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FRANK VIOLA author is the bestselling author of God’s Favorite Place on Earth, From Eternity to Here, Jesus Manifesto, Reimagining Church, Jesus Now, and Jesus: A Theography.
Rethinking status quo Christianity, Frank Viola has helped thousands of Christians to deepen their relationship to Jesus and experience a more vibrant, authentic expression of church. His blog, Beyond Evangelical, is one of the most popular in Christian circles today, ranking in the top 10 of all Christian blogs on the Web. Viola has written a series of well-read articles called Rethinking. Frank Viola’s message has enabled God’s people to:
- Encounter Jesus Christ through the Scriptures in a fresh and powerful way.
- Discover how to live by the indwelling life of Christ.
- Replace guilt, condemnation, and performance-based religion with freedom, joy, and love for others.
- Experience face-to-face community that’s vibrant and centered on Jesus.
- Discover what God’s ultimate intention is and how to live for it.
- Live free from legalism on the one hand and libertinism (license to sin) on the other.
- Awaken a love for Jesus that is motivated by His peerless beauty rather than religious duty.
Frank’s ministry answers the common cry, “There’s got to be more to the Christian life than this . . .”
According to his blog – frankviola.org – Viola’s mission is to help serious followers of Jesus know their Lord more deeply, gain fresh perspectives on old or ignored subjects, and make the Bible come alive.
Frank Viola, author, has devoted his life to the “the deeper journey.”
Viola first began using his writing talent as a host for a discussion bulletin board in the early 1990s where he would post articles for questions and response. Before long, he became a published author and has since written over 10 published books.
Knowledge and insight are central to his ministry, and when he is not writing books, he maintains a blog called “Beyond Evangelical.” In fact, blogging is a central part of his ministry today, as it allows him to freely share information and inspiration concerning interpersonal relationships and God.
It is noteworthy that Frank Viola author did not receive any formal training from seminary or bible college, choosing instead to study as an autodidact. This lack of formal training does not discredit his work, however; he has garnered support from renowned academics and theologians, and productively debated with scholars in his field. In this way, Viola stands in the lineage of people like A.W. Tozer, Charles Spurgeon, and G. Campbell Morgan.
Beyond Evangelical is not only one of the ebooks Viola has authored, but it is also the name of his main blog. In fact, the blog Beyond Evangelical is one of the most widely-read Christian blogs on the Internet. It was launched in 2008, and since it’s inception, Viola has authored over 800 unique, individual posts. While his published books focus on biblical exegesis, his blogging takes a more practical route. Much of it is considered scandalous in that it tips over many religions sacred cows.
Beyond Evangelical is a blog that serves to guide believers in their search for God’s eternal purpose and a deeper, more meaningful Christian life. One article series, “Rethinking”, is particularly well read. FrankViola.org contains yet another blog that the author regularly maintains.
Blogging is hugely important to Frank Viola for a number of reasons. As previously noted, blogging is a chance to share thoughts that are spur of the moment, or have a need to be spread out over several weeks. They also can stay relevant in reaction to news and other happenings throughout the Christian world.
Frank Viola author also considers blogging a major part of his life, because he actually does not derive personal monetary benefit from his writings. Instead, he donates those earnings and proceeds to charities, or back into ministry for the betterment of the body of Christ. Because of this, the author has chosen to earn his income through blogging, through affiliates and advertisements on his site.
Upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
Imagine that a friend of yours buys a house in your neighborhood. He lives just down the street from you and you visit his house frequently. The house looks great to you. But then something happens one day that takes you back. Construction crews start showing up and launch an entire home remodel. This is surprising because your friend’s house was absolutely fine just the way it was, or so you thought.
You watch fine cabinets be replaced with different ones, doors pulled out, and windows re-cut. You observe walls being shifted and floor paneling peeled back and put down differently.
Why? Because, even though all that existing material was good, it wasn’t according to their ultimate vision of your friend’s idea for a house. So it really wasn’t useful. As the owner of the house, your friend didn’t care how good or decent something was—he was only interested in building according to his vision. And rightly so, because the house belongs to him.
This story applies to the Christian life. If we read Scripture carefully, we discover that God has been working on a building project since before the foundation of the universe. And He is totally committed to completing it according to His heavenly vision or eternal purpose.
As we discover more about God in Christ as a wise masterbuilder, we find this truth everywhere. Consider that the first and most important result of Christ’s ascension is the birth of the ekklesia.
Mark tells us that after His ascension, Jesus “worked with” the apostles and “confirmed” the Word with signs (Mark 16:20).
For what reason? To build His ekklesia on earth.
Hebrews tells us that not only is Jesus Christ our high priest, but He’s also our apostle—the builder of His house:
Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. (3:1–4 NIV)
The Lord Jesus builds His ekklesia by two means: (1) by calling some of His servants to plant His church and equip the saints, and (2) by endowing His people with spiritual giftings.
In that connection, I’m often asked, “Do you believe in the fivefold ministry? And do you believe that God is restoring it today?” I’ll begin this chapter by answering those questions, because they have everything to do with how Jesus builds His ekklesia today. Please consider my remarks in the context of the story I told at the beginning, and the larger truths I’ve been presenting in this book.
Our God isn’t so interested in remote and ideological doctrines that are more true than useful. He’s committed to a heavenly building plan, and He is working accordingly. Your Lord interested in functionality more than form.
First off, my answer largely hinges on what one means by the “fivefold ministry.” In other words, what “fivefold ministry” are we talking about? Are we talking about the two-hundred-year-old doctrine of the restoration of the “fivefold ministry”? Or are we talking about the ascension gifts that Paul had in mind when he penned Ephesians 4:9–16?
From Jesus Now by Frank Viola author
Here’s an excerpt:
“For members of the human species, perception is reality. At least that’s the way it for most mortals.
And perception is shaped by our own experience, the experience of our peers, and the images and messages that we consume.
When the O.J. Simpson trial aired on public television some 20 years ago, I followed it closely. When the verdict of “not guilty” was announced, the majority of the black community celebrated. The majority of the white community was baffled. To their minds, O.J. got away with murder.
Why the drastically different perceptions?
Because of experience.”
Yep, another crazy accusation against the author.
Don’t believe us?
Enter now Moses and Aaron. These two men are leading the children of Israel in the wilderness. There arises a controversy over their leadership. Moses and Aaron are being challenged by some of God’s people. God says to Moses, “I want you to take a rod from each of the leaders of the tribes of Israel—twelve rods. And I want you to put them in the tabernacle” (see Num. 17:1–4).
The rods were put in the Holy of Holies where only the high priest had access once a year. The Holy of Holies was the little room in the tabernacle where the presence of God rested on the ark of the covenant. The twelve rods were put behind the curtain in this room where there was no light. The only time that this room was lit up was when God’s presence appeared on top of the ark of the covenant and He displayed His glory. At all other times, the room was utterly dark.
So the Lord says, “Take the rods and put them in the Holy of Holies in pure darkness for one whole night” (see Num. 17:5–8). That was an evening. That was darkness. That was a night. Then the morning came and Moses took the rods out. Strikingly, one of them—Aaron’s rod—had budded. Life came forth from a dead stick.
In the midst of the dark night something was going on that no mortal could have imagined. In the morning, there was resurrection. The dead rod had produced blossoms.
Take note: Evening is the time of death. It’s the time of hopelessness and helplessness. But the evening is always followed by the morning, and that’s when resurrection occurs. Every evening has a promise of the morning. Every night has within it the promise of a day. The Lord takes away that He might establish.
From Revise Us Again by Frank Viola, author