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The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? Hardcover – March 10, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; 1st edition (March 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785229183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785229186
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (456 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #295,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Stearns, the CEO of World Vision, says Christians have a huge hole in their lives, an emptiness that comes from ignoring the plight of the poor. He details his own quest to fill this hole by leaving Lenox Inc., where he was CEO, to run a not-for-profit that helps feed, clothe, and educate children worldwide. Unlike many evangelical Christians, Stearns believes poverty is explained by something more than choices, and lifting cultures from the systemic causes of poverty requires a multi-pronged approach. This accessible book will make it into the hands of evangelical Christians who may not pick up one of the many ABA books on issues of hunger, access to clean water, malaria and AIDS. Readers of Rick Warren, Jim Wallis and N.T. Wright will find Stearns synthesizing thoughts from them as well as from economists and missionaries.This is a passionate and motivating magnum opus from the leader of one of the most recognized aid organizations in the world. The book is a surprisingly no-holds-barred prophetic voice in the wilderness crying out to rich Americans, "Repent and help your world neighbors."(Mar. 10)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Rich Stearns calls us to exhilarating obedience to God's life-altering, world-changing command to reflect his love to our neighbors at home and globally. The Hole in Our Gospel is imbued with the hope of what is possible when God's people are transformed to live radically in light of his great love." ----Gary Haugen, President & CEO, International Justice Mission<br /><br />"With passionate urging and earnestness, Rich Stearns challenges Christians to embrace the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ by embracing the neediest and most vulnerable among us. After reading the moving stories, the compelling facts and figures, and Stearns' excellent application of scripture and his own experiences at World Vision, you will no doubt be asking yourself: What should I do?" ----Chuck Colson, Founder, Prison Fellowship<br /><br />It's 1998 and Richard Stearns' heart is breaking as he sits in a mud hut and listens to the story of an orphaned child in Rakai, Uganda. His journey to this place took more than a long flight from the United States to Africa. It took answering God's call on his life, a call that hurtled him out of his presidential corner office at Lenox-America's finest tableware company-to this humble corner of Uganda. This is a story of how a corporate CEO faced his own struggle to obey God whatever the cost, and his passionate call for Christians to change the world by actively living out their faith. Using his own journey as an example, Stearns explores the hole that exists in our understanding of the Gospel. Two thousand years ago, twelve people changed the world. Stearns believes it can happen again. "Read this compelling story and urgent call for change-Richard Stearns is a contemporary Amos crying 'let justice roll down like waters….' Justice is a serious gospel-prophetic mandate. Far too many American Christians for too long a time have left the cause to 'others.' Read it as an altar call." -- --Eugene H. Peterson, translator of The Message, Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, BC

"Rich Stearns calls us to exhilarating obedience to God's life-altering, world-changing command to reflect his love to our neighbors at home and globally. The Hole in Our Gospel is imbued with the hope of what is possible when God's people are transformed to live radically in light of his great love." ----Gary Haugen, President & CEO, International Justice Mission

"With passionate urging and earnestness, Rich Stearns challenges Christians to embrace the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ by embracing the neediest and most vulnerable among us. After reading the moving stories, the compelling facts and figures, and Stearns' excellent application of scripture and his own experiences at World Vision, you will no doubt be asking yourself: What should I do?" ----Chuck Colson, Founder, Prison Fellowship --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

More About the Author

Richard Stearns brought nearly 25 years of corporate experience to World Vision when he became its president in June 1998.

Stearns holds a bachelor's degree form Cornell University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. His professional career began in marketing with the Gillette Company. From 1977 to 1985, he held various roles with Parker Brothers Games, culminating in his appointment as president in 1984. In 1985, he became a vice president at The Franklin Mint, then joined Lenox in 1987 as president of Lenox Collections. In 1995, Stearns was named president and chief executive officer of Lenox Inc. As president of World Vision Inc., Stearns is responsible for U.S. operations, which include fund raising, advocacy, and program development.

Stearns and his wife, Renee, have been World Vision supporters since 1984. The couple has five children and live in Bellevue, Washington.


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Customer Reviews

The book is an easy read and hard to put down once you start.
Harold McFarland
Written by Richard Stearns, president of World Vision, The Hole in Our Gospel is a powerful book the reminds us of the churches mission/purpose.
Laura M. Bowman
Richard Stearns has an incredible story and I am so thankful he wrote this book to share it with the world.
Bookwormgirl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

104 of 114 people found the following review helpful By Courtney Joseph on May 28, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
As I cracked open this nearly 300 page book I found a biography of a man that compelled me. Richard was a godly husband and father to 5 children and was the President of Lenox China before giving up his Jaguar, large home, and large salary to become the President of World Vision. He went from living the country club lifestyle to sitting in grass huts in Uganda feeding children who are starving. Why? Why did he give up the American dream?

Richard told the story of a pastor friend who went through the Bible literally cutting out with scissors, all the verses on poverty and then when he preached on poverty, he held his ragged, tattered Bible in the air and said "Brothers and sisters, this is our American Bible; it is full of holes...here are all the Biblical texts we ignore."

Richard goes into full detail about the epidemic of poverty in our world that American Christians just simply ignore. 26,500 children will die today due to causes related to poverty - whether it's starvation, dirty water, ravages of war, disease or AIDS. That's the equivalent of 100 jet liners crashing just today! He knows how Americans value our airplanes and hate to see one crash - so he compares the statistic to a plane wreck.

If we hear the story of a child dying in a car accident - we are sad for the family. But if we learn that it is our next door neighbor's child who died we are deeply grieved for the family. And if our own child dies - well - our world is turned upside down. For some reason we place less value on the children dying half way around the world than we do our own children - but GOD DOES NOT!

Oh, this book was so convicting as it told stories of children eating dirt patties with butter to ease their starving bellies.
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67 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Brandon Vogt on April 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Recently, I was sent a copy of "The Hole In Our Gospel" to read and review. Written by the U.S. President of World Vision, Richard Stearns, the book journeys into the great problems of the world and analyzes how Christians, specifically in America, relate to them.

Seeing that the book was penned by the head of an international aid organization, I must admit that I began with feelings of skepticism and reluctance. Before beginning the book, I expected a simple, shallow, and guilt-ridden message that would end with a plea for World Vision support. However, this book steers far from that path. Surprisingly, Stearns never directly advocates for the support of a World Vision child. Instead, his chosen path is one in which he walks alongside the reader through many challenging issues, pointing out what he sees along the way. I can imagine no better tour guide than the man who not only leads one of the largest humanitarian organizations in the history of the world, but also one who has set foot in nearly 100 of the poorest countries in the world. Stearns doesn't just lightly suggest the pursuit of justice and care for the poor--he is battling on the frontlines himself.

From the outset of the book, I was comforted with the relative normalcy of Richard's early life. In addition to feelings of apathy and ignorance towards suffering in our American churches, he also shares that for most of his life he was consumed with materialism and the addiction of corporate success. Proclaiming that he is no `Mother Teresa', he sincerely aims to show that he should not be lifted up as an other-worldly wonder-worker. He makes a point that he is an every-man, and it shows through his experiences.
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222 of 268 people found the following review helpful By Christian Development Worker on March 21, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I know Richard Stearn's intentions are good but the book leaves me with a hole in my stomach:)

My journey in India has taken me through the paradigm of World Vision-like organizations (e.g. Habitat for Humanity, Samaritan's Purse, Gospel for Asia, The Leprosy Mission, etc) and I have seen their problems on the ground. Consequently, I am disappointed Richard Stearns gives a stinging critique of the American church but doesn't adequately address the legitimate criticisms--well known to insiders--of the Christian, multi-national aid industry. Does one really think groups like World Vision are immune to the empire building and wasteful spending (and in many cases, outright corruption) that the American church is susceptible to?

But forget all the issues of corruption and gross inefficiencies suffered by most international Christian organizations. Those are just symptoms of some fundamental problems with many Christian foreign-aid organizations.
1. They have followed secular humanist priorities which view injustice and physical need as man's primary problem when, as Christians, we are to understand these as symptoms of a much deeper spiritual crisis that exists in communities unable/unwilling to care for their own people. With so much emphasis in the secular media on the issues of poverty & injustice it is certainly easier and more lucrative to follow their lead rather than stand as a prophetic voice and point to the spiritual crisis that is the deeper issue and offer the solution of Jesus.
2.
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