For the second week in a row my choice of book for my Friday meme combo is one by Frank Viola. This week’s choice is his just released God’s Favorite Place on Earth. GoodReads has the following description:
When He came to earth, Jesus Christ was rejected in every quarter in which He stepped. The Creator was rejected by His own creation. “He came to His own and His own received Him not,” said John. For this reason, Jesus Christ had “no where to lay His head.” There was one exception, however. A little village just outside of Jerusalem named Bethany. 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. Frank Viola presents a beautifully crafted narrative from the viewpoint of Lazarus, one of the people who lived in Bethany with his two sisters. This incomparable story not only brings the Gospel narratives to life, but it addresses the struggle against doubt, discouragement, fear, guilt, rejection, and spiritual apathy that challenges countless Christians today. In profoundly moving prose, God’s Favorite Place on Earth will captivate your heart with its beauty, charm, and depth. In this book you will discover how to live as a “Bethany” in our world today, being set free to love and follow Jesus like never before.
Now for this week’s excerpts:
Book Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post. If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’
The beginning of God’s Favorite Place on Earth:
In every generation, Christians face the same challenges – namely doubt, discouragement, fear, guilt, division, rejection, and the struggle against consumerism and complacency.
An interesting beginning. I’m curious to see where this one goes, but it might be a little while before I get to it as I have a few other books lined up. However, I might skip ahead to this one anyway.
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
It’s that simple.
From page 56 of God’s Favorite Place on Earth:
As I’ve said and written elsewhere, sectarianism and elitism are like body odor. Everyone else can smell it except those who have it.
Sectarianism and elitism are religiously transmitted diseases that appear symptomless to those who have them. So be sure to take into consideration the testimony of others on this point.
Make no mistake about it: Jesus Christ does not feel at home in a Christian or in a church that is sectarian or elitist. And the root of both is self-righteousness, which trumps every other kind of sin.
Maybe I will skip ahead and get into this book. What I like the most about Viola is that he gets to the point quickly and doesn’t beat about the bush. I’m looking forward to reading this one.