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Customer Reviews for Thomas Nelson The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World - eBook

Thomas Nelson The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World - eBook

The Hole in Our Gospel tells the compelling true story of corporate CEO Richard Stearns, 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 was always meant to be a world-changing social revolution, a revolution that begins with you. The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) recently announced The Hole in Our Gospel as winner of both the Christian Life Category Award and the 2010 Christian Book of the Year.
Average Customer Rating:
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4.4
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26 out of 2990%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World - eBook
Review 1 for The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World - eBook
This review is fromThe Hole in Our Gospel.
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Scratch this author off my shopping list.

Date:March 25, 2014
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RS in Maine
Location:Maine
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Value: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
After today's announcement that World Vision is recognizing and allowing same sex counterfeit marriage among its employees, Mr. Stearns needs to get the hole/log out of his own eyes, and the hole out of his own gospel! Scratch this book off my shopping and reading list.
0points
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Review 2 for The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World - eBook
This review is fromThe Hole in Our Gospel.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A message that the world needs now!

Date:December 19, 2013
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Howard Ward
Location:Ponchatoula, LA
Age:Over 65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
A very well written book that each one of us should read
and apply the message that God places on your heart!
-1point
0of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 3 for The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World - eBook
This review is fromThe Hole in Our Gospel.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Assesses The Junction Of Faith And Works

Date:October 12, 2013
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Philip Tutt
Location:Sacramento, CA
Age:Over 65
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
This book, by the president of World Vision, a charitable organization focusing on the needs of impoverished, neglected, and abused children, argues for what I would call "militant Christianity", by which I mean a "hands on" approach to human want in a world dominated by war, injustice, oppression, disease, famine, poverty, and other visible ills. Refreshingly, the author, a conservative Christian, does not diagnose the source of these ills as "sin" (the rain does not stop falling in Africa because Babylon is partying in New York). That alone makes the book's Christian basis not only thoughtful, but also compelling. The basic message is this: if you follow Jesus, then what are you going to do for the (very real and acute) needs of others? Note the form (a question), with implied answers. If the answer is a hand-wringing: what can I do?, your response (as I read the author's intent), amounts to: I don't care (in one form or another). If the answer is: whatever I can, your response (again, as I read the author's intent) is: alright, Lord, what do you want me to do? (very risky). It is easy to see why those who profess to follow Jesus fall into a soporific "comfortable Christianity" of the sort which the author eschews. Interestingly, however, the author does not overstate the case for Jesus as social revolutionary. The "casebook" illustrations simply show how acute the pain of others in need is (e.g., orphaned children in a country whose infrastructure is all but non-existent). The appeal is to the heart. It is the heart which, because of the teachings of Jesus, demands a response. Channeling that response into effective action is also a component of the author's message. The book has its shortcomings. It is overly long on the "casebook" side, probably by about one-quarter. The author also states, but does not develop, the very significant thesis that "culture blindness" obscures what the author calls "our sins of apathy and judgment", a phenomenon which is as alive today (e.g., response to AIDS victims) as it has been historically (e.g., responses to racism and slavery). As a result of this underdevelopment, the author's summary observation, that "the institutional Church often fails to rise above and challenge the popular culture and values", is both inaccurate, and waters down individual responsibility for the shortfall between professed faith (e.g., I follow Jesus) and its demonstration in works conformable to basic precepts of that faith (e.g., love one another as I have loved you; Jn. 15:12). I believe that the author was reaching for development of this thesis, but that it somehow got sidetracked (I am not sure why). That is the "hole" which remains in the author's conception of the gospel. Nevertheless, the book is very readable, and admirable as a call to action for professing Christians. Recommended for those who wonder whether and how they could do more to manifest their faith in Jesus.
+2points
2of 2voted this as helpful.
Review 4 for The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World - eBook
This review is fromThe Hole in Our Gospel.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Should be required reading for every Christian

Date:July 31, 2013
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Holden
Location:Durham, NC
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
THis was one of the most moving books I have read that personalized what it means to be a Christian and how much we need to do, should do, and could do with only a little investment of ourselves in the message of Jesus.
0points
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Review 5 for The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World - eBook
This review is fromThe Hole in Our Gospel.
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Good, but still has holes in it.

Date:July 16, 2013
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Jesus Follower
Location:Minneapolis, MN
Age:25-34
Gender:male
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
I was given this book by a new friend of mine in my office. We had a conversation about the current state of the church in America and the state of Christianity world-wide. See I am one of those radicals in the church who stands up and says "really?!? Is this all there is? There has to be so much more." I am done with the whole 20th-21st Century Playing Church, Gospel of American Capitalism that Jesus came to bring us such wealth and prosperity and comfort if we only believe "mentally assent" that he is the Son of God, then we can go on living our lives knowing that we are saved and going to heaven when we die. BY ALL MEANS NO! There is so much more than this and it is not legalism to say that I want it.
Having read the other reviews of this book by Robert Stearns I find myself inclined to agree with many of the points. I had the same thoughts while reading the book. Is the church doing what she should? I agree with Stearns and say Absolutely Not. Does he deliniate things that would be good to do (which should be a natural outpouring of the Spirit of God dwelling in us and not do-ing for the sake of something to do) and are they valid points? ABSOLUTELY. However I caution, we must have correct focus. After all Jesus came to earth that we might have good programs right? Programs for children, programs for the poor, programs for... No, he came that we might have life and that life was [and is] in HIM. That's the problem and the biggest hole as I see it. We don't have HIM. Oh we say we do, we act like we do but seriously do we actually fool ourselves to believe we do? What does that even look like? To abide in Christ? The pendulum typically swings from those spiritual freaks to the social gospel cults. Sadly the church has left its one bastion of the gospel. We as humans love do-ing things therefore the Great Commission is our favorite because it gives us something to do. Go make converts, get names enrolled for baptism, church membership, small group class. go, go, go, do, do, do... If we stop and think for a moment, God says in his word that we are a chosen people and to "be Holy because HE [I] am Holy." ah, this is much harder, God can't I just DO something? Why do I have to BE something. Because in order to BE you must BE in relationship with him, and a relationship does not consist of Sunday morning for about 60-90 minutes.
Overall, this book should cause you some discomfort. It should cause you some heartburn and sleepless nights, but if your only response at the end is "where do I send my check?" then it was not successful because to truly fill all the holes in the gospel we need to have all the holes in ourselves filled by the only one who can fill those with his presence in our lives. Only then can we minister to the world that is lost and dying.
+6points
6of 6voted this as helpful.
Review 6 for The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World - eBook
This review is fromThe Hole in Our Gospel.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Fantastic story, facts and plan of action

Date:May 6, 2013
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paulman
Location:Atlanta, GA
Age:45-54
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Book has two stories. Richard Stearn's journey and the real picture of poverty in the majority world.
Describes poverty very vividly and realisticaly. Practical solutions are offered and scriputure is woven well into the book.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 7 for The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World - eBook
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

High Hopes;Low Results

Date:May 24, 2012
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JasonB
Location:San Ramon, CA
Age:25-34
Gender:male
Quality: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Value: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
First, let me start by saying that I was very excited to go through this study as a church and in our small groups. I had heard from a number of people how "moved" they were. I will admit that Christianity as a whole could do more to alleviate some of the effects of poverty by supporting organizations like World Vision (the makers of this video), along with better local partnership. With all that said, there a number of areas where The Hole In Our Gospel either misses the mark, or is outright wrong. First, Richard Stearns places an undue burden on the Church (especially the American church) to deal with the consequences of problem far greater than the any of our control. The few solutions he proposes are conveniently the same services that World Vision offers, while at the same time only glancing over real and far more larger causes and solutions. Often I felt like I was either being guilt tripped, set up for making a donation, or just plain made to feel responsible for problems outside my control. Lastly, is Stearn's assualt on America and wealth. I agree that wealthy people could do more, but that is between them and Christ. Someone else's wealth is none of my business, nor is his assumption that all Americans are wealthy because our income level is substantially higher than the world's per capita income. The reality is that America and the "American Dream" have been a beacon of hope for people around the world as they look for a country to model after. The Amercian ideals of upward mobility, free enterpise, individual responsibility, and property rights are both biblical and have done more to lift poeple out of poverty than any single aid organization or NGO. Just ask countries like South Korea and Brazil, or Western Europe and Japan that relied so heavily on Amercian wealth and political stability following WWII. This series follows what many people find to be emotionally appealing with the social gospel, but lacks a fuller understanding of what Christ's first and foremost mission is; saving sinners from the the punishment we deserve, and not providing clean water.
-3points
7of 17voted this as helpful.
Review 8 for The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World - eBook
This review is fromThe Hole in Our Gospel.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

This book is challenging and well written

Date:May 9, 2012
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Michael
Age:18-24
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
The Hole in the Gospel is not a book to read passively. The purpose of this book is beyond mere education, beyond just knowledge of statistics of the horrors in this world. It is a call to action.
There are many eye opening facts presented in this book. For example, five million die every year due to water-related illnesses. Twenty-five thousand people die from hunger related causes every day. The author makes a good point that when observing statistics, it is easy to not fully understand or process the severity of what is happening. In reality, each number in that statistic is an individual, a distinct person with dreams and ambitions.
One of Richard Stearns main points is that their is a hole in the gospel among Christians today. The hole is that we ignore Jesus command’s to help the poor and needy in our world. An intriguing example he gives is that if all the words concerning poverty were taken out of the Bible, it would remain in tatters. Therefore, as professing Christians, we must not lay back and ignore the troubles of the world. We should take initiative to get involved, whether it is through donations to organizations such as World Vision or Compassion, or taking a walk down the street and helping a fellow homeless man.
Overall, The Hole in the Gospel is a challenge to live out one’s genuine faith in the understanding that fighting injustice in the world is an integral part of the Bible.
+3points
3of 3voted this as helpful.
Review 9 for The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World - eBook
This review is fromThe Hole in Our Gospel.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

One of the best books I have read in recent years!

Date:April 17, 2012
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Richard
Location:Alberta Canada
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Richard Stearns makes the gospel practical and challenges your thinking about why we are here and what is our ministry to be in light of what Christ has done for us.
It is not an easy read from the perspective content and challenge but it is an essential read to round out our world view in light of the redemptive work that Christ has done in our lives. This is a must read!
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 10 for The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World - eBook
This review is fromThe Hole in Our Gospel.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Eye Opener

Date:April 15, 2012
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Cheer Leader
Location:Prairie Grove, Arkansas
Age:55-65
Gender:female
This book is an eye opener with the details regarding things that we already know exist. We all know there is mass poverty in the third world, but this book goes into detail that takes away the impersonalness of the situation and we can not play dumb anymore. This book was a monthly selection for my church book club.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 11 for The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World - eBook
This review is fromThe Hole in Our Gospel.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

THIS BOOK TURNED OUT TO BE EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED

Date:March 15, 2012
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LovelyLee
Location:Clovis, CA
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I was challenged by the author's dedication to his ministry with reaching outside our cozy churches. He has definitely caused me to open my eyes to situations I can be a part of.
-1point
0of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 12 for The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World - eBook
This review is fromThe Hole in Our Gospel.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Really Must Read Book

Date:February 10, 2012
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Daniel Araujo
Location:Alhambra, CA
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is one book that every Christian needs to read. The call of Christ is to do more than just hit people over the head with half a Gospel.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 13 for The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World - eBook
This review is fromThe Hole in Our Gospel.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:November 21, 2011
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jigsaw
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I am just in the beggining of the book, but have already been challenged beyond my comfort zone. After previewing the book, I knew I would be challenged to evaluate my faith in Christ and put hands and feet to my theology.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 14 for The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World - eBook
This review is fromThe Hole in Our Gospel.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Every Christian NEEDS to read this book! Marvelous

Date:November 2, 2011
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Martha Hecock
Location:New London, Ohio
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This book was suggested to me--highly! Can't put it down, as it's very convicting. I was only going to read a few pages to begin with and found myself on page 50!! Sure makes one think about the purpose in their life and what are they doing to influence (even in very small ways) others for Christ. I know a pastor who bought a copy for every family in his congregation. Then he had a series of sermons on it. Richard Stearns (author) is very credible with the stories he leads us into. Amazing book!
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 15 for The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World - eBook
This review is fromThe Hole in Our Gospel.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Excellent!!!

Date:October 12, 2011
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rosie
Location:Phoenix
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I put off reading the book for 6 months, believing it to be an advertisement for World Vision. Instead I found it to be life changing in my ideals and beliefs, biblically speaking. It is full of God's truth and His perspective and value of human life.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 16 for The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World - eBook
This review is fromThe Hole in Our Gospel.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Thought provoking

Date:October 8, 2011
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nonna
Location:maryville, tn
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
This is a book that offers food for thought. It brings awareness to poor and hurting people, one individual at a time. Instead of producing guilt, it makes me think about what kind of difference i am making in this world. We need to be serious about fulfilling The Great Commission.
0points
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Review 17 for The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World - eBook
This review is fromThe Hole in Our Gospel.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Exceeds my expectations!

Date:September 28, 2011
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Beth
Location:Lincoln NE
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The prologue and introduction of this book began to teach me and make me think before I'd even started reading the book itself. The study guide questions and other resources in the back, including the interview with the author's wife, were all intriguing and made me want to dive into the book, as well. Once in the book, I could barely put it down. Thought-provoking, to say the least. Written in a style that's easy to grasp. Reading during my lunch breaks at work, it gave me snatches of things to think about and process the rest of the day. Amazing book. Can't recommend highly enough. My only slight concern is that I hope my copy holds up. I anticipate it being well worn, dog-eared, and marked up in the margins over time.
0points
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Review 18 for The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World - eBook
This review is fromThe Hole in Our Gospel.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 6, 2011
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From the Prairies
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
The gist of the book is all about the full gospel of Jesus, focusing on serving and loving the poor of the earth. Richard Stearns is the president of World Vision U.S and takes the reader on an in depth look at what the Bible says about ministering to the poor and the topic of justice.
I enjoyed this book. I liked the way Richard began the book with his own personal testimony in the first few chapters. It was very easy to feel his passion for the poor through his writing and I found my heart drawn and reminded about my own experiences in missions. I really enjoyed the stories of his travels and the incredible people he has met along the way.
Though I enjoyed the book, was provoked and challenged, I still felt something was missing. The basis of our service coming from a place of a living, intimate relationship with Jesus seemed to be missing, as well as a perspective of the time in history that we are living in in regards to the return of Jesus. There were parts that seemed to be borderline with a very strong focus on works and service, without the connection to the Man whom we love as the point of our actions. It had a real social justice feel that didn't always seem to point to the true Answer. Because I tend to be turned off from materials that have a strong social justice feel, I sure didn't like the quotes from Bono. I would have liked to see more connection at a heart-level to Jesus being the true Answer to poverty and injustice and more focus on the power of prayer. Chapter 12 and 13 were fairly depressing as they described in details the challenges surrounding the poor. I was hoping that Richard would bring the readers some hope in the midst of all the grim reality of Part 3 and 4. He brought some positive perspective, even if it wasn't the turn around that I had hoped for. I enjoyed Part 5 the most and really appreciated the challenge to the reader about what are we going to do to live out the Gospel.
On the whole, I really enjoyed this book and it was special for me to read it after returning from the mission field abroad. I would recommend this book as it is challenging and provoking about living out the whole Gospel. (I received this book complimentary from Booksneeze).
0points
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Review 19 for The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World - eBook
This review is fromThe Hole in Our Gospel.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great read.

Date:July 17, 2011
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jaylee509
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Awesome book to read. It really opens your eyes to what you can do in your daily life to serve God. It also opens your eyes to things in your life you should do differently to serve the Lord. The author has a great testimony to share!
0points
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Review 20 for The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World - eBook
This review is fromThe Hole in Our Gospel.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Conviction

Date:July 14, 2011
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wjcollier3.wordpress.com
Location:Tyler, Texas
Age:35-44
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
The Hole in our Gospel (2009, Thomas Nelson) won a 2010 Christianity Today Book Award of Merit in the category of Missions/Global Affairs, and with good reason. I am a bit skeptical of most books that encourage us to feed the hungry, dig wells, and other such charity. Not because those things are bad, but because those books are usually pretty unbalanced. They rely on feelings of guilt and pity to cause us to change our behavior. This one is different. Richard Stearns is president of World Vision U.S. In this role, he has seen the problems he writes about. And he is personally involved in meeting those needs.
Stearns starts out strong by saying, “The idea behind The Hole in our Gospel is quite simple. It’s basically the belief that being a Christian, or follower of Jesus Christ, requires much more than just having a personal and transforming relationship with God. It also entails a public and transforming relationship with the world. If your personal faith in Christ has no positive outward expression, then your faith – and mine – has a hole in it.” (pg 2)
As I read the book, two overlapping themes struck me. The first is his call to individual Christians and churches to address the crises of poverty, hunger, lack of medical care and education, and clean water. What divides him from most who write books on these themes is that he does not propose evangelism has to fall by the wayside in this pursuit and he reinforces his pleas with Scripture. Many more liberal writers at least imply that many of these issues exist because the western church is wealthy. Stearns appropriately absolves us of that: “Here I want to make a key point: it is not our fault that people are poor, but it is our responsibility to do something about it. God says that we are guilty if we allow people to remain deprived when we have the means to help them.” (pg 123)
The second is Stearns’ personal story. He tells of his upbringing, his education, business success, conversion, family life, and call to head World Vision. That story alone would make interesting and compelling reading.
In addition to many Biblical quotes, he draws upon inspirational and convicting quotes from other Christian leaders and other dignitaries. Coupled with his own compelling writing, The Hole in our Gospel is a convicting book.
This book is neither easy nor comfortable to read, but it is important. I recommend it for most any believer and every church leader. Become part of the solution.
Thoughts?
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.