Friday, February 4, 2011

Book Review: The Hole in Our Gospel

The Hole in Our Gospel 
Author: Richard Stearns 

The Overview: 
"Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, suffering, and injustice when He could do something about it."
"Well, why don't you ask Him?" 
"Because I'm afraid He would ask me the same question."   
~ Anonymous 
The Good:
I very much enjoyed most of this book. Richard Stearns very eloquently, very simply, very powerfully put words together on these pages to display the huge need for us as individuals and churches to get involved in the needs of those around us and the needs of those who find themselves at the mercy of circumstance all around the world. I did not feel preached at by his words, but perhaps that was because these are the ideas and passions and compassions we (friend group) have been talking about for so long now.
The Bad:
Ask me in person sometime.
The Memorable:
An explanation of this book in his own words:
"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."
An eye opening perspective:
"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."

An appropriate question:
Where is the Church of Jesus Christ?
"One of the disturbing things about Church history is the Church's appalling track record of being on the wrong side of the great social issues of the day. If the Church is indeed a revolutionary kind of institution called to foment a social revolution by promoting justice, lifting up the sanctity of human life, fighting for the underdog, and challenging the prevailing value systems in our world, then it seems we should be out in front on social justice issues rather than bringing up the rear."
"Imagine how stunning it would be to the watching world for American Christians to give so generously that it:
  • brought an end to world hunger
  • solved the clean water crisis
  • provided universal access to drugs and medical care for the millions suffering from AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis
  • virtually eliminated the more than twenty-six thousand daily child deaths
  • guaranteed education for all the world's children
  • provided a safety net for the world's tens of millions of orphans"
The Recommendation: 
Really good. A good thinking book...that hopefully leads to action in whatever way you and God decide is best.


krista said...

ok, just your review makes me feel really inspired

Justin Jones said...

I have this book. Someone gave it to me, and I haven't read it. I will now though!

laSonya said...

I liked the simplicity of this book. It is what helped start the orphanage in Tanzania.

If anyone wants a copy I have it on audio that I can hook them up with it if they want.

Nicholas said...

The guy who led my Kilimanjaro trip told me I should read that. That I might like it. Now I'll just steal it from Justin.

hanna.melara said...

I need to get my hands on this book. I have been struggling with the same kinds of questions and thoughts for quite some time now. Thanks!

TaraB said...

When I left World Vision this summer my department told me that they were going to send me a signed copy... I'm still waiting for it...

Anonymous said...

you noted to ask you in person time about the bad. i think you should just tell me in case i never meet you.....