Book Review: The Hole in Our Gospel

I never did like writing book reports in school, so I'm hoping to keep this from sounding like one.  

The newest edition of book reviews here is The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns.  Stearns is the President of World Vision, a Christian Humanitarian organization that has made a significant impact in the third world over many years.

Stearns uses this book to tell his story and lead others to asking questions about their own lives.  It's a story that I've heard several times over, from ordinary lay-folk, but it never seems to get old.  It's a story about a successful businessman that is approached about doing something radical for God.  In Stearns' case, it's resigning from a prestigious job selling silverware to take the President's office at World Vision.  It wasn't solicited on his part and he spent quite a bit of time trying to avoid it.

In order to get a recruiter off his back, he agreed to an interview.  One thing led to another, and before he knew it, Stearns was wrestling with God's call on his life.  Ultimately, and gratefully, he left Lenox and began to travel a part of the world that was far from fine china and polished cutlery.  He went to places like Uganda where he met a 13 year-old, orphaned by AIDS, left to raise his two younger brothers.  His heart was touched and he began to come to a realization.

That realization, and the book, summed up, is "that the belief that being a Christian, or a follow 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."

As some of my colleagues like to say, "That'll preach!"  Stearns gets it.  Our world, and sadly many of our churches, teach that having Jesus in your heart is enough.  What the devoted always discover is that your faith is much stronger, deeper, more meaningful if you're living your life for the advantage of the world.

This is a good book.  Buy it.  Read it.  It may lead you to ask certain questions about your own life, or it may even lead you to help someone else ask those questions.  Someone you're close to might just be the next Richard Stearns.