Thursday, November 05, 2009

Book Notes - The Hole In Our Gospel

The Hole In Our Gospel by Richard Stearns
Richard Stearns tells quite a story in his book, The Hole In Our Gospel. Most startlingly is the contrast between his career as a luxury goods CEO transitioned to the US president for World Vision. An amazing story really and through it, he weaves a clear picture of the world we live in, how something is missing in our concept of "The Gospel", and simple steps to catalyze change.

It's really a memoir of his career transition, which is a fascinating story by itself. His worldview, faith and the way God moves in Mr. Stearns and his family's life are both fascinating and challenging - fascinating because you see that it could have only worked out this way and challenging because I think most of us can relate. We can understand his comfortable life, his hesitancy in taking a leap of faith and the desperation we feel when we risk like that. Through it I'm reminded that like Mr. Stearns, God has an epic, distinct plan for each of us and that He is molding us specifically for that - the world is in it's most desperate hour and we are the only ones that can help.

Of course, I love the way Mr. Stearns has touched on some important global realities along his story - realities like AIDS, extreme poverty, hunger, the water crisis, technology, the Millennium Development goals, the wealth of the Western Church.... ok you get the picture. If you like some of the stuff that I post about, you'll enjoy the book too.

Of course, reading something like this requires you and I to do something about it. Mr. Stearns includes two triads as filters for thought and action:
+ Awareness, access, ability.
+ Time, talent and treasure.

Here are some choice quotes from the book:
The gospel means much more than the personal salvation of individuals. It means a social revolution.
What if there are children who will suffer somehow because I failed to obey God? What if my cowardice costs even one child somewhere in the world his or her life?
It's not what you believe that counts; it's what you believe enough to do.
Frankly, giving things to the poor does much more to make the giver feel good than it does to fundamentally address and improve the condition of those in need.
Some scientists believe that one out of every two people who have ever lived have died of malaria. [What??]

We've drifted away from being fishers of men to being keepers of the aquarium - Paul Harvey.
I love the recklessness of faith. First you leap, and then you grow wings. - William Sloane Coffin
Obedience to the Great Commission has more consistently been poisoned by affluence than by anything else. - Ralph Winter

Grace is reading through this book during our Beyond series. If you are regular around here, you would probably love this book.

Disclosure: Thomas Nelson provided me a copy of this book for review purposes.

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