The Hole in Our Gospel by Rich Stearns – Book Review

Read the whole bible, not just the parts you like.

This book review has been a long time coming. I received this book from Thomas Nelson as part of their book review program quite a few months ago and had a very hard time reading it because of how convicting it is.

Today, Good Friday, seemed like the perfect day to review the book and share my thoughts on it.

Richard Stearns, president of World Vision USA doesn’t hold back in his assessment of the state of large portions of the Christian Church and, likewise, doesn’t hold back in his frank and penetrating discussion of his own struggles against God and against the gospel.

If he hadn’t been so revealing about how he fought against God when God was sending him to World Vision and how his first few month there were so eye-opening to him in terms of coming to understand what he had been ignoring for so many years, this book could be passed off as the rantings of an obsessed man who just wanted to guilt people into giving money to his organization. His openness and honesty in baring his soul to the reader changes that though. His words reveal a man who has lived ‘the American dream’, a man who was comfortable in his pew-filling, tithe giving Christianity but was given a rather rude awakening by God and can now see with startling clarity what his previous Christian walk was missing.

In short, Mr Stearns has been given the gift of being able to clearly see the hole in our gospel, and subsequently the hole in our lives.

How is it that we gloss over or even ignore Jesus’ call for us to help the poor and sick and needy? Why is it that in a day and age where we in the developed world are more prosperous and more wealthy than at any time in history, vast numbers of people around the world can live in such absolute poverty and yet we do virtually nothing about it?

How did we get to the point where something that was such an integral part of Jesus’ teaching (love your neighbor AS YOURSELF) is so completely ignored. Sure, we make token gestures, a few dollars here and there but how many of us allow ourselves to love our neighbors enough to truly make sacrifices, financial and otherwise, to help them?

In The Hole in Our Gospel, Mr Stearns spells out just how great the need is and just how much we can do to help  – and why we should.

On this ‘Good Friday’, a day when we remember how our creator God gave it all up to save us, the very people who had rejected and crucified him, I implore you to take a real and honest look at the gospel that Jesus taught us and the example he lived to give us and ask yourself, is there something missing from my faith walk? Is there truly a similarity between how I live and how Jesus taught us to live? Is there a hole in my gospel? – and read this book to help you find the solution.