I've been meaning to write this review for a few weeks now...I finished Richard Stearns The Hole in Our Gospel and can easily say it is one of the most powerful, thought-provoking books I've read recently. Stearns is the current head of World Vision, a child sponsorship organization known worldwide for their work with children in poverty and disaster. I had heard great things about this book so I was worried it wouldn't live up to my expectations. Fortunately, I was not disappointed.
The book opens with Stearns outlining how he came to be the head of World Vision. Needless to say, heading up a large faith-based organization wasn't on his list of "must have" jobs. He resisted and resisted God's call until it became so obvious he couldn't deny it. Stearns gave up an incredibly lucrative position in the secular world, uprooted his family and moved across the country to follow God's call.
The remainder of the book - really the bulk of the book - is Stearns making the case through Scripture that we are called to help the poor. Through personal stories and experiences, Stearns provides a sometimes heartbreaking look at the realities of poverty in much of the world. He very pointedly takes the western Church to task about our lack of concern for people we cannot see on a daily basis.
One thing I really appreciate in this book that is sometimes lacking in other venues is that Stearns provides multiple options on how Christians can get involved in working with the poor. He also doesn't advocate only his organization - he provides tips and encouragement on how ANYONE can get involved.
Bottom line, this was a wonderful book that I would highly recommend to anyone.
Thomas Nelson publishers provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.