Monday, June 14, 2010

The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns

The Hole in Our Gospel is not an easy read. It speaks of something more that needs to be done, something given that we often want to keep to ourselves, something difficult that must be faced. It outlines teachings from scripture on poverty, wealth, justice and oppression to which we've paid little attention. We may as well take a scissor and cut a hole in our gospel.

We are rich Americans and we're not sharing.

You think you're not rich? This book will convince you otherwise.

"We don't believe we are wealthy, so we don't see it as our responsibility to help the poor. We are deceived" (p 216).

It's the book I was afraid to read. Afraid because I knew it could possibly change my life. Or at least challenge me to change a few things about the way I live. But I knew I must. Sometimes God compels us to read or do a particular thing to pursue growth. It's to growth we are called and required. And so I picked it up and plodded through.

He practices what he preaches. Richard Stearns shares his struggle to leave his position as an affluent CEO to president of World Vision. He himself sponsors a dozen or so children and gives generously to those in need. He challenges each of us to take the same journey in our own way, using our own God-given time, talent and treasure.

"We have, in fact, reduced the gospel to a mere transaction involving the right beliefs rather than seeing in it the power to change the world" (p 243).

This isn't just about money and giving more. Change begins as we pray the prayer of World Vision founder, Bob Pierce,

"Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God."

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255