God's Favorite Place on Earth
by Frank Viola
“As masterly as a Cezanne canvas or a Stravinsky score, Frank Viola surpasses himself in his best book yet—a work of serene, soaring magnificence."
—Leonard Sweet, Professor of Evangelism, Drew University and Visiting Distinguished Professor, George Fox University
Bethany was the only place on earth where Jesus was completely received. God's Favorite Place on Earth is a retelling of Jesus' many visits to Bethany and a relaying of the message it holds for us today.
The story of Bethany is a beautiful saga about the challenges of doubt, discouragement, fear, guilt, consumerism, and apathy. Challenges we all face as believers.
"Frank artfully uses the Gospels' depiction of Lazarus and the small town of Bethany to lay out a beautiful and compelling vision of a God who longs to make every human heart and every church 'His favorite place.'"—Greg Boyd, pastor
In God's Favorite Place on Earth, I demonstrate that the place where Jesus Christ -- God incarnate -- was happiest, the most satisfied, and felt most at home was Bethany. It is in this sense that I am using the phrase "favorite place."
The simple rhythm of storytelling and gentle application lead us into Jesus' humanity while inviting us into his divinity.
Viola's book highlights the massive benefits that come to us from accepting Jesus, rejecting bitterness, and being freed from a guilty conscience, fear and doubt.
"The narrative of Bethany and what it meant to Jesus is little known today. I believe it's an inspiring story whose time has come."
Frank Viola has written a fine book that gave me meat for thought about my own Christian walk and the ways in which I put things ahead of Him in my life.
The point of God's Favorite Place lies in Frank's premise that the heart (core) of every Christian should be a place where Jesus knows He has intimacy, joy and sabbath; he writes because many do not, maybe they are unaware or are playing shallow for many reasons.
This is a book that will jar you out of your "Christian rut" and give you new eyes for looking at EVERYTHING.
This book is the kind that shakes you out of your comfort level with stories you thought you knew from the Bible. I highly recommend this as a book for spiritual growth and deeper insight into the Gospels.
As I read God's Favorite Place on Earth, I was reminded of the Celtic description of "thin places," those locales in which the veil between heaven and earth and God and the world is lifted.