God’s Broken and Redeemed Work-in-Progress
“I love Jesus but hate the church.”
We hear this kind of talk all the time, but what if it’s profoundly mistaken? Rob Bentz challenges readers to rethink this popular—yet ultimately harmful—mentality.
Drawing on his experience as a pastor, Bentz helps those disenchanted with the church to rediscover its importance for the Christian life by examining the biblical, theological, and historical reasons why Christ’s followers should embrace gospel-centered community—even when it’s hard.
Honest yet hopeful, The Unfinished Church provides an encouraging look at God’s ultimate building project: his church.
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“Reader beware! If you don’t want to be inspired to love quirky, diverse, often unlovable, certainly sinful people—like those in your church—well, put this book down now. Rob Bentz seems to think this is precisely what God had in mind when he redeemed us and planted us in a local church. Personally, I’d rather be entertained in a church full of people like me who are easy to get along with. Bentz says otherwise. Of course, he’s right, which is why this may be one of the most important books on the church you read this year.”
—Mark Galli, Editor, Christianity Today
“No one is fool enough to insult a man’s wife and then expect that man’s companionship. But this is the strange spectacle we witness today: men, women, children loudly denouncing or openly ridiculing the bride of Christ, his church, and thinking that Jesus is happy to hear it. Even a careless reading of Scripture reveals the fierce and tender heart Jesus has toward his bride, and his swift judgment on any who seek to hurt her. The Unfinished Church is a clarion call for Christians to be the church, to love the church, and to serve the church until, as the apostle Paul says, we all ‘attain to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.’ Convicting, wise, and urgent.”
—Mark Buchanan, author, Your Church Is Too Safe
“If you love the church and are not sure why, you are going to love this book. I’m a cynical old preacher who can’t stay away from the church. Now I know why and I’m a bit less cynical. What a wonderful book! It’s a gift to the church.”
—Steve Brown, Host, Key Life Radio Program; author, Three Free Sins: God Isn’t Mad At You
“Bentz is right. Church is a group of struggling sinners who must pursue one another in love as God’s community! It is essential for us to embrace this calling with joy if we are to declare the glory of the Lord to all peoples. There is no greener-grass assembly or ideal congregation; each assembly and every church member is in need of greater grace, patience, mercy, humility, and endurance from the Spirit of God. The church for whom our Savior died has a splendor that works in the midst of messiness. The Unfinished Church is a great exhortation to live out the gospel as people being conformed to the image of Christ.”
—Eric C. Redmond, Bible Professor in Residence, New Canaan Baptist Church
“In a day when so many Christians doubt the importance of the church, The Unfinished Church is a richly biblical and practical display of what God is doing through his church. The presentation is popular, but not superficial. It is fun to read, but serious business. Every follower of Jesus needs to know what is in this book.”
—Richard L. Pratt Jr., President, Third Millennium Ministries
“Here is a deep yet accessible book that paints a vivid doctrine of the church. Bentz’s wide interaction with theologians and pastoral insights will benefit all readers. Excellent discussion material at the end of each chapter makes it ‘small-group friendly,’ and his warm and hopeful responses may soften hardened critics of the bride of Christ. I highly recommend The Unfinished Church.”
—Chris Brauns, Pastor, The Red Brick Church, Stillman Valley, Illinois; author, Unpacking Forgiveness, Bound Together, and When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search
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