Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Hole in Our Gospel: Book Review

"Two thousand years ago, twelve people changed the world. Rich Stearns believes it can happen again."

These words drew me into reading The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns. A former corporate CEO, Stearns tells the story of how he left the corporate world to become president of World Vision. The book can be divided roughly into thirds: the first third is Stearns' testimony; the second, the tragedy of extreme poverty in the world; the third, a plan of action. The "hole in our gospel," according to Stearns, is faith without works, which he defines as not placing the goal of helping poor and disadvantaged people overseas at the top of our list of priorities.

I found this book--at different times--inspiring, challenging, and frustrating. I loved the first two thirds. Stearns' testimony resonated with me, possibly because, in some ways, his account of coming to Christ parallels my own. I was inspired and challenged as I read about those who are unable to meet the most basic needs, such as food and clean water.

I agree with Stearns in his premise that Americans, in general, are abundantly blessed, and that we as Christians are called to share these gifts with those in need. What frustrated me is that, except for a few sentences at the very end of the book, Stearns--perhaps unintentionally--seems to dismiss helping other Americans as not worthwhile. I believe that local food banks and homeless shelters, soup kitchens and storm victims, also deserve our support. While he may be correct that even the poorest Americans are wealthy in comparison to millions of people overseas, how can we ignore the needy in our own communities?

You can learn more about The Hole in Our Gospel at the Thomas Nelson product page or buy it from Amazon.com or BooksChristian.


I review for Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers

1 comment :

  1. I agree with your frustrations. Yes, the Great Commission tells us to go unto all the world, it also means we need to cover the ground in our immediate surroundings too! The book looks interesting. I may see if I can get a hold of it.

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