From Eternity to Here

Every now and again a book comes along that captures the essence of Christianity in a remarkable way. These are the writings that subsequent generations refer to as “classics”, and they are usually only recognized for their profundity and timelessness once the author is no longer around. There are many examples (although not too many!): Watchman Nee’s The Normal Christian Life, Andrew Murray’s Abide in Christ, Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship, C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity, Chesterton’s Orthodoxy, Gene Edwards’ The Divine Romance, and so on.

The latest addition to the “Classic” bookshelf in my library (reserved for the very best of Christian literature) was published only a few years ago. Yet it is regarded by many as one of the greatest Christian books of the last few decades, and a certain future classic.

I am, of course, referring to Frank Viola’s From Eternity to Here. Although not everyone agrees with Viola’s views on the church (he co-authored the controversial Pagan Christianity in which he and fellow author George Barna takes on “institutional Churchianity”), few of his critics find fault with this book. It has been endorsed by traditionalists and radicals alike, and is revolutionalising the way multitudes of believers worldwide see the “big picture” of Christianity.

Unlike so many Christian bestsellers of late, Viola has no new revelation to offer (thank goodness). On the contrary, From Eternity to Here combines in one volume the greatest and most precious insights from the best of the “Deeper Christian Life” authors of the past few centuries. People who are unfamiliar with authors like Nee and Murray, and with Christian movements such as the Brethren, will find this book astoundingly revelational and deeply edifying.

I heartily recommend From Eternity to Here. In fact, I recommend that you buy a few extra copies and give them away.

5 thoughts on “From Eternity to Here

  1. dylancromhout April 21, 2012 / 9:59 am

    Tobie

    I cannot agree with you more. From Eternity to Here by Frank Viola is probably one of the most important books I ever read. In fact, I think that it probably the most important one next to the Bible. For without a revelation like the one it presents, there is not way to truly understand the “whole counsel of God.”

    I promote it on my blog and often speak of its content to friends and family. Since reading it I have become driven by nothing other than the Lords Eternal Purpose. I believe that it has set my life on the course that I have always desired. The one that leads into the very heart of Christ.

    For those reading this, you can download an audio message by Frank Viola in which he gives an excellent summary of what is in the book. You can find it here: http://ptmin.podbean.com/2010/08/04/the-eternal-purpose/

    Tobie, it’s great to know that you are eating up what Frank is writing. If you have not yet listened to any of his audio messages I would highly recommend them. They take the revelations in his books to a whole new practical level.

    In Him

    Dylan

    • naturalchurch April 23, 2012 / 6:29 am

      Thanks for the link Dylan. I haven’t yet listened to it and would love to. What excites me about this book is that it is introducing a new generation of Christians to many of the classic truths that people like Nee, Lee, TAS, Bill Freeman etc. have written about. These authors are not always known and their books are not readily available (Nee is perhaps the exception), especially here in SA. So Frank’s book is a blessing indeed. PS: I think we can do in SA with a conference similar to the Momentum conference. Any thoughts on that? Or are you perhaps aware of any local efforts in this regard?

      • dylancromhout April 24, 2012 / 8:05 pm

        I hear you. I have read some of Lee’s stuff and I can see this message threaded in. I would like to eventually read TAS, Nee, and Bonhoeffer. Have not heard of Bill Freeman.

        I agree with the conference idea. We need it. Most groups are so scattered. We need something that can bring us together with speakers that will preach Christ. I know that my brothers and sisters meeting in Bloemfontein have asked Frank to come and spend some time with them. They are about 12 people meeting organically. He directed them to one of his co-workers, Jon Zens (do you know him?). Jon has expressed interest and suggested that they organise a conference. Maybe this could be just what we need to get something started. What do you think?

  2. naturalchurch April 25, 2012 / 6:05 am

    Wow. That’s quite a surprise. Bloemfontein? I know some similarly minded fellowships here, but I’m not sure I’m aware of this one. Do you have a name or number/mail? I’d love to meet them. I know of Jon Zens and appreciate his work very much. It would truly be awesome to bring him out here.

    • dylancromhout April 29, 2012 / 7:58 am

      Yeah, in Bloemfontein. You can contact Gideon Loots at lootsgideon@gmail.com or on his cell 0825262495. Have told him that you will be contacting him. He will be so keen to connect with you. Not sure on the timing, but they obviously want to get him here asap. They are keen to encourage extra-local ministry in their group, something that we believe is essential to meeting organically under the headship of Christ. I would like to see if we can organise that Jon comes to Cape Town as well while he is in South Africa. Would be great if we could arrange a conference here too.

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