Welcome │ July 24, 2014
Rediscovering the Ageless Purpose of God 
 
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Frequently Asked Questions on the Book

Why did you write "From Eternity to Here"?

  ANSWER     I wrote it because the message changed my life drastically some 17 years ago, and I wanted others to be helped by it. The book exalts and glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ supremely, and I have a passion to see Him magnified. I also believe the message of God’s eternal purpose is little known and little preached in our day. So I hope and trust that it ends up being an important contribution to the Body of Christ at large.

Frank I have never read such an incredible book with such revelation and insight about God's passionate Love and purpose for His Bride. When were you inspired to write this book and how longs has this masterpiece been progress before having it published? Although I am not finished reading it I am taking my time so I can allow Holy Spirit to speak to me. There’s so much more I want to say. Just started chapter 11 Yeah God!!! Corrine

  ANSWER    Thank you for your all-too kind words. It took me 17 years to write the book. I’ve been speaking on the subject of God’s eternal purpose since April 1992. And from that point on, it’s been an unfolding revelation and anchor for my life and ministry.  I began writing the present book sometime in 2005.
God seems really into squares and cubes when it comes to representing His people - square ephod, cubical holy of holies and new Jerusalem, etc. Why is that? 
  ANSWER    I don't have the vaguest idea. Perhaps it speaks of Divine perfection somehow.
Howard Snyder whom you quote in several of your writings says of the Church Renewal Movement "an exaggerated emphasis here can produce an unhealthy, subjectivistic, pulse taking kind of Christian experience which is ingrown and fuzzy on Doctrinal truth". Do you think your books including "From Eternity to Here" tend to place too much emphasis on renewal and if not what do you recommend to keep those of us interested in returning to God's eternal purpose from becoming too subjectivistic? 
  ANSWER    No, I don't have that concern. And from my conversations with Howard, neither does he with respect to my books. (He's written endorsements for two of them.) The main reason being that I'm not pointing people to a subjective encounter, but rather an authentic spiritual experience of the Body of Christ that's rooted in the Scriptures and the centrality of Jesus Christ.
What inspired you to write the book? And what will determine if you feel it is successful?
  ANSWER    The first question is answered above. The second question is a great one. There are two ways to measure the success of a book. One is from the publisher's standpoint. The metric there is sales. FROM ETERNITY has only been out a month so we can't be sure how well it will do in the future. But it has gotten off to a great start. It already hit #5 on the Parable bestseller list. Time will tell if it continues its momentum. This all depends on word of mouth. People buy books mostly because friends recommend them. For me, however, the real test of the success of a book is if it's changed lives and brought people closer to God. Based on the feedback I've received so far and the reviews that have been written on Amazon and Parable, I would say that the book is already successful. And for that I am thankful.
If you don't mind, what was your wilderness experience like? I assume you went through one. Or maybe you could share the wilderness experience of someone(s) you know that touched your soul and reminded you of God's faithfulness. Thanks! In Jesus. Jason
  ANSWER    I've had a few wildernesses in my life. I've also talked to countless Christians who have experienced them. What are they like? Pretty much the way I describe them in the book.
I want to know about your opinion about the role of the Jews in God's eternal purpose. I know this is a controversial question among Christians but since I have some friends who are messianic Jews who I want to share your book with I know this question will arise.
  ANSWER    God's passion is for the church, where "there is neither Jew nor Gentile." (I'm quoting Paul.). The middle wall of partition has now been broken down, and God's heart is set on "one new humanity" (Eph. 2). I don't know what God's plans are for the nation of Israel or the Jews as an ethnic people. And I don't believe anyone else does, despite those who sound certain about it. Romans 9-11 are difficult texts to interpret. My view of them is pretty much the same as that of N.T. Wright's. Let me say a word from my experience. When a local expression of the church of Jesus Christ is operating and functioning as she should, and God's people in that church (both Jew and Gentile) are revealing Jesus the Risen Messiah together, it provokes the religious Jew to jealousy. Interestingly, this is what Paul said would and should happen in Romans.
Unfortunately, I haven't read the book - still waiting to get it. I've read your other books, and will order this one. I have heard you quoted as saying it is the most important book you'll ever write, and if you were asked 10 years from now, you'd answer the same. What is is about the book that makes you feel that way? Looking forward to hearing the podcast, and reading the book. Blessings.
  ANSWER    I trust your question will be answered once you read the book. In short, I don't believe there is anything more important to God than His eternal purpose. It's His magnificent obsession and ultimate dream, if you please. FROM ETERNITY is an unfolding of that glorious purpose written at a popular (opposed to a scholarly) level.
I agree with you it is not WWJD, but how am I to live my life as if Jesus were me in the everydayness of life. But we can't get to that point by trying or willing; it must be by training. My question is, do you think the spiritual disciplines are the tools, that if done regularly and routinely will transform our inner character into the character of Jesus?
  ANSWER    I believe that the key to living by the Lord's life lies in three things: 1) living in an authentic community of believers who have a shared life in Christ together and are experiencing organic church life under Christ's headship, 2) experiencing the cross together with that group of believers, and 3) spending time in God's presence with that group of believers. In short, living by Christ is a corporate adventure and pursuit. It was never meant to be the domain of the individual Christian who tries to live for God as an individual. Spiritual disciplines, no matter what they are, will always fall short if not experienced in Christian community.
First I want to thank you Frank for working hard to get this revelation out. This book has seriously transformed my relationship with Christ. It has really helped me to strip away so many minor details that often cloud the big picture of the gospel. My question is, Do you think systems and traditions are ok as long as they produce loving relationships and don't override New Testament principles?
  ANSWER   I'd prefer to say that "they are ok so long as they do not 1) hinder the organic expression of church life 2) suppress the functioning of the Body of Christ and the full operation of the priesthood of all believers, and 3) subvert the living headship of Jesus Christ and obstruct God's eternal purpose in Him."
So much has been taught in the 'church' regarding God's purpose is mainly 'to save the lost'. Do you feel that your presentation slights that or seeks to simplify that both are in essence the same?
  ANSWER   The teaching that says that "saving the lost" is God's desire is certainly correct, but it's not complete. God's purpose was in view before the Fall ever occurred. Humans came into this earth not in need of salvation. Consequently, there was something else in God's heart that provoked creation, and He's never let go of it. This is what the book explores.
How does this book and your other writings fit into what you see occurring throughout the emergent church movement? Like is this a piece to the same puzzle that Shane Claiborne and Rob Bell and others are working out or is it different? How so?
  ANSWER   I've never read a book by either author so I can't comment specifically. Shane and I both spoke at a conference once, and his talk was very good. It was mainly about taking the teachings of Jesus seriously. So you will have to read my book and decide for yourself. Incidentally, Shane has graciously endorsed both FROM ETERNITY and REIMAGINING CHURCH.
Concerning the divine purpose and the element of Earth, how does the local community fulfill the "Great Commission" to "go and make disciples of all the nations" that Jesus gives at the end of Matthew?
  ANSWER    It does it so by standing for and expressing God's eternal purpose. My next book goes into how (specifically) the apostles fleshed out the commission that Jesus gave them before He ascended (the "Great Commission," as it's been named). It's pretty clear how they fulfilled it when you read Acts and the Epistles chronologically. God's ways haven't changed since the apostolic age because they aren't rooted in culture, but in the nature of God Himself. You can check out my book THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH for a chronological narrative of the early church.
Will readers stumble if they are pre- post- or some other persuasion than you present in the book?
  ANSWER    Not at all. It's irrelevant to the book's message. The same would go for the kind of church to which a Christian belongs. The book is written for all who embrace Jesus as Lord and Savior. And those who don't hold to the Christian faith can learn from it as well. The book's audience is about as large as it gets.
Just wanted to say I'm about a third of the way through the book, and am shocked at the freshness of perspective. I know my perspective will be forever changed. Are there any plans to get this book translated into Spanish soon?
  ANSWER    David C. Cook, the publisher, has given it to a few Spanish publishers. They are reviewing it now. can learn from it as well. The book's audience is about as large as it gets.
I've heard other folks talk about some of the same ideas you discuss regarding the fact that the institutional church structure is not biblical, but they do not deem it necessary to leave such an environment. What sort of relationship can/should a believer aware of the things you discuss in From Here to Eternity (and your other books as well) have with the institutional church?
  ANSWER    First, FROM ETERNITY TO HERE doesn't discuss church practice at all. It's an unfolding of the biblical drama of God's eternal purpose. The big, sweeping epic story that runs from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22. I do not recommend that anyone leave the church they are attending. It's not my place to do such a thing. At the same time, there are millions of Christians who are hungry and desperate for an expression of church that's beyond the typical traditional church experience. In addition, there are many believers who are seeking to be faithful to the teachings of Jesus and the apostles and believe that the traditional form of church contradicts those teachings. PAGAN CHRISTIANITY shows where our modern church practices came from. REIMAGINING CHURCH is a theology of church as organism rather than church as organization. I don't apologize for these books, for I believe they are true to Scripture and the Lord's heart for His church. Each reader must decide if the message in the books is true and what they should do with it before God. Note that I define "institutional church" in my books not as a people, but as a system. Each believer, therefore, must discover before God what their relationship to it should be.
In the book of the revelation of Jesus Christ, it is both "the deeds" and "the doctrine" of those in the two "churches" specified (Revelation 2:6, 15). It is my belief that Jesus Christ did not want us to Lord over one another as the church leaders do these days, but to meet together as one under the headship of Christ. Is this a true statement? That is my question to you for the podcast. Thanks for all you have done and will continue to do until Christ be formed in us all. Phillip.
  ANSWER    The book, FROM ETERNITY TO HERE, doesn't deal with issues of church practice or leadership at all. See my books PAGAN CHRISTIANITY and REIMAGINING CHURCH for a treatment of those issues. They also answer your specific question.
How has the message of this book personally changed your walk with God? You're everyday life in terms of trying to live out the Kingdom? Cheers, Dan.
  ANSWER    In every way conceivable. Namely, it's caused me to fall in love with my Lord, to receive His love and return it back to Him, to express Him with other believers, to know and discover Him with other believers, to view my brothers and sisters in Christ through His eyes, to view myself through His eyes, to view the church through His eyes and to see how very important she is to Him. This has also effected me views of sharing the gospel with the lost and mission, strengthening and enriching both.
How many questions is one person allowed to submit? ;) Chapters 9 thru 11 is amazing - the Bride, the Wedding, the Wife of God This shows the whole story that the Bible tells hanging together in a way I have never seen before. It shows an organic, big plan, strategy of God, in which the essentials of our existence have their rightful place - love, relationship, male, female, ... The way you show the repeating patterns from Adam and Eve, through Abraham and Isaac to Jesus Christ and His Bride is amazing exposition of the Bible. My question is: why have we never seen this before? why has it not been taught this way before? how have we missed this?
  ANSWER    I used to know the answer to that question. :-) I am not sure. Perhaps it's because of two reasons, at least. One, we commonly begin the story in Genesis 3 with the Fall and thus everything is about salvation. Genesis 1-2 (which deal with before the Fall), and Ephesians 1-3 along with Colossians 1 (which deal with before creation) are seen as footnotes. Two, Protestantism has historically been aimed at the frontal lobe, and it has emphasized the Christian life for the individual. By contrast, God's purpose is aimed at the heart and it's intensely corporate. Someone recently wrote an email paying me one of the highest compliments I've ever received. He said that the book reveals "the hidden obvious." I think that's a perfect description of the book. One of the main responses from readers has been, "How on earth did I miss this all these years?"
Who was your cover designer? I love it. I always wash my hands before reading it because I want it to stay white :) Love what I've read so far, it's been a great study book for me. I'm about halfway through. Blessings from Ocala! Leslie.
  ANSWER    The graphics designers at David C. Cook are great. They deserve all credit.
Man Frank, I don't think I knew the heart of the Lord really until I read your book. I'm returning to my first love and falling in love all over again. I think I might be able to write my own psalm now. OK my question. When is your next book coming out? You have moved my heart so close to him with this writing thanks. No really. THANKS BROTHER!!!!!!
  ANSWER    Thank you for the very kind words. Every year. You can view all my book releases here.
What suggestions do you have for incorporating this paradigm into group situations? (Small groups, friends' discussions, Sunday School classes, etc.)
  ANSWER    Discussion coupled with open-hearted prayer are the first steps, I think. There's a group discussion guide that goes with the book that can be downloaded for free. www.PTMIN.org
Will reading this material bring my heart closer to the heart of the Father who I know loves me unconditionally. I desire only to KNOW HIM and be known by Him like no other time in my life and do not want to waste any more time or energy reading drama. I will trust you on this one Frank so I ordered it. Look forward to your on line event. Dean
  ANSWER    It has for others, and I hope it will for you as well, as this is one of the intentions of the book. But only you can answer that.
When did you get the idea for this book? Looks like a captivating concepts with excellent endorsements.
  ANSWER    I've been speaking on the eternal purpose since 1992. But the actual idea to put the message into a book of this type occurred to me around 2005, I believe.
How is this book and any of your others being received by the majority of "leaders" in the church?
  ANSWER    It's still very early, but so far, quite good. Most of the people who endorsed it are highly influential pastors and teachers in the Body of Christ today. My other books have had varied responses. You can read endorsements by Christian leaders here: http://www.ReimaginingChurch.org and http://www.PaganChristianity.net
Do any stores in Gainesville, Florida have this book?
  ANSWER    Yes, I believe they all do.
In chapter 8 you footnote your reference to Mary Magdalene as being the unnamed woman in Luke 7. Although the chapter is beautifully written and the point driven home about the importance of awareness of one's own darkness, it seems a bit reckless to confidently make a correlation that remains unverifiable.
  ANSWER    The footnote on page 80 reads: "According to most traditional scholars and the testimony of ancient church history, Mary Magdalene is the unnamed woman described in Luke 7:36–50. She is not to be confused with Mary of Bethany, who anointed the Lord in the home of Lazarus near the end of Jesus' earthly life." One cannot prove if this woman was or wasn't Mary. But I go with those scholars who believe it was, and it makes sense to me seeing that she's mentioned right after the story. I believe Luke didn't want to denegrate her. I don't see how using her in the story the way I did and footnoting the reason why can be considered "reckless." Nonetheless, if you don't believe the woman is Mary, no worries. It doesn't effect the story or the points I make in it. Let's be careful not to strain at gnats and swallow camels.;-)
In the beginning of the book, you talk about Eve being formed on the 8th day and there's a footnote about Eve begin in Adam on the 6th day (Genesis 1). Can you elaborate? It makes sense to me, but I have friends who don't get it.
  ANSWER    This is hard for some Westerners to "get" because we are taught to linearly read Genesis 1 and 2, which is the typical way modern Western Christians approach an ancient Jewish text. Adam is said to be created on the 6th day. he is already there in Genesis 2 before Eve appears. She comes out of Adam in Gen. 2. I agree with those scholars who have pointed out that the woman mentioned in Gen. 1 (Eve isn't mentioned, just "woman") is speaking of her being inside of Adam. Her coming out of Adam on the 8th day fits all the types and shadow of the new creation being born in resurrection perfectly. (8 is always the number of resurrection and new creation. The church was born on the 8th day. And Eve is a type of the church according to Paul). We have to understand how the OT is written. So I wish to be faithful to Scripture even if the modern Western mind doesn't understand it. Here is the way one scholar put it in his commentary on Genesis 1: "Eve received all her blessings in Adam: in him, too, she got her dignity. Though not yet called into actual existence, she was, in the purpose of God, looked at as part of the man." The view that "Adam" in Genesis 1 included Eve before she was taken out of him was argued by A.B. Simpson, C.H. Mackintosh, and Asbury Theological Seminary Professor Donald Joyce in his excellent book, Bonding. Male and female were included in Adam before God "split the Adam" and took the woman out of the man. This understanding is also articulated in the Jewish Midrash.
On page 68, you say that God could have divorced Israel. But doesn't the Bible say that He did divorce Israel?
  ANSWER    During Hosea's day, which I talk about in that section, God did not divorce Israel. Years later, the Lord gave the northern kingdom of Israel a certificate of divorce, but not the southern kingdom, Judah (Jer. 3:8). He eventually took her back, so it wasn't really divorce, but more like a temporary separation.
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