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God's Favorite Place on Earth Paperback – May 1, 2013

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook (May 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0781405904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0781405904
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"In Frank Viola's hands, the story of Lazarus--like Lazarus himself--once again comes to life. In a world where hope is battered and life can so easily beat down the human spirit, we are reminded once more of the possibility of becoming a host of Life." 
John Ortberg, pastor and author of Who Is This Man?

"God's Favorite Place on Earth realigned my heart toward Jesus and His mysterious, confounding, surprising, beautiful ways. It's not often I learn something new when reading a book, but Frank Viola's sharp storytelling and insightful interpretation made me hunger for more of the real Jesus."
Mary DeMuth, author of Everything: What You Give

"God's Favorite Place on Earth is the kind of book I've discovered I need to periodically find and read. Frank Viola's pen and voice are consistently both penetrating and trustworthy. Beyond his invitingly beautiful writing skill--which makes reading a joy and a sight-seeing tour that brings God's Word into 3-D when he relates narrative passages, I'm grateful for the depth of his themes."
Pastor Jack Hayford, Chancellor of The King's University, Los Angeles

"This is a masterfully engaging book that distills the vision of the Christian life into one focused quest: To be God's favorite place on earth today. I recommend this little volume to all Christians and Christian leaders."
Mark Batterson, New York Times bestselling author of The Circle Maker

"Combining masterful storytelling, historical knowledge, biblical insight and practical wisdom, Frank artfully uses the Gospels' depiction of Lazarus and the small town of Bethany to lay out a beautiful and compelling vision of a God who longs to make every human heart and every church 'His favorite place.' This is a beautifully written, timely, prophetic work all would benefit from reading!"
Greg Boyd, pastor and author of Benefit of the Doubt

"A lot of people write books, Frank writes stories and in this one we once again see why he's such a master. Honored to call him a friend, excited to call him an author I love to read."
Jon Acuff, bestselling author of Start and Quitter

"Frank Viola surpasses himself in his best book yet—a work of serene, soaring magnificence. Part novel, part biography, part theology, part Bible study, Frank’s imaginative touch and command of prose haiku leaves the reader resolved more than ever to be a Bethany—God’s favorite place on earth."
Leonard Sweet, Drew University, George Fox University

“Reading God's Favorite Place on Earth by Frank Viola, my soul began to burn from Chapter One. To delve into Lazarus' heart and thoughts ... I received a beautiful glimpse into the life of Christ on earth. Lazarus' stories make a perfect foundation for God's truth, God's intimacy. I can't wait to share this book!”
Tricia Goyer, USA Today best-selling author of 35 books

"In spite of my Ph.D. in Theology, I had never considered the importance of Bethany in the life of Jesus."
Phil Cooke, media consultant and author of Unique

"Reading God's Favorite Place on Earth illuminates the story of Jesus in such a new and captivating way that it's bound to impact your life. Read this powerful book and reconnect with the Lord's heart for every Christian, every church, and every city. "
Pete Wilson, pastor and author of Plan B and Empty Promises

About the Author

FRANK VIOLA is the author of numerous books designed to encourage, inspire, and bless people with the wonderful message of Jesus Christ. He's the author of From Eternity to Here and Reimagining Church. His blog is rated as one of the most popular in Christian circles today: frankviola.org.

More About the Author

FRANK VIOLA has helped thousands of people around the world to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and enter into a more vibrant and authentic experience of church. His books help serious followers of Jesus to know their Lord more deeply, to gain fresh perspectives on old or ignored subjects, and to make the Bible come alive. His blog, frankviola.org, is ranked in the top 5 of all Christian blogs on the Web today.

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend Frank Viola's newest book God's Favorite Place on Earth.
J. Lake
I enjoyed the format of this book very much, as each section seemed to flow naturally through the story, scripture and application parts.
R. Brady
Jesus Christ truly understands this pain and is willing to suffer with you and bring you to a new place of freedom in His love.
James R Berry III

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By JLawson on May 1, 2013
Format: Paperback
Every month, scores of new books flood the shelves at Christian bookstores. I should know, because I work at one. Sadly, not all of those books are worth reading. In fact, you will only find most really good Christian literature on the out-of-print list, long removed from the consciousness of mainstream Christian readers.

Every now and then, though, there comes a blip across the radar of Christian literature registered by some title that is both new and good. Frank Viola's God's Favorite Place is one such work.

I've followed Frank's ministry for about eight years now, and there are few Christian authors alive today who I have received as much help from as this brother.

Of all his writings, Pagan Christianity made the biggest splash. From Eternity to Here has been called his "magnum opus." But neither one matches the beauty and grandeur of God's Favorite Place. This is Frank's best work to date.

The premise is simple: In all his earthly ministry, Jesus Christ was rejected everywhere he went. Everywhere, that is, except a little village on the outskirts of Jerusalem called Bethany. There the Lord was not just received, but welcomed and given preeminence. And in the week leading up to his betrayal, it was Bethany to which Jesus returned each night to rest his head.

Bethany was his favorite place on earth.

The reason for this, and the spiritual significance behind it, is what Frank explores in his latest book. He tells the story of Jesus' visits to Bethany through the eyes of Lazarus, and the storytelling is simple, clear, and powerful. It will move you with a revelation of Christ the likes of which moved Mary to break open her alabaster box and "waste" it on Jesus' feet.

All I can say is, may you and I so waste our lives on our Lord that the world, and even others who follow him, cannot help but ask why. And may God speed the message of this book to help advance that cause.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By C. Mcknight on April 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
God's Favorite Place on Earth--the title is quite a bold claim. How could Frank Viola know where God's favorite place is found?

Well, if you're expecting a theological treatise on the question, look elsewhere. That's not really the point of the book. "God's favorite place" simply refers to Bethany, the town where Jesus always received his warmest welcomes during his earthly ministry.

The book focuses on the events recorded in the four Gospels that took place in this town.

Bethany is where Jesus' friends Mary, Martha, Lazarus, and Simon lived. Bethany is where Jesus healed Simon of his leprosy and where Jesus raised Lazarus back to life. Bethany is where Mary sat at Jesus' feet and where Mary later anointed Jesus with her costly oil. Bethany is where Martha professed to Jesus, "I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world" (John 11:27, CJB).

God's Favorite Place on Earth examines and expounds on such events, but it does it in a way I've not seen before. This book is part exposition, part application, and part novel.

Each chapter starts with a novel-like dramatization of the biblical account. I tend to be somewhat wary of such things, due to the excessive liberties often taken. However, I have no complaints about this one. Frank Viola stayed very true to the biblical accounts.

While he filled in the details, he did so in a very reasonable manner, taking into account the cultural and biblical context. Furthermore, he was very upfront about which details are biblical and which details are speculative. I found the narratives to be a very refreshing look at familiar accounts.

Immediately after each dramatization, Frank included the actual biblical text.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David D. Flowers on April 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
If you enjoy the writings of Watchman Nee, T. Austin-Sparks, Andrew Murray, and the late Brennan Manning... you're gonna love Frank Viola!

I first made contact with Frank back in 2006 at a very tumultuous time in my life. I was stepping out of vocational ministry (I thought for good), and he was there pointing me to find my identity in Christ.

Over the years I have come to know Frank as a personal friend and mentor. Frank has a real gift. I believe that gift is leading folks to encounter the Lord Jesus in all his splendor. Once again, in a time of struggle and transition in my life, my brother comes out with a book that ministers to my soul.

And I believe it will minister to you as well.

"God's Favorite Place on Earth" addresses the most difficult questions and concerns regarding the Christian life. In Frank's new book we follow the fictional retelling of life in a small village outside of Jerusalem by a close friend of Jesus of Nazareth, Lazarus of Bethany.

Frank has done his homework. Using the Gospels and the best of contemporary NT scholarship, Frank recreates history with imaginary detail. This book allows us to witness the friendship of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha with the Messiah Jesus. It wasn't in Jerusalem that Jesus was accepted, it was among the simple saints in Bethany.

I actually felt closer to Jesus as I read "God's Favorite Place on Earth." You haven't read a book quite like this one. Get this book and see the Lord through the eyes of those who lived in Bethany.

And consider how you and your church can be a Bethany for the Lord's dwelling on earth.

D.D. Flowers, 2013.
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