The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns
Published by Thomas Nelson
From the publisher:
WHAT DOES GOD EXPECT OF US?
Is our faith just about going to church, studying the Bible and avoiding the most serious sins—or does God expect more?
Have we embraced the whole gospel or a gospel with a hole in it?
Ten years ago, Rich Stearns came face-to-face with that question as he sat in a mud hut in Rakai, Uganda, listening to the heartbreaking story of an orphaned child. Stearns’ journey there took much more than a long flight to Africa. It took answering God’s call on his life, a call that tore him out of his corner office at one of America’s most prestigious corporations—to walk with the poorest of the poor in our world.
The Hole in Our Gospel is the compelling true story of a corporate CEO who setaside worldly success for something far more significant, and discovered the full power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to change his own life. He uses his journey to demonstrate how the gospel—the whole gospel—was always meant to be a world changing social revolution, a revolution that begins with us.
My grandmother asked me to read this book a few years ago when it was first released, because the writer, Richard Stearns, is good friends with the head pastor of her church (Bill Hybels, of the famed Willow Creek Community Church) and she actually purchased a copy for me and pressed it into my hands. Three years later, I’m finally getting around to the book.
The Hole in Our Gospel definitely gave me a LOT to think about. I think that, for the most part, Stearns is right about the fact that there is a huge gap between what God asks of us as Christians and how we as Christians live out our faith in day to day life. Most of us do not give financially more than the standard 10%, most of us do not travel to other parts of the world where people struggle just for basic needs, most of us do not think about the war, famine, and disease that is a daily reality for much of the world’s population.
I don’t feel that I can really “review” this book, because it is focused on an uncomfortable truth that most Christians (including myself) don’t want to face up to – that we enjoy a life of privilege, and don’t do near enough with our privilege to help the rest of the world. Stearns is completely right about this, though, and while reading this book I was forced to confront myself with the possibility that I could personally do more to help those in need – to be more of the person that God wants me to be. I particularly enjoyed how Stearns gives his entire history in this book, because he spent many years as a corporate CEO, making tons of money and not sharing it with those in need, before he became head of World Vision and changed his outlook completely. It shows how views can change, people can grow, and God is constantly working on our characters and our hearts.
But it’s not easy to read this book and take an honest look at oneself. Personally I know I’m not doing enough and The Hole in Our Gospel made that fact crystal clear. If you’re looking to be challenged in your faith journey, I highly recommend this book.