Jon Zens


Jon Zens is an American author, speaker, scholar and theologian on Christian topics. Zens is best known for pioneering New Covenant Theology, which sees the entire Bible as a revelation of the gospel of grace fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

Christians are no longer under the Law of Moses, but under grace.

According to Zens, the Law is fulfilled in Christ and reveals Christ. Jesus’s words to love God and love one another fulfills the Law. New Covenant Christians are called to walk in love and through repentance and faith in Christ, they can receive God’s grace, which includes the forgiveness of sins and the power to do God’s will. See “Is There a Covenant of Grace?” by Jon Zens

Zens is also an expert on the Anabaptist history and theology. He 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.

He is the editor of Searching Together magazine, which was originally started in 1972 as the Baptist Reformation Review. The original editor was Norbert Ward, based in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1975, Zens moved to Nashville to work with Norbert on the magazine.

Because of health issues, Norbert asked Zens to be the editor in 1978. In 1982, the name of the quarterly was changed to Searching Together. It seeks to carry on the founding thought expressed by Norbert in 1972,

“We make no claim to be the voice of a movement or an organized denomination. We do not, on the other hand, claim to be a lone voice. We believe that we are expressing the hope and earnest prayer of concerned believers.”

The quarterly magazine features articles by Zens and many other divergent thinkers who have broken with status quo evangelicalism.

Zens is also an advocate of the organic church and he and his wife Dotty have ministry to women who have been taken into the sex slave industry, aiding women who have been the victims of sexual abuse and involved in prostitution. Zens has done various workshops helping victims of prostitution and sex trafficking for the International Christian Alliance for Prostitution.


Zens once served a local pastor, but felt the role was not according to the New Testament perspective of shepherd, so he left the position.

Today he is an active author and a traveling speaker, ministering in organic church conferences and conferences to rescue women from the sex industry and prostitution.


What’s With Paul & Women: Unlocking the Cultural Background to 1 Timothy 2

The Pastor Has No Clothes: Moving from Clergy-Centered Church to Christ-Centered Ekklesia

No Will of My Own: How Patriarchy Smothers Female Dignity & Personhood

A Church Building Every 1/2 Mile: What Makes American Christianity Tick?

Christ Minimized? A Response to Rob Bell’s Love Wins

58-0: How Christ Leads Through the One Anothers 

External Links

Jon Zens in Sojourners

Jon Zens in the Radical Resurgence

Jon Zens in House2House

Jon Zens on LinkedIn

One thought on “Jon Zens

  1. Jon, haven’t read your writing before, heard of you on many occasions here in Australia. I am involved in the Oikos Australia Network of Alternative expressions of Church. I look forward to reading your material. Briefly, I read your take on institutionalism, love the fact you separate institutionalism (& organisational dynamics) and the Body of Christ etc. I have written some of the same / similar. I lectured in Management/leadership for 30 yrs.
    I started a D.Min by research (5 yrs indepth study) last year. Would you be interested in dialoguing with me on occasions, when I get into the Literature review after such some extensive and wide reading?
    Peace and Blessings Brother,
    In His Family,


    A little about me:
    Rev (Ret’d) Wayne R Crockford BA (SocSci) Cert IV (TAA) Cert IV (Sm Bus)
    Current: Doctoral research candidate Alphacrucis College, Melbourne
    “Why don’t people go to Church? What do they do after disaffiliation?
    National Executive Oikos Australia: Discipleship, Pastoral Care, Leadership
    Pastoral Team, Heartland Ministries, 0412385477
    University: Teacher (Semi-retired), Academic Skills, Management, Social Sciences;
    University Chaplain (Ret’d) [UNSW, JCU, UC]

    My research question is as follows:
    “What are people in the house church movement and in other self-governed and self-sustaining groups identifying with the Christian tradition in Australia saying about the Pentecostal, Charismatic and Evangelical institutional forms they have rejected? What alternatives to these institutional forms do they explore, and what are the consequences of those alternatives for their community and their expressions of faith and spirituality? How does leadership form, and how is it exercised in both contexts?”

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