Sunday, May 3, 2009
"The Hole in our Gospel" by Richard Stearns---Book Review
As a Christian believer on her way to be "reborn", I began reading "The Hole in our Gospel" by Richard Stearns expecting to be given pause in my faith. The title seemed to depict a critic's view of Christianity. I was hesitant to start, since my recent re-entry into the church was still edged with doubts as to whether or not this was my spiritual destination. Right off the bat, though, I became engrossed into Stearn's story and message, and soon found that instead of weakening my faith, it strengthened it immensely.
Stearns weaves his personal story into a call for Christians to question "What does God expect of me?". His journey from CEO of Lenox (the formal dinnerware company) to President of World Vision is amazingly told. I related to his struggles to enter into God's service, and was relieved that his story wasn't sugarcoated. Stearns issues out a challenge to Christians to spread the gospel ("good word") to the world. He pays special attention to third-world countries, where the gospel has touched many lives even in the face of great struggles and overwhelming obstacles.
Stearns weaves his personal story and beliefs on faith and our churches with stories of real people touched by God, and brilliantly backs his beliefs with scripture.
The "hole in our Gospel" is that Christians falsely believe that their personal salvation is enough to ensure their entrance into the Kingdom of God. Stearns makes valid claims that we, as Christians and as humanity, have ignored the poor, sick, and downtrodden. The Bible, however, is filled with references to helping those less fortunate out. Stearns points out, for example, Matthew 25:31-46, where the Bible clearly states that only believers who have acted in tangible ways to help the "least of these" will be welcomed into the Kingdom of God. Our faith alone cannot save us. Our words, if spoken without being followed by good deeds, will not stop us from being banished.
The message is clear, and Stearns does a remarkable job of opening our eyes to the world's sorrows, while still planting seeds of hope, and a belief that his call to action will be answered. It's a challenge that most readers will be sure to take on, and one which I am applying to my life, so I may be a better Christian as well.
This book was reviewed as a part of Thomas Nelson's Book Review Blogger program.
- ▼ May (3)
- I first joined the Marine Corps in February of 1999. I was stationed at Camp Pendleton for three years and in Okinawa for one. I left active duty in 2003 and joined the Reserves that year. I had my first daughter in 2005, and moved from California to Massachusetts in 2006. I left the Marine Corps at that time, and had my second daughter in 2007. I reenlisted in the Corps in September of 2008 and went Active in 2009. I'm currently stationed back in California, loving the weather and the life!