Normally I do all my announcements about conferences, book deals etc. on Friday’s on this blog. But since Frank Viola is releasing his book today, I thought I’d squeeze a personal word in about his new book today.
I’ll admit it, Frank Viola is an enigma to me (I mean that in the most flattering of terms). His writings have significant influence in worlds I intersect with. They often provoke on issues of the church that I resonate with. He says things I would say but with more friendly prose. He says them provocatively and knows how to get the message out. Like notice how many reviews there on Amazon for his book Pagan Christainity. I have friends who hate a book he writes one year, and love a book he writes the next. He writes on many topics close to my theological agenda. I was particularly curious with what he was trying to say with Beyond Evangelical. How does he do this? Provoke yet charm? Speak into such huge issues and get people to listen to him? (I wish I could do this!). And you never know what he’s going to do next. So when he asked me to blurb his book God’s Favorite Place on Earth I go “cool” let me take a look. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting. This is what I mean when I say Frank is an enigma: unpredictable in his writing.
This book is a “trip” back to the village of Bethany, the town of Lazarus. It’s an encounter with Jesus in the neighborhood (I wish I had used that line in the blurb). It’s a devotional but it also takes pains to be historical. The premise of the book is simple: when Jesus was on the earth, He was rejected everywhere He went . . . from Bethlehem, to Nazareth, to Jerusalem. The only exception was this little village of Bethany. Frank unfolds how Jesus walks and becomes known (and loved) in Bethany beginning with Lazarus death. We find ourselves in the middle of the story. And within each little piece of the story, Christians are led through the struggles we all face in our everyday lives.
I so appreciated the book I wrote the following blurb for it:
More than a devotional, better than an academic study, God’s Favorite Place on Earth is a deeply moving pastoral book that will build your faith. Turn its pages slowly, pause between chapters and allow yourself to be immersed into the world of the New Testament. Prepare yourself for an encounter with Jesus the Galilean yet the very Son of God.
David Fitch, B R Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology, Northern Seminary, author of Prodigal Christianity
Frank tells me that if you get the book between May 1st to May 7th, you will also get 25 FREE GIFTS from 15 different authors including Leonard Sweet, Jeff Goins, Andrew Farley, Steve McVey, DeVern Fromke, Pete Briscoe, Frank Viola himself, and many others. You can find out all you need to know about the book and that offer by going here.