Book Review: God’s Ultimate Passion by Frank Viola

passion.jpgFrank Viola loves the church. So much that he left, and is now one of Christianity’s best prophets to the Bride of Christ. He is now planting house churches, coaching church planters, speaking in churches, and talking about his ultimate passion, which is clearly God’s Ultimate Passion (his newest book’s title) — the “House on Earth through which God expresses Himself.” He writes that God’s “ultimate passion is to have a group of believers who will be richly integrated together to be the Lord’s House in the cities in which they live.”

God’s Ultimate Passion is hard to classify. It’s not a how-to book for churches, yet it applies Scripture to some powerful points about the DNA of the church. It’s not your typical Christian “self-help” book, because it is challenging and offensive to the all-too-common American “churchianity.” It’s more like a love letter to the church, pleading with Christians to accept and join in God’s passionate pursuit of people.

Viola describes in three consecutive chapters the pathway that many people take as they pursue further participation in God’s passion:

Bondage –> Religion –> Wasteland (wilderness) –> God’s Building Site

Viola minces no words and spares no passion in admonishing believers that their native habitat is the ekklesia, God’s spiritual house.

It is native to your species to church together with other believers in an atmosphere of freedom, spontaneity, joy, and love. All of these things are written in the church’s genetic code. They are her DNA at work.

Truthfully, there is no other context in which to live the Christian life.

God’s Ultimate Passion is an inspiring and challenging book for searchers, new believers, believers who feel “stuck” in institutionalized religion, and believers who have already become God’s permanent home and experienced true ekklesia.

For a listing of Viola’s previous books on faith and the church, go to his Web site.

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