Worth Reading: The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns
Very challenging book that I will revisit often. Richard Stearns, President of World Vision, USA, paints a vivid picture of the major needs of the world and how making a difference is possible for every one of us. Today’s church needs to be reminded that we are saved for a mission and invited to join God on His mission in the world. The things I see God doing in scripture are giving radically (John 3:16), transforming people (2 Cor 5:17), AND caring for the needs of the poor and destitute (James 1:26-27). This book calls us back to that way of life. Stearns gives details of his very personal struggle with the Gospel, with having compassion for the least, with obeying God when that means inconvenience, pay cuts, and career changes. The Hole in Our Gospel will be helpful on the shelves of communicators, with many stories from the World Vision fields, statistics on the needs of the world, and quotes on the Christian life. Great book. Well worth reading. Here are a few of my favorite quotes and meaningful stats:
- often, God’s blessings come through our sufferings, not through our bank accounts.
- For the follower of Christ, anything that becomes more precious to us than our relationship with the Lord becomes destructive.
- God can’t give you the blessings He has for you until you first put down the other things you are clutching in your hands.
- Clinging to worthless idols is the real risk. Obeying God is the only safe thing.
- If Church leaders do not have an outward vision to become salt and light in our world, to promote social and spiritual transformation, pursue justice, and proclaim the whole gospel, then the church will fail to realize its potential as an agent of change.
- A church that lives within its four walls is no church at all.
- not all parts of the American Dream are consistent with Christian values.
- God never asks us to give what we do not have…but he cannot use what we will not give.
- Isn’t it better to light a candle, than curse the darkness?
- 12 million orphans due to AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.
- There are almost 2,000 verses in the Bible related to poverty and justice.
- 15,000 Africans are dying each day of preventable, treatable diseases.
- More than 26,500 children die each day of preventable causes related to poverty.
- 2.6 billion people (40 % of the world’s population) lives off less than $2 a day.
- 20% of children in the world are chronically malnourished.
- A child dies every 5 seconds from hunger related causes.
- 5 million people die every year of water-related illnesses.
- It is estimated that half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by people with a water related illness.
- Women and children in developing countries invest two hundred million hours a day fetching water.
- HIV now infects 33 million people, 70% of them living in Africa.
- One in six adults in the world is illiterate, and two thirds of them are women.
- If you’re income is $25,000 per year, you are wealthier than 90% of the world’s population. If you make $50,000 per year, you are wealthier than 99% of the world.
- Only 7% of the world’s population own a car.