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From Eternity to Here: Rediscovering the Ageless Purpose of God [Paperback]

By Frank Viola (Author)
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Item description for From Eternity to Here: Rediscovering the Ageless Purpose of God by Frank Viola...

Presenting three remarkable stories spanning Genesis to Revelation, this saga reveals nothing less than the meaning of life and offers an extraordinary glimpse into God's highest passion.

Publishers Description

Deep within God's Word lies a wondrous story like no other. A drama that unfolded 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 Here to Eternity" 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.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: David C. Cook
Pages   315
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.32" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.81"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2009
Publisher   David C. Cook
ISBN  1434768708  
ISBN13  9781434768704  

Availability  8 units.
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More About Frank Viola

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Frank Viola is an internationally renowned speaker and author. He is a leading voice of the house church movement, a group of believers that seeks to reconnect with the original model of Christian fellowship. Frank lives with his family in Gainesville, Florida.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Spiritual Growth > General
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about From Eternity To Here?

Helpful analogies for organic and traditional churches  May 26, 2010
In this book, Frank describes what he calls "the eternal purpose" of God. What is the eternal purpose of God? Well, it is three purposes combined into one, actually. And, Frank divides this book into three parts which each describe one aspect of the eternal purpose: 1) The Bride of Christ, 2) The House of God, and 3) The Body of Christ and the Family of God.

Let's get the "bad" out of the way first. While I loved this book, and I agree with Frank, I disagree with some of the methodology especially in Parts 1 and 2 (but primarily in Part 1). While Frank finds the church described as the bride or Christ and the house of God directly in Scripture, in the first two parts of the book he utilizes a typological hermeneutic to flesh it out. Unfortunately, I think some of the typology stretches the narrative of Scripture.

This is a small point for me. Why? Because Frank also defends his claim from the direct statements of Scripture. Thus, Frank demonstrates that God is providing a bride for Christ and building a house for himself without the typology. Some will probably disagree with me on this point, and that's fine. Now, on the good points of this book - and there are many.

Frank begins by reminding us that God is creating a bride for Christ - and the church is that bride. If we recognize the church as a bride, it will affect the way we think about ourselves and other brothers and sisters. For example, Frank says:

"What is the Lord looking for? He is looking for a people who will take their stand in Christ. He's after a people who will dare to believe that they are part of Christ's beloved bride. A people who will defy what they see through their natural eyes and instead look through His eyes. He is looking for a people who see themselves as He sees them, through the prism of divine righteousness, part of a new creation wherein the fall has been eliminated. This is the necessary beginning to fulfilling God's grand mission. To take any other view is to serve God out of guilt, religious duty, or ambition rather than out of love." (62-63)

This first part reminds us that God is creating a people to love, not because of what they have done, but because he desires to love them. As Frank says, this should remove the necessity of trying to impress God or trying to get him to love you. God loves his church; and we should live in that love.

In the second part, Frank describes the eternal purpose of God as God building a house for himself. As Frank reminds us, God does not desire a house built of brick and mortar, nor a house built on doctrine and theology. God's house is his people; and it begins with the person of Jesus Christ. Frank says:

"When Jesus lived on earth, the house of God was limited by space and time. It was also limited to one person, Jesus of Nazareth... But when Pentecost arrived, the ekklesia was born..." (162)

God is building a house for himself through the church (the ekklesia). Now that the Spirit indwells each of God's children, it is possible for God to dwell among his people. But, there is a problem, as Frank points out:

"In this connection, I want you to imagine countless living stones scattered all over the earth. I want you to see innumerable living stones living their own individual Christian lives. I want you to see scores of living stones who love God, but who are isolated and independent of other living stones. They may attend religious services, but there's little to no "building together" among the members.

That is precisely the situation we find ourselves in today." (169)

Just as God's people must learn to live in his love as the bride of Christ, we also must learn to live together as God's building - his dwelling place.

In the final part of the book, Frank describes the eternal purpose of God as making a new creation, which is the body of Christ and the family of God. He combines these two images to describe believers as new creatures. He says:

"While Jesus never denigrated the physical family, He redefined its entire meaning. The Lord introduced the family of God, the very thing that the physical family was designed to portray. And you and I have been made part of that family. But that's not all. We have equally been made members of Christ's very own body. We are His limbs, His hands, and His feet... The body of Christ exists to express God on earth." (236-237)

Frank steps through the writings of Paul to demonstrate how we demonstrate ourselves as a new creation - Christ's body and God's family. As Frank told me when I talked to him about this book, this section is the most exegetical and least typological of the three.

Frank concludes with this:

"The big sweeping epic of God's timeless purpose is centered on a bride, a house, a body, and a family. These four elements make up the grand narrative of the Bible. The mission of God - the Missio Dei - is wrapped up with each of them.

God's mission demands more than a theological head-nod of agreement. It demands practical expression. The Lord wants a people who embody the bride, the house, the body, and the family in every city on this planet." (281)

And, this gets to the heart of the matter.

Many people who disagree with Frank concerning the content of Pagan Christianity and Reimagining Church - that is, they disagree that the church should be more organic and less structured - will agree with Frank's content in this book - if they read it. Why? Because this content is not new. Unfortunately, the understanding of the church as a bride, a house, a body, and a family is often wrapped in institutional clothing.

But, I believe that as people think about the church in these ways - really think about, not just give "a theological head-nod of agreement" - it will affect the way they think about the church and one another. Also, I believe these ideas offer a starting point in discussions about the church. Most will agree that the church is a bride, a house, a body, and a family. We can start there by asking what that means and how we live it out.

Like I said, the ideas in this book are not new, but they are foundational. In fact, I would recommend reading From Eternity to Here, then Reimagining Church, then Pagan Christianity (yes, the opposite order from publication). But, regardless of the order in which you read them, I would recommend all of these books.
Other reviews are more than thorough, so I will put it like this: if you never get to read, study, or somehow comprehend the revelations that are presented in this book, that is an INCREDIBLY sad thing. Personally, I think each and every believer should have access to a copy of this book, as it really lets you know so much of what you may not have known the bible is talking about, and what the heart of God is truly longing for!
Will be Numbered Among The Classics  Dec 17, 2009
I'm sure I can't add to what has been said about this book already. But this will probably be Viola's greatest work when its all said and done. It seems unthinkable to me that christian service of any kind can go on today without an adequate understanding of God's eternal purpose which is unfolded here so beautifully. My hope is that this book would cause all of us to pause, take a step back and re-evaluate why we do what we do when it comes to 'ministry'. I can not recommend this book more highly. You will be caught in God's ageless breathtaking saga; his story, his intention, his activity among us from generation to generation. What continues to amaze me is how little this is known today. Read, and let the Lord take you higher and show you the view from the mountaintop.
All I have to be is family!  Dec 16, 2009
I loved this book. It is intellectual and at the same time simple. I was close to tears when I realized that all God really wants from us is to be family. Even though I grew up in a pretty dysfunctional family I always loved my mother and father in spite of their actions. How much more is God capable of loving us when we don't measure up. This book brought me to a place of doing a lot of self-evaluation. Being a Christian for a lot of years and always trying to reach for the top and never getting there, now I am wondering who was telling me I needed to be at the top in the first place. What things do I do in my life that are expected by men and what things do I do that are expected by God? My life has become simpler. I love my children and grandchildren regardless of what they do to perform or not perform, I just love them and want to be around them. God loves me in the same way. Put simply, we're family. This book is not a one time read; there is too much to take in on one trip.
life-changing treatise on what the church is meant to be  Dec 6, 2009
My First Viola book was Pagan Christianity, and it gave me a voracious appetite to read whatever else Mr Viola had to say on the subject of 'church'.

and I have not been disappointed! His books speak to my heart in a way that no other writings on the subject ever have... and I suspect I am not alone. I am 47 years old and, like most of my friends, woke up a decade or so ago to ask "is this it?"

I was 'raised in the church' like most of my peer group... but always felt like what I was 'doing' - which consisted of spending an inordinate amount of time deciding and executing what was done at a building 2 hours a week - was empty and relatively meaningless.

Mr Viola hits me right between the eyes with each of the books I have read... and 'from eternity to here' (like his other books) does not simply sit back and take potshots at organized religion, it gives terrific, real, relevant, Biblical insight to the burning question of my day: "what IS church?"

I highly recommend this book to any serious seeker of the Way!

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