Monday, May 17, 2010

Review: A Hole in Our Gospel

The Hole in Our Gospel
Richard Stearns
Thomas Nelson

Disturbing is the best word I know of for this book. There are already hundreds of reviews for this book in its hardbound version and now the soft cover release invites more. The paperback added color photos and a study guide to the text. So for my money that is a plus.

Why did I decide to call the book disturbing? I could have called it challenging just as easily but challenging is easier to dismiss. Disturbing gets into your soul and is much harder to root out. If that’s what you want to do after you read this book. Mr. Stearns tells his story to the reader while motivating that person to consider what action the reader could take to join in the world wide efforts of World Vision or another similar organization.

For those that believe there’s more to Christianity than staring at the back of someone’s head for an hour on Sunday morning this is a great place to start a quest for whatever that something more might be. Only the most callous could resist or disagree. Mr. Stearns balances the social justice aspects and the love of God well throughout this book. That is no easy task since our propensity is to jump into a good deed and do it without considering more than getting it done and looking good ourselves, leaving the recipient as a spectator in the end. That is the other disturbing thing about this book---the possibility of the reader doing just that with it. Consider your actions carefully or more harm than good may come of them.

One really important point the author makes is that poverty is more than the lack of food, water, shelter, health, protection and a myriad of other ills. It is the toll those ills take on the spirit of the person himself. Powerlessness, hopelessness, helplessness is the larger issue that must be addressed simultaneously with all the physical lack the person experiences. Holistic care, however, requires more of us. Do we have the desire to give that much?

Read this for yourself and decide for yourself. Do you have a hole in the gospel you profess to believe?

Thomas Nelson Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my written review.

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