Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $4.99 shipping
The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? The Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World Paperback – Bargain Price, May 4, 2010
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
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. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
"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 watersâ¦.' 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.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Stearns opens up his book recounting the tale of visiting Richard, a thirteen year old boy in Uganda. Stearns sat in a small hut, listening to a boy who was trying to raise his two brothers alone, their parents having died of AIDS. His mother and father were buried in the ground right next to the doorway; the children passed by the graves constantly. When Stearns asked if Richard had a Bible, the boy ran into the other room and returned, saying "I love to read the Book of John, because it says that Jesus loves the children."
Only two months before, Stearns had been the CEO of Lennox, makers of those fancy plates. He lived in a ten-bedroom home on five acres outside of Philadelphia. He sat on his church board, ran a multi-million dollar company, drove a Jaguar and flew first class to Tokyo, Paris, etc. Now he was the new head of World Vision, a global, Christian non-profit organization. And he was in an African hut talking to Richard. Word Vision's founder, Bob Pierce, had said "Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God." Richard Stearns truly understood these words now.
The crux of this book is Stearns asking the question, "What does God expect of us?" Is being faithful, studying the Bible and going to church enough? "Have we embraced the whole gospel or a gospel with a hole in it?" He then tells his story in the context of the issues that World Vision tackles. The book has lots of statistics and numbers. For example, about 9 million people die every year of hunger or related causes. Every day, 904 children die of an AIDS-related illness, while another 1,150 become infected. Stearns breaks down what some of the overwhelming numbers mean on a more understandable level. He also relates some of his personal experiences since joining World Vision. Be prepared to hear God's heart breaking.
Stearns greeted God's call to move to Seattle and run World Vision with about as much enthusiasm as Jonah headed off to Nineveh. He even initially refused the job before realizing that God was guiding him and accepting the call (no whale needed). There is an incredible amount of content in this book that makes Stearns' call to compassion and justice just plain common sense. Though he's not a preacher, he knows his Bible and uses verses effectively.
We are saved by Grace: I'm not about to open up the `Grace vs. Works' debate. But during my Catholic upbringing, I learned Ephesians 2:8-10, "For it is by Grace you have been saved through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the Gift of God - not by your works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Read that last sentence again. Stearns believes (as do I), that we are saved by Grace, but as saved, God expects more from us.
This is reflected in Vineyard Columbus' vision statement, "To be a relevant church that does not exist for itself, but for Christ and the World." Vineyard didn't build a Community Center for the membership: it was built for the central Ohio community, to do the work of Christ. The Hole in our Gospel is about being a relevant Christian.
We started with a contemporary worship reference so we'll close with one, from Casting Crowns' If We Are the Body:
"If we are the body, why aren't his arms reaching? Why aren't his hands healing? Why aren't his words teaching? And if we are the body, why aren't his feet going? Why is his love not showing them there is a way?"
Richard Stearns's arms are reaching and his words are teaching. If you enjoyed reading The Hole in Our Gospel, there is a free, six-week group study guide available for download at World Vision's website. I was profoundly impacted by this book and recommend it unreservedly.
The first part of this book describes Richard Sterns battle with himself in yielding to the Lord's Will and accepting the job as the CEO of World Vision. He did not feel qualified or prepared in a Theological or Non-profit Organization way. He was the CEO of a company that produced fine china and tableware. He had good organizational skills for a For Profit company, but how would that translate to World Vision.
Also, he did not feel spiritually or theologically prepared. He fought the process at every step. What was amazing was to read about the confirmations that were placed in his path as the process proceeded. Also, to see how Satan attempted to throw a huge obstacle in the way of God's will, the obstacle of pride and wealth. To Sterns credit he was so seeking the Lord that he would eventually agree to take on this position and serve the poor as his Savior requested.
Starting in part II Stearns talks about Isaiah 58 and Matthew 25 and the teaching that comes through here regarding serving the poor and helpless. He does a great job of declaring the message that was so on the heart of Christ and the Father. Serving the poor, the hungry, the widow, the orphan and the sick is what the Lord desires for his people to do. Our true belief in Christ will show it self in our tangible outward actions. Unfortunately for many of us our outward actions still ignore the poor and destitute, because they make us uncomfortable.
Sterns pointed out in the beginning of the book about a group of students who took their Bibles and marked all of the references that the Bible has in regards to the poor, the widow, the needy and also about justice. The result, a huge portion of scripture deals with these topics. One of those students then took a Bible and cut out every reference they had marked. What was left? Well, what was left was a Gospel message with a huge hole in it. What a great visual graphic
Sterns paraphrased Matthew 25 in this way, "For I was hungry, while you had all you needed. I was thirsty, but you drank bottled water. I was a stranger, and you wanted me deported. I needed clothes, but you needed more clothes. I was sick, and you pointed out the behaviors that led to my sickness. I was in prison, and you said I was getting what I deserved."
Ok, so that really helps bring the message home. You might be asking yourself, is this book just a book intended to make me feel guilty? Is it a device to make me give a donation to relive my feelings of guilt? My answer to those questions, NO.
If you feel guilty, maybe it's because you have not thought about the poor. Maybe you have turned a blind eye to those in need. Maybe you are living more like a Pharisee than like a Disciple.
I believe you will learn much from this book. I think it will challenge you to look at others around you differently. It will help you ask the question, is there a hole in the Gospel that I preach, teach and demonstrate through my life.
There have been many Christians and even Denominations that have taken this message though and gone overboard and become nothing more than a social concerns network or agency. Don't make that mistake. Just recognize that we have ignored a major portion of the Gospel message and we need to get back to addressing it. But be sure to do it from a heart of compassion that is sold out to Jesus not a heart of guilt that is worry about making it into heaven through good works.