I told Frank Viola I would post a review of his book on here. This was in direct exchange for getting a free book and a very interesting interview I haven't posted yet, either. Thing is, I long ago posted a "review" on my work blog, the one targeted at Christian radio listeners. I mean, targeted FOR Christian radio listeners.
So here it is, way late. Amazingly, even though it's a year old (!) the book content still manages to somehow stay relevant. By, say, January, all bets are off, but for now, From Eternity to Here still makes some sense. You should purchase it, just like I didn't.
Anyway, the review from my work blog:
You can get it at the usual places online. And you really should get it. Like here.
I don't say that often, and -- of course -- it's true that one book does not fit all. But this is a very accessible book about a topic so important, the word "topic" seems diminishing.
It's about Jesus. And you. And a wedding.
Many people think knowing Jesus is ultimately about one thing: Going to heaven. "I got my ticket to heaven, so the rest is details" -- I've actually heard that.
This sounds right to some, at some level, maybe, but it doesn't capture the love affair between God and His people. Not even close. Viola brilliantly explains what he calls the "eternal purpose of God", and it's a love story, since before time began.
When I read about this love story, this wedding-to-come, I can't help but think the "ticket to heaven" idea of Christianity is a selling-short of this Great Romance. You see, it's like saying, "All that matters is I get in the reception, and I get some of that cake. I loves me some wedding cake."
Well, okay. We all do. But this is about love. Always has been. You see, it's about much more than whether or not you get some cake. YOU ARE IN THE WEDDING. You're being proposed to. You're going to be standing up in this one, front-and-center, and the question isn't whether you want some cake. The question is: Do you take this man...?
The question is, and always has been, not "Do you have your ticket?" but..."Do you love me?"
So do I?
Viola admits to being a romantic. I'm not -- not in the typical I-love-"The Notebook" sense -- but I'm glad he's that type, because it's allowed him some remarkable insight and appreciation into the romantic elements of the Bible, from start to finish.
Genesis to Revelation is all about Jesus. I knew that. But Viola points out the romantic storylines, played out over and again, that I'd never noticed. Fascinating stuff. (I'd never thought, before, about how "communion" is, among other things, a re-enactment, based on Jewish tradition, of the acceptance of a wedding proposal, for example. And there's much, much more.)
This book is not overly heady, not written for scholarly-types only. And there's far more to it than I can allude to in a short entry. If you read it, let me know what you think. It might rock your world, in the most exciting, freeing way.