I recently finished Frank Viola’s From Eternity to Here, and I must say, “Bravo!”.
In this book Viola takes the reader on a journey through the grand narrative of the bible, God’s Eternal Purpose, and our function as humans in this glorious story of God. The book is broken into three parts:
- Part 1: The Forgotten Woman: The Bride of Christ
- Part 2: An Eternal Quest: The House of God
- Part 3: A New Species: The Body of Christ and the Family of God.
Personally, Parts 1 & 2 are my favorites.
Part 1: The Bride of Christ
Viola goes into detail on the Bride of Christ. He goes all the way back to Adam and Eve, the first love story of human history. He goes on to tell how Eve was taken out of Adam’s side and how it foreshadowed Christ and His bride, the Church.
In the beginning, Adam was alone. He had, as Frank puts it, “No outlet for his love.” This was a shadow of the Godhead. Yes, the Lord is completely self-sufficient, but He, also, had no outlet for His infinite love. He wanted a Bride for His Son, Jesus Christ. So, He took Adam’s bride, Eve out of his side on the eighth day of creation. He put Adam into a deep, coma-like, sleep, and when he woke up, his eyes gazed upon the most beautiful woman on the planet. Remember, she was the only woman on the planet, so in Adam’s eyes, she was absolutely gorgeous! He had nothing else to compare her to, she was his everything; and finally, Adam had someone to cast his love upon. This is a shadow of our Lord, Jesus. He wanted someone to cast His love upon. He wanted an outlet for His affection, and she had to be perfect. Frank goes on to describe Christ’s love for His bride. Because His blood has removed all the stains of sin from us, and “removed every wrinkle and blemish” on the cross, His bride, the Church, is utterly perfect in His sight. She is the object of His infinite love.
These observations have changed the way I, personally, view the Church and God’s people (Including myself). How could I ever cast judgment upon my brothers and sisters in Christ when, in all actuality, they are the Bride of the Lamb! Also, how could I ever see myself as “unworthy” of the Lord’s affection. Now, I myself, apart from Christ, am not, but because of what He did on the cross, we are utterly blameless in His sight. And He’s head-over-heels in love with us!
Part 2: The House of God
In these chapters, Frank goes on to talk about the House of God and how it fits into God’s Eternal Purpose. He takes the reader on a journey from Adam all the way up to John’s revelation in the Book of Revelation. I’m not going to describe this part too much in detail for times sake, but also because I want to encourage you to read the book for yourself. But I will try my best to give you the gist of it.
From Adam to Jacob, Moses to Solomon, and from Jesus to John, it is very obvious in Scripture that God has been looking for a home. Moses built a tent, David built the Tabernacle on Mount Zion, Solomon built a Temple, and at the very end, in Revelation, we see God’s house finally complete. I think the most important aspect of Part 2, is where God is dwelling today. He lives inside of His Bride, the Church. He is building together “living stones”, as Peter put it, into a Holy Temple for the Lord. You and I are that Temple! The God of all creation dwells within His Body! Because He lives inside of us, we have no need to fight battles anymore. No need for “spiritual warfare” because Jesus Christ, the Victorious Warrior, dwells within us all! But He’s not looking for a bunch of scattered “living stones,” He wants to build us up together. That’s all I am going to reveal on this Part.
Part 3: A New Species
In this section Frank goes on to describe the Family of God, and what it looked like in the 1st century Christians, and what it looks like today. I must be honest, I’m having trouble summarizing this section of the book because it’s so full of content and light, that it would be very hard to describe it adequately in one paragraph. So, I’m just going to have to say, “Read the book!”
This book is, in my opinion, a must read for any Christian–whether a new believer, or a pastor of 40 yrs, whether a teenager, or in your late 90’s. This book has changed my walk with the Lord and my outlook on His purpose, and His purpose turns into our purpose. I would like to thank Frank for this work. The Lord has really guided his pen on this one. In Frank’s own words this book is, “To every follower of Jesus who knows within their deepest parts that there must be more to the Christian faith”.