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The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World Hardcover – Mar 10 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (March 10 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785229183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785229186
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 15 x 22.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #422,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Christina Banks TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 6 2009
Format: Hardcover
It would be difficult to read this book passively. Richard Stearns brings us face to face with the poor and needy of the world. He pops our protective bubbles and challenges us to see the world through God's eyes. The statistics that Stearns shares are staggering, and numbing, but it is the true life stories that really touch the heart and made me rethink how I viewed the poor and needy of this world. Rich shares his heart in an open and conversational style. He tells about his own struggles to see people through God's eyes, and how God changed his life.

Richard Stearns came from poor roots, rose the corporate ladder, lived the American dream and gave it all up for the sake of a whole gospel. He tells his story of being at the "top of his game" to joining the real game, God's game. Rich argues that there is a hole in the American gospel because we are ignoring all the passages that talk about taking care of the poor and needy in the world. As President of World Vision U.S., Stearns shows us how we can fix the gospel and make it whole again.

Don't read this book unless you are ready for God to touch your heart.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lyndon Unger on Aug. 25 2010
Format: Paperback
In reading The Hole in our Gospel, I was coming in with a blank slate, not knowing who Richard Stearns was. Knowing he was from Worldvision piqued my curiosity, but I wasn't sure what to expect.

The book is essentially about answering the question "What is missing in our theology/evangelism?", and Stearns gets into his answer quickly and unapologetically.

Stearns argues that the real gospel "entails a public and transforming relationship with the world" (2) and by that, he means "social revolution" (20) in the form of helping the poor (21), compassion for the sick (22), and liberation for anyone who is a victim of political, social or economic injustice (22). In case anyone is confused, he gives the standard St. Francis of Assisi "preach the gospel always; when necessary use words" quote (23) and slips the prayer of Jabez in for good measure (40).

Now I did like his comments on how he used to understand the Gospel as simple `fire insurance' (17) and I love the "God expects us to serve Him on His terms - not ours" (39) quote, along with his same page slam against the prosperity gospel. I don't want to be hyper negative against Stearns. Much of his intention is honorable, and I agree that Christians don't live the truth of the scriptures in the lives of the poor, sick and oppressed. Rich Stearns has seen a lot and it has transformed him. I hate the real truth that the church has become a ethno-centrically organized social club for many, and I agree that the gospel hasn't actually impacted those who claim to believe it. But I wholeheartedly disagree with Stearns' understanding of what the gospel IS.

Stearns, on page 21, quotes Luke 4:14-21 and suggests that this is Jesus' mission statement.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is aimed at American (and possibly other nationalities) evangelicals who are beginning to think about moving from personal holiness only toward a more holistic understanding of Jesus' calling to his followers. If you are this person, and at that stage in your thinking, it is a good and useful personal story to reflect on. If you have already thought about these issues, or don't believe they need thinking about, this will not be the book for you. The author also focuses almost exclusively on international poverty issues (admittedly his specialty), rather than addressing social inequalities in the US, thereby sidestepping the probably more contentious issues of domestic poverty.
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Format: Hardcover
Did you know that if you are reading this post, you are probably very wealthy and didn't even know it? In fact, if you make $25, 000 per year you are in the top 90th percentile of the world's wealthiest people. Over 2.6 billion people live on less than $2 per day but the average North American lives on $105 per day. Drastic disparity. In a very unapologetic current account of the state of Africa and other developing nations, Richard Stearns takes a hard look at North Americans to change their perspective and grasp the pervasion of poverty around the world. Formerly the CEO of Lenox (luxury tableware), Richard was literally called by God to 'sell his possessions and follow Christ', just like the rich young ruler in the New Testament. The only difference is that he actually did: he resigned as CEO, gave up the Jaguar company car, sold his 10 bedroom mansion, and reduced his income by 75% to become the President of WorldVision U.S.. His life has not been the same - he has seen firsthand accounts of the miracle of clean water, medical care, and schooling provided through WorldVision's efforts. He calls upon all people - the knowledge, access, ability, and finances gives no one an excuse to not join the effort of saving dying children. Literally - dying children. He lays it out all out - the stats, the pleas for help, the duty as humans. We cannot ethically ignore the destitute - our way of live in North America is not the norm around the world - we are an anomaly. You almost don't want to finish the book because he asks for action and the epilogue provides a study guide to generate ideas for you to contribute your time, treasure, and talents. Then he leaves it up to you - but he asks one question: is it possible to love God and not your neighbor?
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