Friday, September 1, 2017

Book Review: 'The Hole in Our Gospel' by Richard Stearns

"And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching." -- Hebrews 10:24-25 (NKJV)

This book is part testimony, explaining how the author was called away from his job as a corporate CEO to head World Vision, and part sermon, searching the Gospels for guidance about what it means to live as a Christian. Basically, the message is to live as Jesus did, following His words and example.

Anyone will feel convicted by at least some parts of this book.

Some of the messages that hit me hardest were the points about those who make $50,000 a year are among the 1 percent of the world's people with the highest incomes, how little money can transform a life, the need to measure not much time and treasure we provide to serve God and His purposes, and how often Christians don't behave any differently from those who aren't. The contrast between how many people view Christians and the way Christians are supposed to love others in generous, nonjudgmental ways will make anyone say "Ouch!"

I heard Mr. Stearns speak at Lakewood Church and found his message to be quite different from the impression I have of World Vision from the various fundraising letters I regularly receive. I was glad to learn that the organization is more Biblically based than I realized.

Ultimately the most moving parts of the book were the testimonies about how God uses tiny efforts by individuals to make great results. What an opportunity to live up to something wonderful that God may have planned for each of us!

I'm sure this book will both convict and bless you, especially the latter if you change what you do to better reflect our Lord.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Donald Mitchell. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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