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Jon dismembers the traditional pastor doctrine from various angles by combining two new essays and a response to Eugene Peterson's The Pastor: A Memoir, with three past articles and excerpts from his response to Dr. Ben Witherington's review of Pagan Christianity.
Posted August 17, 2011
Jesus said "Here I am, I have come to do your will." He sets aside the first [covenant] to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of he body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Heb10:9-10). "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death-- even death on a cross!" (Phil.2:6-8). These bible verses, among many, portray the archetype of humility. Christ is our example. "I have come to do your will." This is the model of humility. How are we to know God's will? By studying and obeying His word. "These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word." (Is. 66:2). Is it not the heighth of arrogance to assume leadership over His precious sheep in a manner that He condemns? Jesus has clearly said that "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave--just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mat. 20:25-28). Jesus also said, "But you are not to be called `Rabbi,' for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth `father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant" (Mat. 23:8-11). This teaching condemns the giving of preeminence to any brother in the family of God. It condemns the giving of preeminent titles thereby laying the axe to the root of the tree of hierarchy. He's saying that to exalt one brother over the others is to supplant the "one Father" and the "one Instructor, the Messiah". Why then do we exalt certain individuals above the brethren by calling them "The Pastor", or "Reverend", or "Father", or "Vicar", or "Man of the Cloth", or "Senior Pastor"? Jesus asks, "Why do you call me, `Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?" (Luke 6:46). This is the kind of topic and question Jon addresses in The Pastor Has No Clothes. Jon Zens, the author of The Pastor Has No Clothes, "holds a B.A. in Biblical studies from Covenant College, a M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, and a D.Min. from the California Graduate School of Theology", yet he does not refer to himself as Doctor Zens. In fact, on occasion, I affectionately call him "Jonny Hot-lips" due to his enormous consumption of my home grown Cayenne and Habanera peppers. Jon practices what he preaches. He has patiently and generously given me his time and giftedness for 30 years. He has always availed himself to me as a servant for which I am eternally grateful. He has modeled oversight to me and has helped me, in turn, to disciple others. He has regarded my contributions as valid as though I too had something with which to edify him and his readers.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
A bench is a long seat at a sports field for coaches and players who are not taking part in a game. In the system of the pulpit and the pew, the "many parts" of the body of Christ are benched, and one star player is created who plays for the whole team. Jon Zens' book, "The Pastor Has No Clothes: Moving from Clergy-Centered Church to Christ-Centered Ekklesia" takes such practices out of the equation by the multitude of indisputable evidence in the New Testament scriptures. Jon Zens has proven, without doubt, that such a system is not in the New Testament. In fact, this system outright opposes the New Testament scriptures. May the Lord Jesus Christ be declared as the One on the throne and Head of His body!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.