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The The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? The Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World Paperback – May 2, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 165 customer reviews

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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 form theWharton 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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; 1St Edition edition (May 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849947006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849947001
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: 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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Format: 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.
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