From Eternity to Here paints an absolutely breathtaking portrait of God's relentless, passionate love for us that's interwoven throughout the Bible. Viola's articulate description of our Lord's extravagant love brought tears to my eyes on several occasions. This book is nothing short of life-changing. I will never view my Lord the same way again. I will never look at scripture the same way. I can no longer view myself or the body of Christ through the same eyes. From Eternity to Here has helped me to discover God's purpose for me. This is one of those few books that EVERY Christian MUST read. Amy Curtis Mooney
I have read everything I can get my hands on by Frank Viola, and I suggest you do the same. Frank's newest book is a must read for any minister, seeker or follower of Christ. This is his greatest work yet. "Eternity" should become an instant classic. Most of Viola's other books deal with church life and church history. "From Eternity To Here" is about church identity. Few books get to the heart of the matter like this one. For over 40 years I've heard (and repeated) the mantra "Christianity is Relationship Not Religion". When I put this book down, I took hold of those words with greater force than I have in years, maybe decades. The bumper sticker says "Smile God Loves You". This book didn't just make me smile...it made me weep...for joy. Jim Berrier at R & R Preacher
Phenomenal! So many books and other literary works for the last several hundred years in the field of theology seem to be focused on primarily a few particular issues (sin, death, hell, heaven, salvation, ethics, etc), and most seem to miss the forest for the trees. In true and consistent fashion, Frank delivers yet another heartfelt, sincere, well-researched, and sound work not really of theology (which has a cold, academic connotation), but rather a spiritual description and explanation of God's heart for His people. Raleigh Barrett
More Than a Book. I am convinced "From Eternity to Here" will ignite the hearts of thousands, if not millions of believers within the Body of Christ. In my 30+ years as a Christian, I have never read a book like it. Frank Viola is a gifted writer but the impact of this book is far beyond human ability. I am thoroughly persuaded I will never be the same. Vicki Weiler
Need to Fall in Love Again? Never has God's Story/Narrative so impacted my life as when I opened my heart to recieve Him and His Story as presented in "From Eternity to Here", the bible my constant reference. As I read of, and worshiped Christ, my heart literally exploded, time and again! It left me wanting so much more of Him. Deane Strawbridge
Thank you for sharing (through your book) the revelation of Christ's passion for His Beautiful Bride. Your book is a masterpiece. Your book is an all time classic. It is the best book I have ever read, and I've read most of your books, and many others I won't mention now. But, your book, From Eternity to Here, is the book I believe it will remain the number one for all my life. I don't think I will ever read a better book than this one in my lifetime. Konti Leci
I'm reading Frank Viola's new book, 'From Eternity To Here', and, wow. If you want insight into God's eternal plan, and the purpose that we, the bride, were created for, you need to check out this book. I am not even half way through and already it has me at "can't put it down". Excellent reading, and happy to say, easy to read. Flows very smoothly in it's presentation. Gordon Brock
I have recently finished reading 'From Eternity to Here'... I was reminded of when jesus touched a man's eyes and said, 'what do you see?' and he said, 'i see men as tree's walking,' and jesus touched him a second time and said, 'now tell me what you see?' and the man replied, 'i see all things clearly'. Tthat sems to have been my experience - the first touch at my salvation - the second touch as i read your book/ministry. thank you. Denis Goodwin
Let’s be honest. Guys like me- ordained in the traditional church, collecting a paycheck from the traditional church, investing a significant portion of our life in the traditional church- are supposed to be put off by Frank Viola’s entire project. And depending on what you’ve read by or about Frank Viola, that may be exactly how you feel: defensive about an “open” house church model that dismisses traditional denominations as a selling out of the church.
Viola’s work makes us defensive and rightfully so. Of all the contemporary critics of the traditional church,
Viola has been the most effective. He’s not ranted and railed. Instead, he’s done the hard scholarly work to make his case, and offered a full and complete discussion and informed experience for his own model.
But what’s been missing in Viola’s project has been an extensive and foundational Biblical underpinning; specifically a foundational understanding of the church. With From Eternity to Here, Viola has given us that foundational Biblical discussion of the church, and in a compelling and creative way.
From Eternity to Here is a very different book from Pagan Christianity and Reimagining Church. It takes three major Biblical themes- marriage, house and family- and explores them extensively and in detail for what these themes have to say about the church. It’s an excellent Biblical study, with hundreds of Biblical connections and insights that tie these great themes together.
Viola hasn’t written a Biblical theology or a narrative approach to the Bible. He’s written a Biblical theology of the church, focusing on those themes with the most influence on how the church sees itself.
I was taken aback with how much I liked this book. I read it quickly, and I’m going to read it again. Why? Because if there is a book on the Jesus-shaped church that I could recommend to everyone who identifies with my description of that journey, this has easily cleared the bar as my first choice. Not because I would sell all that I have and follow Frank Viola into the organic church movement, but because the way in which Jesus Christ dominates the ecclesiology is exactly what so many of us are searching for in the evangelical wilderness.
Viola is generous with his debt to mentors and teachers, some of whom will be new discoveries to some in this audience. The name Watchman Nee causes me some concern, but I’m not as concerned with where all of the sources for these Biblical themes come from as I am in whether the end result expounds all of scripture in a Christ-centered way. That is exactly where Viola succeeds. This is a uniquely original comprehensive tour of the threads that hold the Bible together.
I was most impressed with Viola’s compassion for the church and for the Christians who love the church. He understands how the church and the individuals who make it up have been hurt, abused and sold out. He understands how shabbily the bride of Christ, the house of God and his children have been treated. If nothing else, a reader will come away from this book enjoying and reveling in the love that God has for his people. Michael Spencer (the iMonk) at Internet Monk
Have you ever read one of those books that articulated everything you already knew into far better words than you could articulate them? Have you devoured a book because it gave reason and explanation for truths that you merely feel? Have you ever known that this book you are giving your time and thought to, is to become a field guide for the journey you are already on? Have you ever finished a book with the words, "I need to buy a copy of that for everyone I know?"
I have had that happen twice in my life. The first time was several years ago when I read Tom Davis' "Fields of the Fatherless". Then the second was last night as I finished Frank Viola's "From Eternity to Here." This book rocked my world not because it introduced a new idea, but because it quilted together the very truth of God, and his passionate needs, desire, and longing for community with his creation.
The book is divided into three sections. The first section lays out the Biblical narrative in such a way that it emphasizes the church as the bride as an eternal passion of God from before the beginning of time. Perfectly connecting the heroes of the Old Testament, with the wonder and mystery of John's gospel and apocalypse, Viola illustrates that the church as the bride is not a metaphor to help us better understand the authority structure of the Christian home, but instead it is the deep mystery of God hidden in Christ before the foundation of the world.
In the second section, Viola repeats his wonderful ability to beautifully connect the Biblical narrative together to elevate in our minds the importance of God's search for a dwelling place. From the foreign land where he sent Abraham, to the tabernacle of Moses and the tabernacle of David, to Solomon's Temple, through the incarnate life of life Jesus, and ultimately into his church which is the House of God, the Lord's resting place.
Finally in his third section, Viola switches from story teller to scholar to reveal the depth of meaning in the gospels and in the Pauline writings about the church as the body of Christ. This section does not read with the majestic eloquence of the first two, and yet it's content resonates deeper, and more meaningfully than any other in the book. Once again Viola slaughters theologians desire to reduce the the realities of God's Kingdom into a metaphor, this time it is the body of Christ. Viola notes with meticulous detail how the church is the REAL physical incarnation of Christ on earth now. He reinforces our dependence on Christ and gives us truth to use as a weapon against Satan's attack on our worth and righteousness. As Christ is the head and mind of the church, we are it's body, and we are therefore in a mutual need of eachother for the life giving dependence of a physical body. He ties all the thoughts together, to note how if we are the "seed of heaven" then as a new species on earth we live not intertwined into the affairs of the old species, but as colonist of the new Kingdom which is fulfilled at the reconciliation of all things.
This book is Viola's magnus opus! I have read his other three books, and they are each great teaching. However, this work is not a book to be studied, it is a very window into the passionate erotic love of God for his creation, and for his desperate need to extend the community of the triune God among them. I say without reservation, this book will change the way you see God. It will set you free from the limited metaphor of systematic theologies. It will release you from the minimized boxed God of a religionist allegorical reinterpretation of the narrative of God. It will welcome you as participants into God's eternal purpose.
Erasmus famously quipped, "when I have a little extra money I buy books, if there is any left over I buy food." Reading this book is more important than any meal you will eat this week. If you must go hungry, and get a hold of the book. From Eternity to Here will feed you from a source that this world knows nothing about.
Frank Viola has written a much needed comprehensive look at God's eternal purpose. There are other books out there that touch upon this subject but this is the most comprehensive work I have seen to date. Frank beautifully covers the topic by using a story-telling form in three parts.
God's eternal purpose is one of the least understood of all biblical doctrines, and yet it is the foundation for everything that He wants to do with mankind.
I strongly believe that this is one of the most important books of our time. Every believer needs to get their hands on a copy!
Words cannot describe. I will not have a chance to give a full review for From Eternity To Here by Frank Viola until late in the week. But, I can give you what I have today.
I only got to page 55. I had to close it and give it to QueenJaymz to read. Let me tell you something. I have been COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY WRECKED by a mere glimpse of God's eternal purpose in Christ Jesus. I don't care who you are or if you consider yourself a follower of Jesus or not, you absolutely must get this book.
The way I feel today is something I hope for every follower of Christ to know and understand in their lifetime, and for every person on this planet to have the chance to experience. Just by the first 55 pages, I have been changed so completely that I will never, ever, ever, ever be the same again. And neither will you.
The book is out on March 1st. Do whatever you have to in order to get a copy of it that day and read the first 55 pages. You'll discover why life is worth living. Jared King
I've gotten to know Frank over the past year since reading Pagan Christianity and Reimagining Church and have grown to appreciate his challenges for the church. He is a sought-after conference speaker and advocate for the house church movement, but what I love about Frank is his desire to connect with other believers who really want to go deeper with God. This is the main premise of his new book.
In this metanarrative (greater story woven within several minor stories), he explains the divine purpose: "It's to expand the life and love that's in the Trinitarian Community. It's to increase the fellowship of the Godhead and reflect it on earth. This is the goal of evangelism. This is the goal of the church's activities. This is God's dream, His eternal purpose. To obtain a bride, a house, a family, and a body that is by Him, through Him, and to Him." (p. 289)
On the topic of church and God's "dwelling place," Viola criticizes "lone ranger" Christians for thinking that life in Christ would not involve intimate, active community. The whole point of the New and Old Testaments, he argues, is that God is looking to dwell in a people, not a group of individuals.
Regarding religiosity (a theme that is highly criticized in the book), From Eternity to Here paints an interesting picture of two ways to find God that have existed since Genesis. In the Garden of Eden, there were two trees - the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life - and they represent two ways to live. The Tree of Knowledge is the way of religion (i.e. moralistic activity without God), and the Tree of Life is the way of the New Testament (i.e. receiving Jesus as the source of your life). He applies this theme to all of Scripture, teaching on the Tabernacle of David (where God's Spirit freely moved in everyone) and the Tabernacle of Moses (where the priests were intercessors between humans and God).
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was deeper than his other works but also not quite so aggressive. I recommend it to anyone who wants to better understand the what over-arching themes of God's story and come to better appreciate their role in his eternal purpose on earth. Jeff Goins
Before we attempt to understand the multitude of ideas about how to do church, the most important question to first be answered is, "What is church?" From Eternity to Here is a valuable contribution to understanding not only our individual identity in Christ, but our corporate identity as the bride of Christ, the body of Christ, the house of God, and the family of God.
Laying out the scriptural background from Genesis to Revelation for each of these aspects of the identity of the people of God, Frank portrays the truth that the bride, the body, the house, and the family are each images of the same reality of God's eternal purpose for His visible expression on the earth. He convincingly explains each aspect as more than just metaphors but the reality of our identity and purpose to participate in and reflect the unfailing love of the Godhead. Grace (KingdomGrace)
With the release of "Pagan Christianity" and "Reimaging Church" in the past two years, Frank Viola's message has brought about a great deal of commotion in Western Christianity. His straight-forward manner will confront fan and critic alike with the theme of his writing. His writing style is full of content without being overly intellectual. Viola manages to grad the attention of the reader and keep it until the conclusion.
In his latest book, "From Eternity to Here," Frank Viola expresses his passion for, what he calls, "God's eternal purpose." Stepping out of a self-focused view of Christianity, that views all events in relation to personal benefit, Viola paints a picture of the heart of Father before the Fall. What was on the heart of God before humanity fell? What remains God's primary purpose in the scope of eternity? These questions are addressed throughout the book in a biblically-sound, narrative manner.
As one who has read many theological books, it is clear that Frank Viola has a deep passion for Jesus Christ and for His Bride, the Church, comprised of those who walk in a life of intimacy with their Savior. Many books currently being released in the Christianity marketplace seem heavy on opinions, but empty and lifeless. It is clear that Frank Viola's message, though controversial to some, comes from a heart of passion for Christ and Him alone.
I heartily recommend this book to those interested in knowing what God's purpose really is. Matthew Berry
The title alone allows you to peer into this book. “From Eternity to Here”. Not to mention the subtitle adds a bit of mystery and should alone intrigue you to want to flip through its pages, if only to scan it. The subtitle “Rediscovering The Ageless Purpose of God”. Wow! I think most people don’t know that the Church has an ageless purpose and for that this book is definitely an important work. I thought Mr. Viola was using a bit of hyperbole when he wrote “this is the most important book I have written”.
I thought hmmmmm, is this just a marketing ploy? But reading 3 of Viola’s previous works I think he may really be honest here. Books such as “The Untold Story of the New Testament” (which I rank second to this one), “Pagan Christianity” (a book that put Viola on the map for those who were not privy to his previous works and obviously his bestseller to date and put him on the Most Hate List) and “Reimagining Church” are really good. But I must admit this one will have the greatest eternal benefit.
If you have read any of Viola’s previous works, you will understand that his writing style draws you in. He has a way with words that paints images in your brain. There is a bit of allegory that exists here, but I think Viola is really on to something.
Viola closes with his experience and this section of the book is just as good if not better. If you have not read “Reimaging Church” you may can get a good feel of what that book is about here. Viola walks through his testimony and how the Lord Jesus was shaping and molding his view of the ekklesia. I think here the book becomes personal and we learn a great deal of why books like Pagan Christian and Reimaging were written. I also think it can help you ask questions about your experience with the church at large.
As many churches are fighting for you loyalty, Viola removes us from a micro to a macro view. He reveals to us the importance of language in the bible and he shows us that what God has made us a part of is eternal. I would recommend this book to every Christian I know. I have been enriched and my future view of the church has been shaped forever. I thank Viola for writing a book that will have a lasting impact on the Kingdom! Lionel Woods