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From Eternity to Here: Rediscovering the Ageless Purpose of God Paperback – March 1, 2009
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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.
"From Eternity to Here is a masterpiece. A must read for those who believe and for others who want to believe. It reads like a movie on paper."
~Dr. Myles Munroe, pastor and author of Rediscovering the Kingdom and God's Big Idea
"Too often we see people react to what they don't like about the church. In From Eternity to Here, Frank Viola offers up the doctrine which causes him to act on behalf of the church. Make no doubt about it--Frank is a provocateur and an artist-- and both come through in this book. Frank continues to challenge the church-at-large with a powerful mind, an impassioned voice, and a love for the Bride of Christ. You need to get this book and wrestle with Frank through the biblical passages regarding our identity in Christ as His body and the mission our God has entrusted to us."
~Ed Stetzer, author of Breaking the Missional Code.
"In From Eternity to Here, Viola shows us that we've settled for dry doctrines and rote religious behavior when what God wants--and what God has always wanted--is to engage us in a passionate love story that will never end. As Viola unfolds the glorious story of God's quest for a bride, readers will find their imaginations inspired and their lives transformed. The sheer beauty of God's magnificent plan compels our allegiance and revolutionizes our lives. This re-telling of the `old, old story' is a much needed gift to the church today."
~Greg Boyd, pastor, theologian, and author of Letters from a Skeptic, Myth of a Christian Nation, and God at War.
"Of all the sticks of TNT that Frank Viola has launched into a sleepy, status quo church, this grenade has the most explosive potential to make the church unashamed of the gospel and to release God's dynamic power for salvation." ~Leonard Sweet, Drew University, George Fox University.
"Some books are meant to be read and shelved but that's not true of the classics. Books become classics when they speak to new generations who were not even born when they were written. From Eternity to Here is a book for this hour, without a doubt. But it will be a classic for generations to come. This book has captured truth in simple language that speaks to the heart, not just the head."
~Dr. Ralph W. Neighbour, author of Where Do We Go From Here?
"Viola artfully weaves his own story into the drama of redemptive embrace, making God's love both a deeply personal affair as well as something of an existential quest in which we all have a part to play. As such it is `the old, old story' retold for a new and contemporary audience. It is a great work of narrative theology made very accessible for any reader."
~Alan Hirsch, missional strategist and author of The Forgotten Ways.
"This poetic exposé by Frank Viola is indeed a masterful work of art--a modern day mystical classic for sure. It is with a burning heart that I commend to you From Eternity to Here."
~Dr. James W. Goll, author of The Lost Art of Practicing His Presence.
"Frank Viola is the heir apparent to classic Deeper Christian Life teachers, faithfully bringing their core ideas into the 21st century with his own fresh insight. Visio Dei (the face of God) meets Missio Dei (the mission of God) in this passionate examination of what motivates the very heart of God!
~Mike Morrell, Graduate Fellow in Emergent Studies, M.A. in Strategic Foresight, Regent University.
"I have read just about everything Frank Viola has written, and his passion for seeing people experience vintage Christianity is contagious. This book brings you creatively into the biblical story by immersing your heart and mind in the great adventure of what God has for our life."
~Dan Kimball, pastor and author of The Emerging Church and They Like Jesus but Not the Church.
"I couldn't put this book down. Viola does an exceptional job of unpacking metaphors and connecting biblical threads that deal with Christ and the church. From Genesis to Revelation, Viola pulls together the sacred plans that God unveils for the Bride of Christ. Pushing in full force the concrete elements and literary connections of Christ and the church--the piece de resistance of the biblical narrative--Viola makes a substantial plea for the church to live in its true identity."
~Brian Orme, pastor, editor, and freelance journalist.
"From Eternity to Here takes you on a guided tour of the Bible, tracing three interwoven storylines from Genesis to Revelation. It will help new readers of the Bible get the big picture, and it will help seasoned Christians remember what really matters."
~Brian McLaren, author and activist.
"Frank sidesteps the maze of ecclesiastic labels to get to the heart of what church really is and how God sees it. Using the biblical metaphors of church and fleshing them out with the whole sweep of Scripture, Frank gives us fresh insight into the church as Bride of Christ, House of God, Body of Christ, and the Family of God. I feel Frank's unique contribution has to do with passion and romance, elements of God's intention with his people. This is often missing in `missional' books written by men unhealthily driven by purposeful objectives. Frank reminds us that the church is glamorous and God is concerned with more than just getting the job done."
~Andrew Jones, Missional Cell Developer for Church Mission Society.
"Frank Viola has been one of my favorite authors for years. Common threads run through his books: Organic spiritual life without organizational hierarchy, and real relationships with God and each other that are free of suppressive religious tradition. Frank's viewpoints are well grounded in both Scripture and history. From Eternity to Here reveals the startling but simple fact that God has already accomplished His ultimate goal in the resurrected Christ. We are the focus of His passionate love, and we have received the capacity to love Him in return forever--for free, a gift that will never be taken back. We can begin right now ... it's easy!"
~Don Francisco, singer and songwriter.
"Here is a book that lets you hear the ancient whisper of the God that "so loved the world," a whisper that has often been hard to hear amid all the noise, clutter, and meanness of Christendom. Listen and hear of a God who loves humanity so much that He can't help but enter the mess we've made of the world and help us re-imagine it.
~Shane Claiborne, author, activist, and recovering sinner.
"I appreciate this message so much. It is a very clear articulation of the subject and will press folks to that one thing I hold most necessary: daily fellowship."
~DeVern Fromke, teacher and author of Ultimate Intention and Unto Full Stature. --Christian Book Reviews
From the Publisher
Regarded as a masterpiece in narrative theology. A beautifully crafted saga of God's greatest passion. The sweeping story of God's eternal purpose and grand mission. A groundbreaking work in biblical narrative and missional ideology. A unique exaltation of the Lord Jesus Christ and His centrality and supremacy.
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If you want to learn how to have a deeper walk with Christ, this book is an eye-opener.
"I wrote the book," Viola explains, "to bring back into view the greatness, the supremacy, the centrality, and the incomparable glory of the Lord Jesus Christ in the face of God's immense purpose."
The three stories are:
1. A Forgotten Woman: The Bride of Christ
2. An Eternal Quest: The House of God
3. A New Species: The Body of Christ and The Family of God.
Below are a few of my notes on the first section:A Forgotten Woman: The Bride of Christ
Adam, First Man - "Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come." Rom 5:14.
Christ, Last Adam: "But the last Adam--that is, Christ--is a life-giving Spirit." 1Cor 15:45
Eve, First Bride
* 8th Day God takes the hidden woman from man's side (pleura).Gen 2:23
* When man rest-God works.
* Eve took Adam's name Gen 5:2
* Eve was Flawless (before fall)
* Without Adam- Eve had no existence
* Eve was Adam's glory, she reflected Adam Cor 11:7
* Eve- Mother of all living Gen3:20
Second Eve, Bride of Christ
* Through Christ' death sin separating man from God was destroyed. A solider pierced Christ' side (pleura).
* When man rest-God works.
* Bride takes the Bridegroom's name
* Bride becomes wrinkle and spot free by the blood of the Bridegroom
* Without Christ- Church had no existence
* Church is Christ' glory, she reflects Jesus
* Bridegroom goes to prepare the bridal chamber
* Bridegroom comes for His bride with the sound of the shofar
"A godly "romance" is at the heart of the universe and is the key to all existence. From all eternity God purposed that at some time in the future His Son should have an Eternal Companion, described by John the Revelator as "the bride, the Lamb's wife." Rev21:9. (Paul Billheimer)
Unlike Violas other books "Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices" and "Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity." "From Eternity to Here" is not about church practices and forms.
I understand and agree with some of Viola's other books about churches meeting in large corporate gatherings but not fully-I attend a loving Baptist church. But I praise Viola from bringing many excellent historical facts about the church to light.
From Eternity to Here is a book written for all of God's people irrespective of which church forms and structures they might embrace."From Eternity to Here" has been a special blessing to me.
I imagined Viola's newest book, From Eternity To Here: Rediscovering The Ageless Purpose of God (Cook) might be similar to his last controversial book, Pagan Christianity (co-written with George Barna). Viola isn't afraid to push some buttons and kick at some temple merchants' tables. But From Eternity To Here is a radically different type of book. It presents three powerful paradigms for understanding God's purposes for His church - her identity as the Bride, the House of God, and Christ's Body.
The three sections of the book delve deeply into each paradigm. Viola carefully traces each theme through Scripture. His beautiful writing invites readers into their real identity as Christ-followers, calling them beyond the pale imitations for which we Christians often settle. This book should be required reading for Christ-followers everywhere. Church leaders who've been walking with Jesus for a long time will benefit from remembering their first love. New or nominal believers will find their imaginations and longings inflamed for Jesus - and will catch a vision for a faith life that goes miles beyond showing up at church meetings or doing Christian activities.
Please...buy this book.