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God's Favorite Place on Earth

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  378 ratings  ·  54 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published May 1st 2013 by David C Cook
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Apr 21, 2013 rated it liked it
What a terrific read. Viola takes us through the entire NT story as it relates to Bethany (there is more there than you may think) And without violating common sense or the scriptures he tells a terrific story with some very important lessons. I came away thinking that this could be the basis for a great script if handled right. The story (as narrated by Lazarus) then feeds into the summary "walking it out" points at the end of each chapter. Both the story and summaries were compelling and chall ...more
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed reading. Easy, quick read. Enjoyed how the book was written as if Lazarus was telling the story. Liked how the author showed the similarity between the town of Bethany and our spiritual lives, where God enjoys living now.
May 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
A book of comfort. A book of challenge.
I had never realized the amount of time Jesus spent in Bethany prior to reading Viola's newest release, 'God's Favorite Place on Earth'. Viola presents a good case for Jesus' attachment to the people and the place that captured his favour. People who welcomed and received Christ, providing hospitality, honour, friendship and love. All responses we are encouraged to offer as our own Bethany invitation to Christ.

To move past performance mentality of serving a
Lynne Levandowski
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Publisher: David C. Cook
Date published: May 1, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-7814-0590-4
Reviewed by Lynne
Obtained via publisher
Rating: 5

While on Earth, Jesus Christ was rejected by those He came to save. A man with no place to lay even His head until...Bethany. The one place he felt welcomed, accepted, and loved.

While in Bethany, Jesus and his talmidim came to love the family of Simon th
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-list
Last week, if you had asked me, in all seriousness, where God's favorite place was on earth—or if he even had one—I would have probably wrinkled my eyebrows and then defaulted into "Well, duh! Ohio!" as a non-answer.

Because, really? A favorite place on earth? For God?

Blame the Patheos Book Club (again!) for introducing me to an author and a reading experience I would have otherwise missed completely: God's Favorite Place on Earth, by the apparently awesomesauce Frank Viola, whose work I will be
Mel Caldicott
May 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It's about some stories I have read lots about but even so Viola gives fresh insight and wisdom. It was well-written full of challenging truth, beautiful grace and humble insight accurately portraying the amazing Gospel of Christ.
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Good Read!!! I finished it last week and have shared this with friends already. One friend called it 'the most timely book he has written in years'. I always enjoy Frank's method of exposing the hidden in the stories and life applications of the Gospel stories. I
Kevin M
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book. First one I've read by Frank Viola I will be looking up others.
Going to have a small group study using this book...
Philip Gibson
Feb 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
Absolutely excellent book! Would highly recommend it!
Matt B.
May 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is not a normal theology book, work of fiction, or historical narrative. It is a weaving together of all three kinds, with the primary driver of the story coming from the perspective of Lazarus, one of Bethany's most famous residents. The book bounces between this narrative, a related scriptural passage, and a "Walking It Out" section that gives some practical application for each chapter.

I enjoyed the format of this book very much, as each section seemed to flow naturally through the story
James  Robinson
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Frank has done an incredible job here, taking a sub narrative that is so easily missed within the bigger picture and turning it into a compelling series of monologues by Lazarus. My only hang up is that Judas is once again depicted as the villain, something the western church has done with very little scriptural reference. There is a thought provoking application of what is shared by Lazarus following each chapter which I found very helpful. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
May 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read for everyone who loves the Lord. It shines light on Jesus' personal relationships during his earthly walk in a very revealing way. God's earth shaking love and desire for his children to fulfill his eternal plan will move and encourage the reader. Read it!
Charles Roberts
May 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written, this book takes you into the little town of Bethany, Jesus' watering hole. Some amazing things happen there, take a look and see.
Tim Ogle
May 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My review for this book can be found on my wordpress blog.
Amanda Kuykendall
Jun 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written, and very moving. Loved it!!
Claire Lamb
Dec 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Interesting take on the story of Lazerus
Anne Hamilton
Nov 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
A superbly lyrical book. Narrative non-fiction, that is, a story built on a factual base. Plus a fine level of devotional theology, that is, theology which is not academic in purpose but is rather intended to encourage and uplift.

This is the story of Jesus through the eyes of Lazarus - and tells of His love for the people and place known as Bethany. It was in Bethany Jesus was anointed for His entry to Jerusalem, appreciated by friends, awakened a dead man, ascended to heaven. Jesus didn't stay
Dec 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Drawn in by that somewhat sensational title, it transpires that God's favourite place on earth is the New Testament town of Bethany, "a Sabbath Day's walk" from Jerusalem, on the slopes of the Mount of Olives.

Viola weaves together the various episodes from the gospels that took place in that location, focusing around the characters of Jesus, Simon the Leper, Lazarus, Mary and Martha, undertaking an imaginative retelling from the point of view of Lazarus.

Viola highlights the hospitality and welc
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Reminder to Connect Emotionally with Scripture

I liked the format. It was fun to read the perspective of Lazarus as a way to be introduced to the various texts that link chronologically the time Jesus spent in Bethany. I was unaware, that Jesus had spent so much of his time there resting and recouping and enjoying time with his friends and disciples. Then the scripture is repeated. And then Frank explains the text in an informed yet personal way that doesn’t explicitly state application but le
Carter Hemphill
The author provides a clever mix of Christian fiction (although closely tied to scripture) and commentary. I highlighted a lot since the author provides a multitude of good quotes that I can use in other teaching sessions. The book inspires you to seek Christ above all else and to become a follower who Jesus would seek as a refuge and close friend like those who lived in Bethany.
Darin Vogt
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting perspective on an aspect of Christ's time on earth.

This is a very interesting read and very thought provoking. A first-person story from the assumed perspective of Lazarus. A great read to see things a little differently.
Rich Thornton
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Helpful picture of a home for Jesus

The author tells a compelling story through the eyes of Lazarus who was loved by Jesus and often had Jesus in his home. Looking at the scriptures surrounding Bethany and Lazarus, Martha, Mary, and Simon we see Jesus in a different way.
Blake Western
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is an interesting blend of stories (formed from the author's imagination based on the Biblical account) the actual account in the Bible, and lessons the author draws from Jesus' stays in Bethany.
Jim Gordon
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed reading. Easy, quick read. Enjoyed how the book was written as if Lazarus was telling the story. Liked how the author showed the similarity between the town of Bethany and our spiritual lives, where God enjoys living now.
Ren Jones
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book. Short but filled with beauty and great story telling. Brings the gospel stories to life and sheds light on the town of Bethany and what it meant to the Lord, something I missed while reading the Bible. Lost of aha insights.
Matthew Showman
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-books
Personally, I had no "life-changing revelations", but I loved the story and the exposition from the stories. Viola always has interesting ways to describe/explain ideas. Great book.
Jillian Vincent
Couldn’t finish which is why I’m putting a two. Couldn’t handle writing from Lazarus perspective, although there were some really good nuggets in the other two divisions of each chapter.
Lathan Craft
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lord, because of You I can be a Bethany.
Beautiful and wonderfully prophetic. A Kingdom-inspired work! Refreshed me and educated me.
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is theologically sound, but weak from a literary point of view, mostly because the author has chosen to have a 1st century person speak 21st century phrases and it sounds wrong.
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[Viola doesn't use GoodReads. If you wish to contact him, you can write to him directly with a question or comment at]

Frankie V. (Frank Viola) trains people in the craft of writing through his annual SCRIBE training.

He has written some books in the past on the love, grace, and mercy of Jesus Christ and against the harsh, cruel, toxic, unforgiving,

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