Skip to main content

Book Review: A Hole in Our Gospel, by Richard Stearns

In "A Hole in Our Gospel", Richard Stearns tells his story: a story of leaving a position as CEO of a well-known manufacturer to CEO of World Vision, taking a 75% pay cut and uprooting his family in the process. That story only takes a couple of chapters; the rest of the book proceeds to open the reader's eyes not only to some severe and difficult realities, but to the responsibility of believing Christians to address those realities.

I must confess: about halfway into this book, I was unconvinced. Sure, there is value in helping the poor, but it seemed that Stearns was making a mistake that so many well-meaning Christians make: they work to convince others that their particular passion should be the passion of everyone who claims to follow Christ. By the end of the book, however, the truth is inescapable: we (Christians in America) are the richest church in world history, and we're falling so short of Scriptural directives on this topic that it's heartbreaking.

Stearns makes his case utilizing a combination of Scripture, reason, and compelling stories. It's something that many American Christians simply don't get, and therefore don't act upon: the direct connection between spreading the Gospel and helping the needy.

It's hard to see how anyone who reads "A Hole in Our Gospel" will not be compelled to help. Not only to help, but to make changes in their lifestyle, their spending, and their priorities, in order to meet needs here and abroad.

Perhaps that thought will keep you from reading it, like the old adage of not wanting to know how sausage is made so you can keep eating it. But don't let that stop you. This book is not a guilt trip. It's a challenge to make a difference.

Disclaimer: Thomas Nelson Publishing gave me this book for review purposes, but gives me the freedom to write as positively or negatively as I choose. That said, I highly recommend "A Hole in Our Gospel".

Comments

The Weckler said…
As someone already compelled, this one had me in tears all the way through.

As Bill Hybels says, "[Hole in the Gospel] is a game-changer."
Do you think this book would work as the basis of a Sunday School Class?
The Weckler said…
Larry, err, Erie,

Yes! Especially if you were to connect it to actual DOING...like a discipleship program for those ready to begin making their faith tangible in the world around them. Just the idea of it gets me excited!!

Also, there is a six-week study outlined on Stearns' website.

www.theholeinourgospel.com

Popular posts from this blog

Beyond the door greeter: The most important contribution of Tim Wright

My sons Jacob and Zachary have baseball cards. Hundreds of them. They like to spend time with them, because the cards feed two of their passions: baseball and numbers. They organize and re-organize the cards. They play fictional baseball games, complete with playoffs, with them. Most important, they show the cards off to their friends. Even adults who come over to the house are likely to be introduced to the baseball cards collection by my sons.
I have a friend named Frank. He's retired, and is an expert woodworker. Visitors to his house will be treated to the tour: he loves to show you the gorgeous cherrywood rocking horse, the grandfather clock, and countless other items he has made out of wood. They're all quite beautiful; very impressive. It's Frank's passion, and he loves to share what he has done with others.


For the last 15 years, I have had a friend named Tim Wright. His title was Pastor of Small Groups and Assimilation. We all know what a small group is, but &…

Them Dents is Valuable

I guess I am spoiled, but for a Pixar film, "Cars 2" falls a little short, if only because the bar has been set insanely high by the quality of recent masterpieces such as "Toy Story 3" and "Up".  Any comparison of "Cars 2" with other recent Pixar output just isn't fair.

Quality aside, "Cars 2" hardly seemed like a sequel. The tone, the look, and the feel are very different from "Cars". Additionally, the plot was hard to follow and a little convoluted.

Despite the flaws, this film had one shining moment; one profound line in a decidedly non-profound movie, and it was delivered by Tow Mater.

Mater, you may recall, is a tow truck who's in dire need of mechanical attention. He has a missing hood, several dents, and rust issues. He's also a lovable doofus, lacking anything that resembles sophistication.

At one point in the movie, British secret agents decide to bring Mater into their plans to catch the bad guys and sa…

Book Review--"Love Does" by Bob Goff

Readers of Donald Miller's excellent book "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" were introduced to Bob Goff, a man who I'd swear is a fictional hero if Miller didn't insist he was a real person. Goff sounds like he's too good to be true.

The Good
The stories in Miller's book are pretty amazing: his kids invited themselves to meet with the leader of every nation in the world, and 29 presidents, kings,  and princes took them up on it. Goff started a New Year's day parade in which several blocks of neighbors participate. He managed to push through several judicial reforms in Uganda which resulted in kids being freed and witch doctors being put out of business. And that's just the start.

Bob Goff is a real person, and he's the real deal; he loves Jesus and has a desire to use what he has to show the love of Jesus in tangible, life-changing ways to as many people as he can. One cannot help but be inspired by reading these stories, and the life les…