The Church: An Organic Picture of Its Life

by Robert Brow,

Originally published, Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B.Eerdmans, 1968.

Electronic publication,

Preface to the 1996 Digital Edition

This book was first written thirty years ago, and published by William B.Eerdmans in 1968 and as Twenty Century Church by Victory Press, London, in 1970. Readers will note how it is dated by the use of the masculine pronoun instead of the more modern inclusive language.

It seemed worthwhile republishing it digitally in 1996 because it is one of the first serious treatments of the functions of the various gifts of the Holy Spirit in Chapters 6 to 12. It is interesting that the function of the church planting gift of apostles has been used very effectively in the House Churches of Great Britain. A book about the variety of spiritual gifts by Arnold Bittlinger, Gifts and Graces, with a foreword by Michael Harper was published in England by Hodder and Stoughton in 1967.

The function of the bloodstream of the Church in Chapter 13 still seems relevant as a way of distinguishing the function of local congregations rooted in one place from the moving church planting and nurturing missions of the world-wide Church.

In the last chapter there is an interesting reference to the importance of the approaching world-wide Internet.

Robert Brow, Battersea, Ontario, June 1996.


  1. Sixties and Seventies
  2. Synagogues and Churches
  3. Bishops and Popes
  4. Groups and Tribes
  5. Baptism and Membership
  6. Fruit and Gifts
  7. Tongues and Interpretation
  8. Prophets and Prophetesses
  9. Mercy and Healing
  10. Evangelists and Teachers
  11. Elders and Pastors
  12. Deacons and Helpers
  13. Body and Bloodstream
  14. Apostles and Teams
  15. Clergy and Laity
  16. Tithing and Giving
  17. Present and Future