Growing up my dad taught me that the Bible was God’s love letter to creation. As I matured and encountered love in all its various forms, like friendship, compassion, the family unit, I began to realize just how true my dad’s description of the Bible is. Like many children who were raised in the church, one of the first verses I was taught to memorize was John 3:16 “For God so loved the world…”
Frank Viola’s work From Eternity to Here presents a theology of the biblical narrative that reiterates God’s Love described in John 3:16 and His “eternal purpose” for creation, that is as divinely beautiful and romantic as it is mysterious (cf. Eph. 3:11).
God so loved the world that he has forever sought a Bride, a House, a Body, and a Family. The Church is God’s love. “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Viola illuminates these four descriptions of the Church, a Bride, House, Body and Family, against the backdrop of God’s redeeming purpose found in Scripture. Viola shows that the Church is a new spiritual species, not formed from humanity’s reproduction, or fallen in the Garden of Eden, but birthed out of the womb of Christ’s pierced side.
I pray the Lord uses From Eternity to Here to share how the Bible is God’s love letter in this generation, the way my earthly dad shared God’s love with me through His Word. Understanding God’s eternal purpose has a profound effect on how believers live their faith in this world, here and now… and also into eternity.
*Author’s Note: This short blurb was originally written on May 18th, 2012, with minor edits by the author on January 25th, 2016.