FRANK VIOLA author is the bestselling author of God’s Favorite Place on Earth, From Eternity to Here, Jesus Manifesto, Reimagining Church, 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. He 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 . . .”
His website is Frank Viola: The Deeper Journey
Frank’s public speaking covers a wide range of topics including the centrality, supremacy, and all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ, the deepening of the spiritual life, Christian community, church planting, God’s eternal purpose, mission, and church renewal.
He has written numerous books on the deeper Christian life and radical church reform, including the bestsellers God’s Favorite Place on Earth, From Eternity to Here, Jesus Manifesto (coauthored with Len Sweet), and Pagan Christianity (co-authored with George Barna) as well as Revise Us Again, Finding Organic Church, Reimagining Church, and The Untold Story of the New Testament Church. Click here to view all of his books.
His books and articles have been translated into Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Dutch, German, French, Swedish, Portuguese, Romanian, and Russian. He has traveled extensively throughout the continental United States also making trips to Europe, South Africa, and South America.
Viola’s ability to frame old issues in fresh ways is a hallmark of both his writing and speaking. He has a low tolerance for canned answers and religious platitudes. He has been quoted in TIME magazine and has written for or contributed interviews to Christianity Today, Relevant, Life Today, Charisma, Ministry Today, Prism, Good News, CBN, Neue, Out of Ur, The Christian Post, Rethink, The Ooze, Next-Wave, Rick Warren’s Pastor Toolbox Newsletter, ForMinistry, OpenHeaven, House2House, InSpirit, Allelon, New Reformation, Ginkworld, The Cutting Edge, New Wineskins,The Pneuma Review, etc. His blog, Beyond Evangelical, is one of the most popular Christian blogs today.
“Frank Viola is a prophetic voice in the contemporary Christian milieu. Through his prolific publishing and conference-speaking output, Frank has informed, challenged, and deepened the spiritual lives of many over the past decade, myself included. Frank’s pen played a key role in introducing me to knowing Jesus in an organic community of God’s friends, combining meticulous research and firsthand experience into books that capture heart and mind. He brings years of alternative church experience to the table, offering fresh (even radical, “to the root”) thinking to bear on old questions, while pioneering new questions few have asked.
I’ve found in my own circles of friends that Frank’s writing and speaking appeals to a broad cross-section of people in my life evangelicals and post-evangelicals, charismatics and contemplatives, as well as my curious friends not on a Christian path. He seems to have the ear of both the ever-growing organic church movement and the emerging/missional church conversation like few others. Frank’s love for God, his provocative writing and teaching, and his church planting experience make him a vital voice in our time. I look forward to much more to come!”
Mike Morrell, editor for The Ooze and contributor to Next-Wave, the Burnside Writers Collective, and Relevant Magazine.
A Survey of Frank Viola’s Published Books
Viola, Frank (2013). God’s Favorite Place on Earth. Colorado Springs: David C. Cook. Amazing narrative of Jesus and the little village of Bethany and the amazing things that took place there. Told from the viewpoint of Lazarus.
Viola, Frank and Leonard Sweet (2012). Jesus: A Theography. Nashville: Thomas Nelson. Tells the story of Jesus Christ from Genesis to Revelation.
Viola, Frank (2012). Beyond Evangelical. Florida: Present Testimony Ministry. Explores a the coming shape of evangelicalism beyond the Christian Right and Christian Left.
Viola, Frank (2011). Epic Jesus: The Christ You Never Knew. Florida: Present Testimony Ministry. Right-brained exposition of Colossians chapter 1 revealing and exalting the matchless greatness of Christ.
Viola, Frank (2011). Revise Us Again: Living from a Renewed Christian Script. Colorado Springs: David C. Cook. A groundbreaking book on spiritual formation that explores ten areas of the Christian life that are rarely navigated. Deep, incisive, encouraging, insightful and illuminating.
Viola, Frank and Leonard Sweet (2010). Jesus Manifesto: Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus Christ. Nashville: Thomas Nelson. A stunning unveiling of the Person of Jesus Christ that is fresh and moving. Glowingly endorsed by over 30 influential Christians as a message that is both timeless and timely. Amazon Bestseller: Reaching #6 out of all books.
Viola, Frank (2009). Finding Organic Church: A Comprehensive Guide to Starting & Sustaining Authentic Christian Communities. David C. Cook. The most practical book on organic church that Frank has ever written. Based on over 20 years of living in and planting organic churches, this is an essential and comprehensive guide that provides practical, effective tools for finding, starting, and sustaining vibrant Christian communities under the headship of Christ. Includes an extensive treatment of apostles and apostolic ministry. Amazon Bestseller: Reaching #12 out of all books.
Viola, Frank (2009). From Eternity to Here: Rediscovering the Ageless Purpose of God. Colorado Springs: David C. Cook. Frank’s magnum opus. An amazing presentation of the grand narrative of the Bible—God’s Eternal Purpose. The definitive missional book for our times, a tour de force. CBA Bestseller: Reaching #16. Parable Bestseller: Reaching #5 out of all books.
Viola, Frank (2008). Reimagining Church: Pursuing the Dream of Organic Christianity. Colorado Springs: David C. Cook. The constructive sequel to Pagan Christianity. This is a theology of church as organism rather than church as organization. Nominated for Best 2008 Book Award “Christian Leadership” category by Outreach Magazine.
Viola, Frank and George Barna (2008). Pagan Christianity: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices. Carol Stream: Tyndale. The most controversial book of our time. An exhaustive and strongly-documented history of where our church practices came from. Note: This is not a stand-alone book. It’s only the first half of the conversation. Reimagining Church presents the second half. Amazon Bestseller: Reaching #11 out of all books.
Viola, Frank (2005). The Untold Story of the New Testament Church: An Extraordinary Guide to Understanding the New Testament. Shippensburg: Destiny Image. A unique Bible handbook that weaves Acts and the Epistles together chronologically, creating one fluid story. An epic volume giving readers a first-hand account of the New Testament drama that is both riveting and enlightening.
Viola grew up in upstate New York and lives in Central Florida. He is happily married to his wife who is from Southern Georgia, he is also a father and proud cat owner. Viola doesn’t profit from his book sales, but gives his book income to ministry expenses and the poor. While he’s a frequent speaker, he doesn’t require an honorarium as most ministers do. He used to teach high school in the 1990s and had a ministry to students there (he sponsored the Christian Fellowship of Students). Today, Viola earns his personal income from blogging (through ads and affiliates). He’s also an entrepreneur (he partners with a friend in an online electronic business).
Theological Training and Background
Frank Viola chose not to receive any academic theological training. So he’s never been to seminary or Bible college. Instead, he’s chosen to be an autodidact just as A.W. Tozer, Charles Spurgeon, G. Campbell Morgan, Watchman Nee, and countless other servants of God were. Yet Viola’s work has been endorsed by many scholars and well known pastors and he’s debated with some of the most prestigious scholars in the world. Seminary students, professors, and pastors have learned from Viola. He’s also authored two books with eminent seminary professor Dr. Leonard Sweet. His writings are regarded as luminous and hailed as revolutionary.
Acclaimed as a “vital voice in our time” and a “prophetic voice in the contemporary Christian milieu” by the Editor of TheOOZE, Frank Viola has been recognized as a significant force in the development and proliferation of organic missional churches. The author of numerous best-selling Christian books, he has spent more than two decades pioneering an alternative approach to conventional Christian religion. Organic missional churches offer a more natural approach to worship that focuses on individuals’ relationships with God and other group members. It is a form of church that has strong biblical roots.
A well-known conference speaker and author, Viola has been featured in an array of popular Christian blogs and quoted in TIME Magazine. He spearheaded Present Testimony Ministry and its website, http://www.ptmin.org, and he currently shares thoughtful articles on his widely-read blog, FrankViola.org. He discusses a range of topics involving spirituality, Christianity, the changing shape of evangelicalism, and God’s mission on the blog.
Frank Viola emphasizes that organic churches enable Jesus Christ to be known deeply by a group of people. Together, group members explore Christ’s infinite riches and work to bring His Word to the lives of others. In Viola’s discussions, he endeavors to educate and challenge participants with deeper truths of the Christian life, addressing long-established questions as well as inquiries that have previously been given little attention in evangelical circles.
Viola has published several books about spirituality and Christianity with Tyndale House Publishers, David C. Cook, and Thomas Nelson, Inc. A Christian speaker as well as author, Frank spreads the message of the supremacy of Jesus , which offers numerous online resources dedicated to the discussion of the church and the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Advocating organic missional church, Frank Viola began this practice in 1988. For more than two decades, he has worked to initiate organic missional churches, which are simple Christian gatherings that emphasize a relationship with God and other members of the group. These churches focus their efforts on doing missional work. They may conduct meetings in any place, with or without trained leaders or a formal liturgy.
The author of From Eternity to Here, Revise Us Again, Finding Organic Church, Reimagining Church, and The Untold Story of the New Testament Church, Viola has also collaborated on books such as Pagan Christianity and Jesus Manifesto (with George Barna and Leonard Sweet, respectively). His work discusses a wide range of topics, from radical church reform to a deeper Christian life. Frank Viola’s books have been translated into numerous languages, including Spanish, Korean, German, Portuguese, and Russian, for distribution all over the world. His blog can be viewed at FrankViola.org.
Aside from participating in speaking engagements, authoring numerous religious books, maintaining his blog, and leading the development of new organic missional churches, Frank Viola stays actively involved in his community. A past sponsor of Rotary International and the Christian Fellowship of Students, Viola currently donates his time and money to Bread for the World, Heifer International, and several homeless ministries in his area. Additionally, he enjoys reading the Bible and participating in discussions of ecclesiology, spirituality, theology, and philosophy.
Frank Viola has been involved in organic missional churches for more than two decades. He advocates Christian beliefs and teachings and has initiated several churches in various locations across the country. Viola explores the changing shape of evangelical Christianity. He also encourages the development of organic missional churches, which redefine the conventional Christian church and liturgies to concentrate on individuals’ relationships with God and each other. Additionally, Viola has authored numerous Christian books and often travels as a conference speaker.
Recognized for his knowledge of the church history and the deeper Christian life, Frank Viola has been quoted in magazines such as TIME. Additionally, his interviews have been featured by an array of media outlets, including The Cutting Edge, Out of Ur, Rethink, TheOOZE, The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc. (CBN), and Christianity Today International.
His work has aided others in rediscovering spirituality and enriching their personal relationships with God. The Editor of TheOOZE stated, “Frank’s pen played a key role in introducing me to knowing Jesus in an organic community of God’s friends.” Utilizing smaller groups, Viola endeavors to offer an alternative experience that encourages discussion of both old and new questions and topics.
A best-selling author, Frank has written books about a deeper Christian life and radical church reform, including Pagan Christianity, Jesus Manifesto, The Untold Story of the New Testament Church, Finding Organic Church, Revise Us Again, Reimagining Church, and From Eternity to Here. Jesus Manifesto placed number 6 in its category on Amazon.com, while Finding Organic Church and Pagan Christianity reached number 12 and 11, respectively.
A graduate of the University of South Florida, Frank Viola studied a wide range of topics, including psychology, sociology, history, social science, education, and political science. Utilizing his formal education and combining it with the passion of his faith, Viola continues to author presentations and lectures about spirituality, the changing shape of evangelicalism, and Christianity.
At present, Frank resides in Florida. Aside from his career and participation in his community, he enjoys playing guitar, traveling, trying exotic foods, listening to music, and watching films. He takes great pleasure in sightseeing as well as following baseball. In his blog, he discusses God’s plan and missional organic churches, also reflecting on the status quo and a deeper Christian life.
Viola has been pioneering in organic missional church life since the late 1980s. He brings over 24 years of experience to the table in what is now a growing phenomenon. Beyond planting organic missional churches, he is a bestselling author and sought-after conference speaker.
Released in 2008, Frank Viola’s book Pagan Christianity (co-authored with George Barna) shook the Christian world. It was followed later that year by another successful work called Reimagining Church, the companion volume to Pagan Christianity. These books, along with Finding Organic Church, were based on Viola’s over two decades of experience of living in and working with organic missional churches. Where Pagan Christianity deconstructed, Reimagining Church constructed. These books are part of a series on radical church reform.
Viola has traveled throughout the United States, South America, and Europe, addressing diverse audiences. As a public speaker, Frank offers a fresh perspective on spiritual transformation and mission. He has shared his insights on a host of subjects, including God’s eternal purpose, Jesus Christ’s centrality and supremacy, spiritual life, church planting, and church renewal. Recorded on audio CDs, his speeches on these themes and others are available through his podcast. Frank’s podcast, entitled Christ is All, is available through frankviola.org, Google Reader, and Apple’s iTunes store.
Frank Viola found his calling as an author, writing about church reforms that he believes will bring church-goers closer to following the practices intended by God. Taking inspiration from the manner in which Jesus preached to his apostles, Viola supports the notion of an organic church as an alternative to the kinds of worship that most people are familiar with.
Viola first began applying these forms of worship in his own personal life in the 1980s, stressing the importance of the lack of hierarchy and open participation for all present. These concepts are explored in depth in Mr. Viola’s books Pagan Christianity, Reimagining Church, and Finding Organic Church, which reached considerable levels of success through sales on Amazon.com.
Frank’s better known books are about Jesus and deeper Christian life themes: Jesus Manifesto, Revise Us Again, Beyond Evangelical, When the Pages Are Blank, and Jesus: A Theography. The success of his message makes Mr. Viola a popular choice for speaking at religious conferences. In addition to authoring books, he has written articles for several Christian magazines listed above. Frank Viola’s present focus has been on helping the poor and the oppressed, something he feels burdened about.
Viola’s inspirational book, Revise Us Again (2011), tackles the subject of spiritual development, exploring ten seldom-examined facets of Christian life. Throughout the nine books he has authored thus far, Mr. Viola has also delved into the topics of organic worship and God’s eternal plan for His church. Jesus Manifesto, which was published in 2010, makes the case for a spiritual awakening of the Christian laity to Jesus as Savior, Head, Lord, and All in All. One of Mr. Viola’s top seller to date, Jesus Manifesto rose to number six in Amazon.com’s sales rankings.
Viola’s other best-selling titles, Pagan Christianity and Finding Organic Church, both placed in Amazon.com’s top 20. He is also the author of From Eternity to Here (CBA Bestseller), and The Untold Story of the New Testament Church. Mr. Viola’s 2008 publication, Reimagining Church, was nominated for Outreach Magazine’s 2008 Best Book Award in the category of Christian Leadership.
Contemporary theologian Frank Viola has long urged the Christian church to return to its biblical roots. As a noted speaker and author of widely-read nonfiction books on the subject of Christianity, Viola encourages the spiritual-minded to rethink the way they worship. Rather than advocating an organized religion led by a spiritual figure such as a clergyman, he proposes a shift toward organic missional churches. Featuring open participation among members, organic churches eschew traditional rites and strictures. The benefit of this approach, according to Frank, is that it embodies biblical teachings, not religious doctrines. Jesus is Lord in a practical, functional way.
One of the most-read blogs of its kind, Beyond Evangelical serves as a literary roadmap for believers in their quest for God’s eternal purpose and the deeper Christian life. A prolific author, Mr. Viola has penned over 500 blog posts since June 2008.
Writing predominantly on the subjects of spirituality and faith, Christian author Frank Viola supplements his numerous books and articles with speaking engagements to offer a new perspective on church reform.
Viola is an electrifying speaker. His spoken talks combine sharp wit, super biblical scholarship, and seminal insight with a creative approach to old subjects. Frank’s public speaking covers a wide range of topics including the centrality, supremacy, and all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ, the deepening of the spiritual life, Christian community, church planting, God’s eternal purpose, mission, and church renewal.
The first organic missional church that Frank planted was in Brandon, Florida. The story of the church in Brandon and how Frank Viola planted it is detailed here.
Frank released his first online discipleship course on September 1, 2013. Click here for Viola’s online course site.
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