Wednesday, May 19, 2010

REVIEW: A Church Building Every Half Mile by Jon Zens

Jon Zens is a gift to the modern Church. Much like A.W.Tozer a generation ago, Zens writes thought-provoking and intelligent books to stir the Body of Christ and awaken Her from slumber.

In "A Church Building Every Half Mile", Zens employs practical, down-to-earth New Testament scholarship to examine the modern day Church in light of Biblical ecclesiology. He lingers especially on the plight of the modern pastor in this book, bringing a sympathetic voice to the discussion rather than an accusatory tone. If anything, the reader comes away with a genuine sense of Zens's sincere concern for the mental, emotional and spiritual health of the clergy. One does not in any way read condemnation into his observations, rather, Zens makes it clear that those hurt most by the Pastor-centric model of Church are the pastors themselves.

This spare, yet potent book also takes a good, honest look at how our traditions, (which are not found in the New Testament), are so hotly defended while the elements of God's ecclesia (which are found in the New Testament) are summarily dismissed by the modern Church as being "descriptive not prescriptive".

What Zens does here is provide an elegant, common sense apologetic for the New Testament model of ecclesia, in a clear and informed study of scripture. This book holds up a mirror to the Bride of Christ, and even though she may not like what she sees, it's very important for Her to take a good, hard look and answer questions of form, function, fruit and open fellowship in light of the commands of Jesus and the example of the New Testament church founded by Christ and promoted by His Apostles.

I cannot recommend this book enough for those who are seeking to learn more about the simple, organic form of New Testament ecclesia.

More than simply asking, "What's wrong with the Church?", Jon Zens asks us to consider what it might look like to put things right again.

"A Church Every Half Mile" by Jon Zens is available online at or at


FULL DISCLOSURE: Jon Zens sent me the review copy of this book at no charge and without any stated or implied expectation of receiving a positive review in exchange. I receive no monetary return on the sale of Jon's books or materials and I have received no compensation of any kind in exchange for this review. These are my own opinions and convictions, independent of my interaction with the author.
-Keith Giles

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