I eagerly welcome any book that proposes to pinpoint blind spots in the church. I know there are many. I also believe that the American church has traded the sufficiency of God’s Word and the clear proclamation of the gospel for a message more appealing to the itching ears of our generation. So when I saw Richard Stearns’ book The Hole in Our Gospel, I immediatey thoughts he would confront this issue. I was disappointed.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s much to commend and even applaud in the book. Stearns very honestly traces how his faith was a private faith; he saw no need to step out of his comfort zone and get into the messy needs of those around him and around the globe. So throughout the book he wants Christians to stop being so ingrown and not simply believe some facts about Christ that require any real sacrifice. Amen. I agree. But as the book progresses, it seems that he shortchanges the message of the gospel for the implications of the gospel.
While one can learn much from this book and even take action to do more, I believe that the theological foundation for much of what Stearns attempts to argue is somewhat shoddy and anemic. There is a hole in our gospel, but it is not the hole that Stearns presents.