhance our understanding of changing times or context and seek biblical wisdom to ground how we do things. To me we have to be open. Although Viola proposes we conform just to the “biblical” pattern, how would we really know how they actually did discipleship? All we have are patterns not constriction. The bible is more open than the vision of the organic Church. In a way, the organic church is advocating their own brand of “institution.”