Here is a rare book. It has the passion and plain speaking of a biblical prophet, the "building up” of Jeremiah, but also his "tearing down”. The latter is often missing in books, sermons and seeker-sensitive settings. "Behold the goodness and the severity of God." Both are here. Nick paints the stark picture of our society. He describes what is missing in the UK church, and notes what is poor, blind and naked. There is rawness and honesty, a dip into history and many exquisite quotes. He alerts us to the destructive values and new media of our society, with its dirt and hurt, and its war against family life and Christian faith. This is part autobiography, of a Christian man who has set his heart on pilgrimage - for the 21st century disciple of Jesus.
If you want a comfortable and easy faith, Body Zero is not for you. This is a Bible-focussed devotional in which Nick Franks offers his love for (and critique of) the Body of Christ. There’s a call to repentance and to live like we really do believe that Jesus is returning. It’s a personal take on the celebrity-obsessed, empire-building and too often complacent Church we have become. You might not agree with everything in Body Zero because there are things that will annoy, challenge and inspire in equal measure. Nick’s book provokes us to be a better people (Hebrew 10:24).
Jesus is coming. Soon. The Judge will enter. All rise. This book asks whether we really believe (and desire) that future reality – the Day which drives the whole New Testament and which, if true, changes everything. Is our Church full of those who mourn over sin and are lovesick for the Bridegroom? When the Lord returns will he find me repenting of sin and longing for Him? Are we awake and alive to the wonder of being embraced by the Father, one with the Son, filled with the Spirit, snatched from hell and destined for glory? Or have we fallen asleep like the church of Sardis, the five foolish wedding guests and given up on the return of the Son? Are we sleepwalking towards the edge of the cliff? This uncomfortable book takes us by the shoulders and shouts, Wake Up! Look at our glorious Jesus! Consider what kind of life is the only logical response to the One who saves us from the coming wrath. Think what church could look like if we burned with the conviction that Jesus is coming. Because He is.
Christians love heroes of the faith. What we tend to forget is the fact that today’s heroes were often yesterday's ‘heretics’, and ‘troublers of Israel’. I believe Nick Franks comes to us in the spirit of many who have gone before — and therefore, like them, will be misunderstood. Yet, like those who have gone before, he carries a prophetic burden and a message of life and renewal. This book is a red-blooded, passion-fuelled and humble trumpet blast for the Body of Christ to wake up! Read it on your knees. Read it amidst prayers and tears of repentance and intercession. Read it with a longing to encounter the presence of God whose breath can be felt on every page.
This book will definitely shake up your spiritual and religious structure. You can react like the people in the desert who have preferred to stay at a distance in the comfort zone or you can choose to completely and radically change your relationship with the Eternal. "Body Zero" puts us in front of a crossroads, a bifurcation. My brother Nick, as a prophetic voice in a mission given by the Lord of the harvest, challenges us with a thunderous voice to make a decision. Are you ready for this?
Some books comfort the afflicted. Others afflict the comfortable. This particular book has the potential to do both.
Joshua D. Jones
Pastor, Therfield Chapel, England