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The Unfinished Church: God's Broken and Redeemed Work-in-Progress Kindle Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Length: 176 pages

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Editorial Reviews


“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

“If you truly care about the struggle of integrating your faith into this modern world, please read The Unfinished Church. In this engaging and accessible book, Rob Bentz has woven together rich personal anecdotes, insight from astute thinkers, careful examinations of our ancient Scriptures, and even snippets from contemporary music into a focused, substantive, and tremendously helpful book. Here you’ll find relevant questions, tough answers, and, perhaps most importantly, a pathway to life-affirming conversation about the stuff that really matters.”
Dan Merchant, author/filmmaker, Lord, Save Us from Your Followers

The Unfinished Church is a refreshing reminder that God uses our unity in Christ as well as our diversity to reach different people for his kingdom. Rob Bentz helpfully outlines biblical truths about God’s church, his bride, that are sure to bring contemplation, conviction, and a change of heart for those of us willing to be challenged.”
Leah O'Brien-Amico, three-time Olympic gold medalist, USA softball

“Rich with wisdom and insight, The Unfinished Church is for every believer desiring an enhanced understanding of the call of Jesus regarding the local church. In this transformational book, Rob Bentz takes us on a historical, practical, and enjoyable journey from an unfinished church on the pink sands of Bermuda to the gray corners of a garage in Michigan. Authentic, honest, forgiving, and humble, Rob writes with a deep understanding of gospel grace and the sovereignty of God while standing on the shoulders of giants like Bonhoeffer and Bunyan. The Unfinished Church paints a beautiful picture of God’s long-term plan for the body of believers living counterculturally in a world gone mad!”
Jimmy Dodd, President, PastorServe

“Rob Bentz has written a clear, responsible, and Scripture-soaked take on the way God interacts with us, and the way we interact with Christ’s bride: the church. Rob’s love for the church is evident on every page.”
Ted Kluck, author, Robert Griffin III: Athlete, Leader, Believer; coauthor, Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion

About the Author

Rob Bentz (MDiv, Reformed Theological Seminary) is the pastor of small groups and spiritual growth at Woodmen Valley Chapel in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Rob has written numerous articles for various ministry websites and is currently a featured blog writer at He and his wife, Bonnie, have two children and live in Colorado Springs.

Product Details

  • File Size: 493 KB
  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway Books (May 31, 2014)
  • Publication Date: May 15, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,227,698 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

ROB BENTZ is a husband, a father, and a son. He's also a pastor. He's served as a pastor at Woodmen Valley Chapel in Colorado Springs, Colorado, since 2006. Rob is passionate about many things -- Detroit Tigers baseball, smooth coffee, sunsets on the beach, skiing in the Rockies, theological discussion, and Americana music. And, he love God's church! His love for God's church led him to write The Unfinished Church: God's Broken and Redeemed Work-in-Progress (Crossway 2014).

Rob received his Master of Divinity degree from Reformed Theological Seminary (Orlando) in 2006. Originally from Michigan, he worked at RBC Ministries (Sports Spectrum magazine/radio) for 10 years.

Visit Rob Bentz at his web site

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Rob Bentz is stellar in his capture of the plight of the modern church.
He challenges his readers with a "take the next step" perspective on relationships within the community of Christ followers. His theme is evident from the very beginning: as a body of believers, we need to understand where we are and take action to draw nearer to the Lord and each other.
Rob also comforts the reader within his writing. No challenge is compete without some encouragement along the way. His style of reminding us where we are (and why we are there) because of what Christ did is reassuring and emboldens believers to have the security that comes with the grace offered by Jesus. "...our rightful position before a holy God is humility - with privileges," captures this perfectly.
Finally, this book is absolutely contemporary. Referencing all that is modern day and pertinent in the church, Rob brings Biblical principles written centuries ago into relevancy today.

I highly recommend this book for individuals and groups from both within and outside the church to consider what gospel-center community really looks like.
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Format: Paperback
The past few years have seen a resurgence in conversation about the Church, specifically whether Christians should be lone ranger Christians or be members of a local church. This is a conversation I’m actively involved in especially because in my own area, I’ve been told by several Christians at coffee shops that they have no need to attend a local church regularly or if they do that they don’t need to be a member of one. These types of conversations are not new but rather very familiar to me. A new book The Unfinished Church by Rob Bentz has recently come out that seeks to challenge the idea, “I love Jesus but hate the Church”.

The book has three parts. In part one the author set the foundation by defining the church in chapter one and then explaining how the local church is a redeemed community. In part two the author moves to describe what a local church should look like by the way people love, encourage, serve and well in unity with one another in chapters three through seven. In chapter eight the author concludes the book with help the reader understand how believers grow to be like Jesus in community with one another.

As I read this excellent new book what stood out to me was the clarity of the author’s argument from the Word of God and his pastoral tone. People often times in my experience struggle with loving the Church because they’ve been hurt by the church. Such people often times have unrealistic expectations of the church such as the idea that everyone needs to have it all together even when they don’t. A love for Jesus leads to a love for the local church as the author points out. Loving Jesus leads to loving His Church which is why Jesus said that the world will know us by our love for one another (John 13:35).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rob does an outstanding job of getting to the heart of the matter - God's view and purpose of HIS Church. I was very challenged by both the biblical theology and the practical illustrations that flowed through the whole book. I loved the end of each chapter where Rob brought in the historical basis for the topic, related modern worship hymns and insightful discussion questions.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Insightful and compelling, "The Unfinished Church" captures what true biblical community should look like. Referencing Scripture and sound biblical principles, Rob Bentz exhorts the body of believers to serve, to encourage, and to love all of God's imperfect people. This book inspires Christ's call to cast aside prejudices and self-centered interests and to get humbly involved in the lives of others. It is relevant and accessible and is a must read for every believer who desires to genuinely live out the gospel through Christ's redeeming love, power and grace!
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Format: Paperback
Rob nailed it! We are the Church--God's work in progress. It's time that we step up to that fact and live, love, and thrive in community as God intends. This is an inspiring work that will set you and your community of influence on a path toward healthy maturation, growing together as the bride of Christ--His church!
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Format: Paperback
As I eased into the last few pages of The Unfinished Church a small thought popped into my head, perhaps this is the book that "A Call to Resurgence" should have been. It took me a bit longer to read Unfinished Church than I would have liked, but the slow pace helped me to absorb the content and reflect on my own life. The first highlight I made reflects the humility Bentz starts his thesis with, "His church is a beautiful historic structure and a vivid picture of brokenness. His church has a long and often sordid past. His church has shown great strength—in spite of its obvious and glaring weaknesses. His church is covered by the majesty of Christ. His church has a bright future, because Jesus is building his church!” Starting with the acknowledgement that the church is broken but yet has a hopeful future is what this book is about.

Spread over eight chapters, Unfinished Church builds a compelling case for not abandoning ship and giving up on the church, despite its failures. Part I, including chapters 1 and 2, build a foundation of what the church is - God’s called out community and God’s redeemed community. The following quote offers up a great summary of the theology Bentz is working from and calling us towards - “Getting an honest grasp of the redemption that Jesus has accomplished for his people is critical for a biblical understanding of the church. Without a clear recognition of God’s payment on behalf of his people, you and I will not see each other accurately. I won’t see you as God’s sees you—redeemed by the blood of his Son, Jesus. And you won’t see me as God sees me. Instead, I’ll see your scars of sin. You’ll look at me and see someone tattooed from head to toe with the ink of sin, guilt, and shame...
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