Read The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World by Richard Stearns Free Online
Book Title: The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World|
The author of the book: Richard Stearns
Format files: PDF
ISBN 13: 9781596440272
The size of the: 6.89 MB
Date of issue: March 10th 2009
Read full description of the books The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God expect of Us? The Answer that Changed my Life and Might Just Change the World:Giving a book like this a 2-star rating is like kicking a puppy. I don't want to offend people but I am going to approach this without the rose-colored glasses.
For the record, I myself have a very good impression of World Vision and have donated substantially to its work over many years. I will go right on supporting it too. I am in favor of this book's inevitable outcome, which is that many more people will read it and be moved to donate. This is good.
Another good thing: the book covers the basics of giving help to the poor in other countries. This is a area that many Americans know little about. For this contribution to their education, I give thanks.
Now for what I didn't like:
First of all, isn't that title just a teensy bit grandiose? From a change in my life to changing the entire world???
Second, let's look at that change. Rich (and believe me, he was) makes a big deal about how he agonizingly chose to give up a fat cat salary in exchange for a job with a still-very-large salary loaded with meaningful work. This is not at all the huge sacrifice that Rich alludes to...Jesus asking to give everything to the poor and to follow Him. Rich is still quite Rich afterwards.
He was also paid to write the book by World Vision. He does a decent job making it seem like it isn't a blatant fundraising appeal for them, but I'm sure this book put some serious cash in WV's accounts. (again,a good thing...)
In other words, Rich is a well-paid Christian fundraiser. Reading this book is like watching those ads for poor children on TV. I could only handle it for about 30 pages a DAY. The Hole is a 300 page sermon and you'd better believe the offering is not forgotten.
To make his points, he uses carefully-selected statistics, and he does the same with his selection of Bible verses. This is cherry-picking, plain and simple, and sometimes it's just wrong.
Example: He brings up the New Testament incident where Jesus takes 5 fish from a poor boy and multiplies the gift to feed thousands. Rich's point is that everyone should give whatever little they have and that's how God will meet the need.
That isn't what happened there. God intervened in everyday life with a supernatural miracle performed on the gift of only one person. By this account, Rich shouldn't need to fundraise. He'd just need one gift and pray that God multiply it to meet the world's need.
Instead he insists we all contribute and the added up amount is God's provision. I agree with the first part of that, but it is NOT a miracle; it's math. He has stripped God's supernatural provision from the story.
And what about that verse that says there will always be poor people that we can give to when we want? Rich doesn't mention it although it would seem to have direct bearing on his subject.
Lastly, the book was obviously intended for a middle-to-upper class mostly white American Christian audience. I am surprised by this coming from a man who has spent so much time overseas in other cultures. Then again, I'm not. After all, there is a lot of money in those WAC pockets.
So give up your lattes for God, and say goodbye to the Jaguar...but we need some other message for most blacks, Hispanics, or low-income Americans who can't really identify with such sacrifices.
Giving to help the less fortunate is not the privilege of the rich, Rich. Perhaps the Hole's sequel will say something meaningful to the types of people Jesus was criticized for hanging out with.
Read information about the authorRichard Stearns is the president of World Vision United States, an international Christian relief and development organization.
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