The various books of the Bible give witness to an unfolding story but they do not do so in a neat narrative format. What is the storyline that holds these pieces together and what might the storyline tell us about the purposes of God?
Frank Viola addresses these questions in From Eternity to Here: Rediscovering the Ageless Purpose of God. He identifies three storylines:
- God as the passionate lover seeking after his wayward bride.
- God establishing his home on the earth.
- God’s creation of a “new species” in the form of the body of Christ.
The book draws upon the full range of scripture to demonstrate how these storylines are interwoven throughout the various biblical witnesses. I found myself wanting to take issue with one conclusion here and another interpretation there, but I very much appreciated the general thrust of what the book communicates. It is a refreshingly transcendent view beyond the myopia of the gospel as personal fire insurance or self-help therapy.
As I’ve said before, while I don’t always come to the same answers Viola comes to, I do like his questions. This book is no exception. If you don’t like Viola’s answers this book will hopefully at least press you toward clarifying how you understand the ageless purpose of God.