Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Hole In Our Gospel by Richard Stearns

"What does God expect of us?" This is the question Richard Stearns, who is the president of World Vision U.S. since 1998, asks all right thinking Christians. The book is autobiographical, as it details the journey Stearns traveled from the corporate world to assisting the third world through World Vision. It is also a challenge to Christianity. The Hole In Our Gospel is an invitation to wrestle with the problems of worldwide poverty.

The title is slightly misleading since the Gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (See 1 Corinthians 15:1-3); however, the "hole" is the lethargy, ignorance, and etc. of believers in evidencing good works to help those less unfortunate than themselves. We could all do better.

Commenting on a once "Christian America" Stearn says that he "feels as though that has changed." He has noticed that the face of America is changing. Change is good and change is bad. Change however of distinctly American ideals is to lead our country into something else.

His chapter on "The Horsemen of the Apocalypse" was perhaps my favorite as Stearn deals with hunger, water--an essential of life, and sickness. In this chapter Stearns attempts a "reality check" for believers. He paints a vivid picture of reality using a wealth of statistics and data, e.g. 1 out of every 5 children worldwide are malnourished or every 5 seconds, a child dies of hunger.

Stearns also wrestles with disease. In Sub-Saharan region of Africa, 12 million children have become orphans due to AIDS and in Africa alone 15,000 die each day from preventable disease.

The copy I received was provided to me at no charge, courtesy of Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of a review program. I received the paperback edition which contains new material (e.g. photo insert, Q&A w/Renee Stearn, Q&A on: “Can Poverty Be Defeated?”). I recommend this book to any believer wanting to know their more about their responsibilities as a Christian in a world of hurt, sickness and poverty.

JN Anderson

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