I’ve been reading through Frank Viola’s latest book, From Eternity To Here. The publisher says that this is a perfect follow-up to Francis Chan’s Crazy Love and in some ways I agree. Chan’s book is about why we should be Crazy in Love with Christ, and Viola’s book explains how we get there.
I started reading this book with a little trepidation. I read the first edition of an earlier book by Viola titled Pagan Christianity. I have to admit that it was not one of my favorite books. I agree with some of what he wrote, but I don’t think it was a fair representation of the church today. But when I started reading the reviews of this latest book, it made me want to give him a second chance. I’m glad I did, it’s a book that definitely makes you think.
I like that so much of the book is Christ-centered. He definitely wants to keep our focus on the mission and epic story of God, and in so doing strip away many of the man-made traditions and activities that get in the way. I have struggled with what to write in this review because it is a book that you have to soak in. I’m not sure I agree with some of his sweeping generalizations, but I really need more time to think and pray through some of the issues and terminology that he uses.
The book is centered around three themes. In reality, it is almost like reading three separate books. The epic story of God is intertwined through these three themes. Here is how Viola describes it.
If you have been a Christian for any length of time, terms like “bride of Christ,” “body of Christ,” “house of God,” and “family of God” are all too familiar to you. They may even be worn out and tiresome. It’s not an overstatement to say that our wearied familiarity with these words has blunted their edge and diluted thier impact.
Christians have been given a steady diet of biblical terminology. We speak it fluently because it’s the tribal language. But the reality and the power behind our terminology has largely been lost.
My hope, therefore, is that as you read this book, new life will be breathed into these familiar terms. I pray that the Holy Spirit would fill them with their original beauty and awe to this end: that you would be given a dramatically new, if not a staggering look at the ageless purpose that drives your God. For that purpose is the very reason you exist.
I plan on reading back through the book slowly and deliberately, and I will post more thoughts when I do. I don’t think this book will be as popular as Crazy Love, mainly because he uses terminology that many if not most Christians are unfamiliar with. In the meantime, here is some information from the publisher.
Deep within God’s Word lies a wondrous story like no other. A drama that originated before time began. An epic saga that resonates with the heartbeat of God. A story that reveals nothing less than the meaning of life and God’s great mission in the earth.
From Eternity to Here presents three remarkable stories spanning from Genesis to Revelation. Each story traces a divine theme that is woven throughout scripture. Seen together, they offer an extraordinary glimpse into God’s highest passion and grand mission. What you discover will forever change your view of life, the church, and our magnificent God.
From Eternity to Here presents the sweeping saga of God’s greatest passion. Comprised of three thematic stories, each theme explores the timeless purpose of our God and His plan and mission for the church.
The following bloggers are posting a review or Q & A with Frank Viola on his bestselling book FROM ETERNITY TO HERE today, Tuesday, July 21st. You may order the book at a discount at www.FromEternitytoHere.org – it’s also on audio book. Free discussion guide, sample chapters, interviews, and a free audio of the first chapter are available on that site also. Here are the bloggers who are participating:
- Jay Becker – http://www.jaybecker.org
- Mark D – http://deadmanstravelog.blogspot.com
- Igniting Hearts – Kimber Britner – http://www.ignitinghearts.blogspot.com/
- Karyn – http://tiger-kar.blogspot.com
- Barefoot Preacher – http://thebarefootpreacher.blogspot.com
- Every Day Angels – http://www.WeAreEverydayAngels.com
- FaithEngineer – https://www.faithengineer.com
- Kristen Schiffman – http://dancinginthemargins.typepad.com/
- CrossPointe: The Church at Bevo – http://churchatbevo.blogspot.com/
- Crazy Love for God – http://crazyloveforgod.blogspot.com
- Amazima Ministries – http://oatsvallteam.blogspot.com
- Down to Write Honest – http://downwritehonest.com
- A Beautiful Mess – http://blnorth1105.blogspot.com/
- The Blakes on a Mission – http://www.theblakesthailand.blogspot.com
- Words by Jud Kossum – http://judkossum.blogspot.com
- Eric Jaffe – http://www.ericjaffe.org
- Reconnect with God – http://www.Reconnectwithgod.org
- 2nd Cup of Coffee – http://www.2nd-cup-of-coffee.blogspot.com
- Nolan Bobbitt Website – http://www.nolanbobbitt.com
- Klappyanne – http://www.xanga.com/klappyanne
- Daveingland – http://www.daveingland.com
- Randi Jo Rooks – http://seedsinmyheart.blogspot.com
- Ephesians Five – http://ephesiansonefive.blogspot.com
- Michael Bayne – http://www.michaelbayne.net
- Encounter Church Helena Blog – http://encounterhelena.org
- Thoughts B4 Conviction N2 Action – http://tsharrison.blogspot.com
- Edevotion – http://www.e-devotion.blogspot.com
- Seeking After – http://seekingafter.blogspot.com
- Eric Powell – http://www.encounterhelena.org
- Borrowed Light – http://fbcnewlondon.blogspot.com