Yup, we've got a book review for today. Because I recall in a previous post that I mentioned trying to do a book review once a month aaaaannnddddd it's the 21st. So I figured I better get one out. xP
WHAT DOES GOD EXPECT OF US?
Have we embraced the whole gospel or a gospel with a hole in it?
Ten years ago, Rich Stearns came face-to-face with that question as he sat in a mud hut in Rakai, Uganda, listening to the heartbreaking story of an orphaned child. Stearns' journey there took much more than a long flight to Africa. It took answering God's call on his life, a call that tore him out of his corner office at one of America's most prestigious corporations--to walk with the poorest of the poor in our world.
"The Hole in Our Gospel" is the compelling true story of a corporate CEO who setaside worldly success for something far more significant, and discovered the full power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to change his own life. He uses his journey to demonstrate how the gospel--the whole gospel--was always meant to be a world changing social revolution, a revolution that begins with us.
While I would probably agree with the main points being made about Christians needing to help the poor and such, there was still a lot in this that I wouldn't necessarily agree with. Not the least of which, is the whole concept of a 'hole' in our gospel.
Because here's the gospel I know: Jesus died on the cross so that those who believe on His name can be forgiven of their sins. I'm not seeing any holes there. It's a beautiful, perfect plan of God and there's nothing missing from that. God's way of salvation involves belief. It's not a matter of anything you do other than believing in the name of Christ to save you.
That's where this book gets a little tricky. While the author doesn't explicitly state that the works are absolutely necessary for salvation, and while I don't think he would hold to that view himself (although not sure on that honestly), the book definitely walks a fine line in dealing with salvation, faith, and works. I felt like it should have been more outspoken in the fact that salvation is by faith alone. Good works are definitely going to be a part of any Christian's life, because we should be striving to be more and more like Jesus. But the point is: the good works are a result of the faith, and the result of Christ working in you and through you. They have absolutely nothing to do with your salvation. Here's just one confusing quote taken from the book.
(this is after citing James 2:14-19)
"Here James stated in black and white that belief is not enough. It must be accompanied by faith demonstrated by actions."
And then on the next page over, after citing 1 John 3:16-20, we get this:
"The conclusion is inescapable. Jesus asks much more of us than just believing the right things."
I'm honestly just plain not sure what the author meant by these and other statements like them. Was he trying to make a point that you're only truly saved if you're showing fruit, or was he advocating faith+works? The whole concept of how one is saved was super vague throughout the whole book, the focus being placed almost entirely on what one should be doing to 'advance the kingdom.' (Which is another whole matter in and of itself.) Primarily helping the poor in third world countries and donating money and such. Which brings up another issue I had.
The focus was entirely on other nations, and I felt like it ignored the fact that there are suffering people everywhere. We see suffering around us all the time, and being a light to the world doesn't necessarily entail starting a nonprofit organization to help supply clean water to developing nations. (no matter how beneficial such an action would be.)
Now, I understand that the author is big on missions, but for a book of this length, I think a chapter about the suffering people around us right here in America would have helped keep things in perspective. You can make a difference wherever God has placed you right here, right now.
But the author does get credit for being an amazing writer, so there's that. :)
How about you guys? What have you been reading? ALSO ALSO ALSO ALSOOOOOO GUESS WHO'S ON GOODREADS NOW? ;) (Nope wrong, not me.)
Kay fine I confess, it was me. XD BUT I LOVE IT. So yeah if you're on there and I haven't already stalked you (which, let's be real, that's not likely xP) you can stalk me here.
Yup, we've got a book review for today. Because I recall in a previous post that I mentioned trying to do a book review once a month aa...