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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quibbles
Let me start by saying that I agree completely when the major thrust of this book, God through Scripture has called us to care for the poor and the Western church in particular needs to respond to this call from Scripture.
If you haven't read this book, stop reading this review now. Not because there are spoilers, but because I want now to talk about quibbles I have...
Published on April 24, 2012 by Dean A. Anderson

versus
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Compelling but drawn out!
Richard Stearns, the current president of World Vision, tells his compelling story of the typical American dreamer, achieving heights as two-time CEO, but being drug by God to give it all up and pursue this position that he knew nothing of. His own personal struggle of this sacrifice is highly relavent to today's typical American in this materialistic and segregated...
Published on May 29, 2010 by Michael A. Blumer


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quibbles, April 24, 2012
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This review is from: The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? The Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World (Paperback)
Let me start by saying that I agree completely when the major thrust of this book, God through Scripture has called us to care for the poor and the Western church in particular needs to respond to this call from Scripture.
If you haven't read this book, stop reading this review now. Not because there are spoilers, but because I want now to talk about quibbles I have with the book. And I would hate to think my quibbles would keep someone from reading this fine book with this important message.
But I do have quibbles. There are issues of emphasis and particulars that bothered me. I'm writing this partly to help me think through these issues and decide if my objections are reasonable.
The book does omit some facts and Scripture that I think are important when considering these issues.
Let me start with a famous quote that Stearns frequently refers to from Bob Pierce, "Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God". Bob Pierce was the founder of World Vision (the organization that Stearns now leads.) He did great things for God and World Vision now continues to do great work to care for the poor throughout the world.
And that quote has truth in it. As much as we can, we want to see things through God' eyes and feel things through His heart. But we are finite creatures that serve an infinite God. We can't take on the entire burden of God's work in the world. And I believe that Bob Pierce had issues in his life because he tried to take on the full burden of suffering in the world.
It is now common knowledge and well documented that Pierce neglected his own family and was at time verbally abusive with his staff at World Vision. Stearns (understandably) make no mention of these flaws in the life and ministry of Pierce. I can't help but wonder if Pierce neglected those close to him because he was trying to take on whole burden of suffering in the world. And we frail creatures are not equipped for that burden.
Stearns cites a study in the book wherein a group of three people were given three sets of information about suffering. The first group was told about a single girl who was suffering in poverty. The second group was given statistics about the billions suffering in the world from hunger, thirst and homelessness. And a third group was given a combination of these presentations.
You may or may not have been surprised to learn that the group who was told about the single girl was willing to give much more than the second group and even more than the third group.
Stearns seems to bemoan the results of the study. It seems to go against the Pierce model of taking on the whole burden of the world onto ones self. But I look at the results of this survey and find it quite encouraging. The Good Samaritan didn't try to help all robbery victims in the world, but simply the one man he found along the road.
It's worthwhile to learn about the broad picture of suffering in the world. But real change will take place one person at a time. Stearns acknowledges this, and says we shouldn't keep the magnitude of the problem keep us from taking the small tasks that are available to us. But there is something about his tone that seems regretful about the fact that we don't take the whole burden of the world upon ourselves.
Stearns talks about coming home from trips abroad and feeling guilty for the abundance he and his family possess. This is an understandable emotion, one shared by all of us that have ministered to the poor and destitute. And it is always worth evaluating whether we need all that we "own" and if there are opportunities to give away what we have to benefit others. But he seems slow to then acknowledge that the gifts we have are from God's hand, and as stewards of this gifts, we can, in fact, should, delight in God's good gifts.
The book doesn't refer to the incident in the Gospels of the woman who anointed Jesus' feet. Matthew 26 tells of the woman who used valuable perfume to anoint Jesus and disciples bemoan that the money wasn't used for the poor. But Jesus says the poor will always be with you and what she did was worthwhile.
As stewards, we may be called by God to support many different causes that bring glory to God, from education to the environment or the arts among many others. Jesus cared deeply for the poor, and even asked one rich man to give all that he had to the poor. But Jesus acknowledged that utopia was not possible until the New Heaven and Earth comes to pass.
As individuals and congregations, we encounter "neighbors" locally and around the world. There are homeless people who come to our door. And there are missionaries that we encounter with visions for God's work. Someone in our congregation has a burden for the nation of Guinea Bissau. He visited and there is a congregation in that nation that now prays for our church. They are certainly our neighbors.
Most of us can and should give more to the work of the kingdom, but that can take many forms.
Two other small quibbles: Stearns quotes Gandhi saying how he loves Christ but not Christians. He bemoans the fact that Christians are not viewed favorably in much of contemporary American society and that we are hated in much of the Islamic world. He argues that if we give more to the third world, terrorist groups will have difficulty recruiting. (Though America has been unique in history in its giving to other nations, it has not exactly been acknowledged by al-Qaeda.)
Now while we certainly need to reflect the compassion of Jesus, we should not do so to be loved by the world. In John 15, Jesus said the world hated Him and would in turn hate His followers. Of the many wonderful and true reasons for giving more, the goal of being loved should not necessarily be one of them.
Finally, I was a bit bemused and annoyed when Stearns quotes Jimmy Carter claiming that the biggest problem in the world is the growing gap between the rich and the poor (over hunger, disease, terrorism, and, um, sin.) Now the prophets were certainly concerned about the wealthy oppressing the poor. But no evidence, except the word of the former president, is given that this is the GREASTEST problem. The wealth of America may grow and the poverty in such places as North Korea, Cuba and African nations may grow. And the growth of that poverty may well have nothing to do with America, but rather with the oppressive, authoritarian regimes rule those nations. And the dictators that oppress those people have often had the friendship and support of Jimmy Carter. So I don't take his word as a very credible source.
But again, these are all quibbles. The overall message of "The Hole in the Gospel" is valuable. Most all of us need to do more for the poor in our neighborhood and the world. But we can only do our part, and trust God to care for the whole.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Compelling but drawn out!, May 29, 2010
This review is from: The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? The Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World (Paperback)
Richard Stearns, the current president of World Vision, tells his compelling story of the typical American dreamer, achieving heights as two-time CEO, but being drug by God to give it all up and pursue this position that he knew nothing of. His own personal struggle of this sacrifice is highly relavent to today's typical American in this materialistic and segregated world. I, myself, currently living in an under-developed African country was pushed to examine my actions in which convinced me to give a shoe-shiner a $20 bill instead of the $1 typically asked for, and think about how to involve local wealthy businessmen to form a club of something similar to the "secret santas" known in Kansas City. According to his aim, this opens many doors and is the first step to show them Christ. But his overall plausibility and reasoning were not so convincing to support his idea of the title, A Hole in Our Gospel. The second half of the book is more of a bible study and preaching session for Richard to bash, in my mind, the church even from its conception, since it did little to change and alter the society around it. Therefore, I believe he is perplexed greatly by this need to save the poor from their poverty, that he misses out on the reality of reality, things we can't change - we live in a fallen world and the battle is not ours. I was moved and compelled by the first half of the book, but lost motivation and became bored by the second half. He should have stopped while the going was good.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com ([...]) 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 <[...]> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fundamental, not groundbreaking, January 8, 2011
This review is from: The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? The Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World (Paperback)
The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns is one of those books that everybody was raving about, so I decided to read it. I was hesitant about doing so because I read so much stuff about poverty, justice, and missions that one more seemed like overload. But since a lot of people I know swore by the book and even more people were talking about it, I decided to dive in. A bit like watching a TV series that you don't really care for but don't want to feel out of the loop.

I'm glad I read the book. The message that Stearns shares in the book is extremely important, he shares that message very well, and it's a message that needs to be told over and over and over. I am fond of the folks at World Vision (many of whom are friends and partners in ministry) and Stearns writes well. Most of all, he writes with passion, which oozes from the book.

But ... and I want to be very careful here because I do not want to sound like a cynical curmudgeon ... the book doesn't say anything new. Many of the stories and metaphors (e.g. "how would the media react if 100 planes carrying 265 children crashed all at once") are old and have been around for decades. The theology about helping the poor is nothing new to me and I've studied it since the 70's. The insights about the current plight of the poor can all be gleaned by reading the news. So the book is solid and valuable, but it doesn't break any new ground or offer any new insights.

And that's okay. This book wasn't written for me. It was written for the millions of people who just don't understand the need to care for the poor. It's written for the stuffy pastors and lazy churches who have ignored the plight of the world's poor. It's written for the people who want to make a difference, but don't know how. It's written for those who are so focused on themselves that they have ignored the burning human needs of the world. In other words, about 90% of the population should read it! Because 90% of the population are not as engaged as they should be nor as well informed as they should be.

Does that sound elitist? Well, maybe so. I might fall into the categories above from time to time (Lord knows I can be self-absorbed, lazy, stuffy, and ignorant). But in general, I think I avoid those conditions when it comes to my involvement of serving the poor. So this book, though a good read, was not particularly new or interesting to me.

So to sum up, and putting my own situation aside for a moment, this is a book that more people should read. If you are looking for a book that will help you understand why there is a hole in the Gospel, if you need a boost in your understanding of the poor, if you want to deepen your insight into what Scripture says about the poor, and if you want to be encouraged in your efforts to make a difference, this book is for you. Go, buy it, and read it ... you won't be sorry.
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18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I have some issues with it, March 19, 2012
This review is from: The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? The Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World (Paperback)
I understand Richard Stearns premise that Christians need to be more active in serving the poor, widows, orphans and the like. I agree with him wholeheartedly on that point. With that being said, I am concerned that this book takes the emphasis off the gospel which translated from the Greek means "Good News". Jesus Christ preached the good news of salvation and through his death, burial and resurrection bridged the gap between God and man put there by our sin.

I have a whole list of concerns, but here are a few.

I read where Richard espoused works over sharing your faith with your lips. He was quite clear that we should not share the gospel with our mouths because people will find it offensive. In Romans 10 Paul is addressing believers as to how salvation will spread to unbelievers.

Romans 10:14-17

"How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things'. However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our report?" Here comes the overarching truth that contradicts Mr. Stearns statements:

Verse 17 "So faith comes from HEARING, and HEARING by the word of Christ." The gospel is spread by words and words spoken in grace at that.

In Chapter 4 he took the scripture in Matthew 25:31-46 completely out of context. The context is God's final judgement where he seperates unbelievers from believers. Unfortunately, he exclaims that the "goats" will be the believers that do not help the poor. The whole context of the chapter starting with the parable about the talents starting in verse 14 point to the testing of faith. The 3 men with the talents are those who profess Christ and are given differing levels of responsibility. In the end only two are found faithful and one is not. The unfaithful servant shows that he never knew Christ and was cast from his sight into hell. The man was always an unbeliever in that he didn't have saving faith. Nowhere is it referenced that these men were serving the poor in this parable. They were serving their master who actually is a representation of Christ. In Matthew 25:34 Christ goes on to show that it is only by grace and not works that one inherits the kingdom of heaven because He chose the elect before the world began. If God chooses you, then it is by grace that you were saved. What Stearns is professing in his book is bad theology, unbiblical and defeats the purpose of God's saving grace. He says that you must serve the poor in order to have a place in heaven. It is works based theology which is exactly what the Pharisees believed. There is nothing in scripture that supports his claim that you must serve the poor to go to heaven. It is not works that get you into heaven, but only God's grace. The definition of grace is "unmerited favor". We can do nothing to deserve heaven. It is by grace we are saved.

Like the parable of the talents which starts in Matthew 25:14, evidence of our faith is demonstrated by the fruit that we bear. I find it interesting that Stearns left that out when he quoted Matthew, because it allowed him to take the entire passage out of context. In the parable Christ didn't say what those two faithful servants did to show that they beared fruit. All Christ said is that they doubled the talents that the Lord gave them, so they were given more. It showed that they had saving faith and had a place in heaven. So Stearns cannot look at Matthew 25:31-46 in light of the full context and make a statement, paraphrasing, "That if you don't serve the poor that God will cast the Christian into hell." Spiritual fruit can be anything from serving the poor, to sharing the gospel and God's truth with a wealthy man whose wife is dying of cancer, It can be setting up and breaking down the tables at a church dinner, counting the offering, teaching scripture to the young in the faith, washing the car of a perfect stranger, encouraging another brother or sister in Christ to remain pure until marriage. The servant with the 1 talent showed his crooked heart and showed that he never trusted his master, which means that he was an unbeliever. You can believe in God and not go to heaven, because even the demons believe in God as it says in James chapter 3 and they shudder. It is saving faith that gets you to heaven and if the servant with the 1 talent had had it, then he would have been faithful with what he was given like the servants that received the 5 and 2 talents. This unfaithful servant had head knowledge of God like demons do, but showed that he lacked the heart knowledge because he never surrendered himself to his Master's will. He was an unbeliever.

The next two issues deal with those supporting the book. I have read many of the comments and saw an atheist, buddhist and other individuals that exclaimed that they were not christians, but they support Stearns. That didn't sit right with my spirit. As I prayed about it, the Lord brought me this scripture through a sermon from the late A.W. Tozer who was addressing this very issue. The timing was providential. I randomly heard it one day on the radio when I was flipping the channels, and it is the only sermon that I have ever heard from him.

1 Corinthians 2:12-14 "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not words taught in human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words." Capitalizing for emphasis, not yelling..... "BUT A NATURAL MAN DOES NOT ACCEPT THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD, FOR THEY ARE FOOLISHNESS TO HIM; AND HE CANNOT UNDERSTAND THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE SPIRITUALLY APPRAISED."

Quite simply what that is saying is if the world agrees with the things you are saying, then what is said is not from the Spirit of God. They are from man. God's wisdom is foolishness to man. When I see unbelievers endorsing a christian book, then you can bet there is something not from the Spirit of God in it. The world cannot stand God's precepts or truth.

Lastly, I noticed that the book was endorsed in the front by an apostate and many people who are professed unbelievers. The one that stood to the forefront was Jim Wallis. He is quite possibly one of the biggest apostates in the church with others like Rob Bell. He is a wolf in sheeps clothing as he believes that the emaphasis of God's word is to help the poor, rather than share the gospel. It is social justice theology which is political and not spiritual. God is not a political God, nor does he tolerate a man that says the "old testament is irrelevant". He rejects the idea of sin and accepts many of the sins as okay including licentious living. He justifies this by saying that, paraphrasing "because scripture only speaks of these sins in a minimal amount of verses that they are not important." Anyone who denies sin as sin is not a believer.

Wallis is a big proponent of abortion and homosexuality. Wallis was the one that got Stearns to cut out all the references to the poor in his bible as this was something that Wallis's professor taught him at Trinity Evangelical Seminary in Chicago. Wallis believes that the central theme of scripture is to help the poor rather than preach salvation because "the poor" is mentioned over 2500 times. he believes salvation comes from helping the poor which is works based theology. Many times the word used for "poor" in scripture is a reference to "poor in spirit" which means literally "Spiritually bankrupt." This means someone that sees their depraved sinful nature in light of almighty God and recognize that they need forgiveness. This transcends any social or financial class. It is for anyone whether rich or poor, smart or dumb, big or small.

Wallis mentored Stearns and has a huge influence in his life, so if Wallis endorses Stearns book, then you can rest assured that much if not all of the book was written in the flesh and not by the Holy Spirit because the spirit of man agrees with it. Did I also mention that a billionaire atheist by the name of George Soros gives to Wallis' Sojourners organization. Why would a devout atheist donate to a supposed christian organization? Christians have nothing in common with atheists. It goes back to 1 Corinthians 2:12-14. The spirit of man agrees with Wallis which shows that Wallis is an apostate. I bring all of this up because Wallis is the man that mentored Stearns and encouraged him in writing this book. I see all of Wallis's beliefs upheld by Stearns, which signifies that it was not written by the Holy Spirit, but again, by the spirit of man.

I serve the poor because of the grace that Christ has shown me. He forgave the wretched man that I am. I couldn't change my sinful disposition, but out of the bounty of His grace He opened my eyes and gave me new life. Now, I love what He loves from righteousness and compassion all the way to serving the poor.
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17 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Makes me a bit nervous, May 12, 2010
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This review is from: The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? The Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World (Paperback)
I get a little nervous when I begin to hear about Christians and social justice. No, it's not because of Glenn Beck. I also get nervous when non-believing pundits try to tell Christians what to do. I get nervous because there is a very real effort to redefine the gospel to mean only social justice. This is a problem because it ultimately leads to a "Christianity" that is void of Christ and indistinguishable from just a system of ethics. So, when Thomas Nelson gave me a free copy of this book written by the CEO of World Vision, I was nervous.

Richard Stearns believes that Christians have a gaping hole in the Gospel. He advocates an embracing of the "whole gospel" which he defines as proclaiming the good news of salvation, a compassion for the sick and the sorrowful, and a commitment to justice. Stearns uses his own personal story as well as several statistics about poverty and American churches to call Christians to action.

Overall, this is a decent book. Yes, poverty is real and yes, too many Christians (particularly in the United States) are ignoring it. Stearns obviously has a real passion to fight poverty and has lead World Vision to do just that. The Hole in Our Gospel certainly conveys the problem and effectively calls the reader to action.

I am not without my concerns. First, I disagree that compassion and justice are components of the gospel. I believe that they are products of the gospel. I believe that when a person embraces the good news of Jesus Christ, they will become compassionate and will stand for justice. This may seem like a very subtle difference but I think it points to the core of the issue.

I cannot help but wonder if Stearns would be satisfied with any effort so long as poverty was addressed. Throughout the book, talk of evangelism and salvation seems tacked on as though he knows it's required for inclusion in a Christian book. I recommend that readers of Stearns' book also read K. P. Yohannan's Revolution in World Missions (especially chapter 12: A Bowl of Rice is No Substitute for the Gospel) and J. Mack Stiles' The Marks of the Messenger (especially chapter 5). I recommend The Hole in Our Gospel with the caution that the gospel is not the "whole gospel" unless it contains the good news of Jesus Christ.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I have a love/hate relationship with this book, March 27, 2013
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This review is from: The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? The Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World (Paperback)
I have a love/hate relationship with this book.

First the "love."

This book contains a great challenge to the western church to wake up to the central and vital truths of the gospel which we have ignored for far too long. The gospel contains numerous truths about our responsibility to the weak, the poor, the suffering, the sick, and the homeless around the world, especially when they are abandoned women and orphaned children. We ignore these parts of the Gospel at our own peril, and though we might be "correct" in much of our theology, if we ignore these central sections of the Gospel, we should not expect to hear Jesus say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

I am in full agreement with Stearns on this point, and his book does a great job showing this truth of the Gospel and calling Christians to act upon it.

But now for the things I don't like.

I really, really am tired of books like this being written by rich and powerful people. I know this is the way the publishing industry works, but why is it that those with the power and fame get books published so that they get more power, glory, and fame? There are millions of people who know the same thing Richard Stearns came to learn, and who live it out every single day, but who will never get a book deal because they are not rich CEOs. I really tried to ignore the fact that Richard is rich and famous, but he kept mentioning it over and over in the book, it made it difficult to forget.

Also, Richard confused some elementary truths of the Gospel, namely, the cost of discipleship with the cost of eternal life. He frequently repeated the misleading idea that if we didn't serve the poor and love those less fortunate, then maybe this was because we didn't have eternal life. No, no, no, no, no! Eternal life is a free gift of God to anyone who believes in Jesus for it. But following Jesus into discipleship is different, and requires sacrifice and service for others.

So in the end, I suppose I recommend the book.... but not without reservations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read, July 15, 2010
This review is from: The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? The Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World (Paperback)
The Hole in our Gospel is an honest, personal, yet global assessment of the heart of God for every individual on planet earth. It should be required reading for all who seek to know the Father's heart, will, and ways. I highly recommend it to all ages, denominations and every other type of designation one could find! PLEASE read this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, April 27, 2010
This review is from: The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? The Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World (Paperback)
Rarely am I as excited to write a review over a book as I am now. The Hole in Our Gospel was an incredible read. I flew through the book in a matter of days and found it to be quite the page turner. Ricahrd Stearns writes with the passion of a twenty year-old and the wisdom of an eighty year-old. He serves as the president of World Vision and has several convicting issues he raises in this book. His passion for the poor and his desire to see Christians step up to the challenge of doing something are both prevalent throughout the book.

I would recommend this book to anyone seeking a challenging read. Your American, comfortable Christianity will be challenged. There will be times where Stearns annoys you with how focused he is on our lifestyles, but it is all for your personal growth.

Also, I'm supposed to let you know that Thomas Nelson provided me with a free reader's copy of this book, but that had nothing to do with how much I really enjoyed it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Hole is in Me, August 17, 2010
This review is from: The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? The Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World (Paperback)
In "The Hole in Our Gospel", CEO of World Vision Richard Stearns tells his rags to riches "American Dream" story turned upside down by the transforming Gospel to call fellow Christians to not only speak the truth of the Gospel but to ACT on the that truth. It seems that all too often those in the Church are just sitting on the sidelines waiting for someone else to do something. Stearns offers an alternative based on the truth of the whole Gospel, not just the parts that we want to acknowledge. It is a call to care for the poor complete with all sorts of facts and figures and personal stories that could break anyone's heart.

This book was definitely eye-opening, wake-up-call sort of experience. Do I really just overlook parts of the Gospel that I don't want to acknowledge? Am I really just letting the poorest of the poor starve to death because I don't notice them? Stearns makes it easy to see that anyone can play a part in sharing the whole, transforming Gospel by simply acknowledging the things that break God's heart and doing my part to make a difference - providing the essentials of food, water, and healthcare to the poorest of the poor around the world. Even I can do my part!

*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.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Hole in Our Gospel, May 5, 2010
This review is from: The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? The Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World (Paperback)
I have just started to do book reviews for [...], a project by Thomas Nelson. The first book that I chose to review is called "The Hole in our Gospel" by Richard Stearns. Stearns is currently serving as President of World Vision U.S.

I chose this book because it has a very catchy title and the book cover is very appealing, so good job Arlene Mitsui and Jon Warren.

The book is self-described as "The Hole in Our Gospel is the compelling true story of a corporate CEO who set aside 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."

I agree with the book's description. The book is mainly about Richard Stearns and the call that God has given him. The book also has Stearns' "hole" in the gospel can be summarized in a few words, Christians need to step up and take care of "the least of these".

Stearns said, "I believe we have reduced the gospel from a dynamic and beautiful symphony of God's love for and in the world to bare and strident monotone. We have taken this amazing good news from God, originally presented in high definition and Dolby stereo, and reduced it to a grainy, black-and-white, silent movie" I believe he hit the nail on the head when he said this BUT I believe that he tried to fill the entire hole with Social revolution. I believe there is much more that needs to be done to fill the "hole" we Christians have created.

One major point of disagreement; I believe there is a large percentage of people who are "ripe for the harvest". I believe Stearns has fallen into a horrible trend in some modern Christian writers and pastors who believe that we have tried this "evangelism" thing so much that the people are no longer "ripe for picking" and we need to focus more on meeting peoples needs and hope that they see Christ in us and maybe one day they will be "ripe". I believe that in everything we do we need to profess the name of Jesus, and that is what motivates us to help "the least".

I would recommend this book to others to read. Stearns uses many good quotes throughout his book and uses many personal stories of how people need to "go". I think the book could have been shortened tremendously, but the overall message is great at addressing the need for "the least". In the paper back addition some great extras were added. My favorite "extra" was the "things you can do" section.

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 [...] : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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