Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Hole in Our Gospel

The Hole in Our Gospel: The Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change The World
by Richard Stearns, President, World Vision, U.S.

This compelling book about the gospel as a whole challenged my responsibilities as a believer. We are not to just go out and make disciples but also to make a difference in the lives of those in the world around us. And this world includes the whole world.

The devastation that Stearns describes is close to unbearable, but the point is to open our eyes to what is really happening in the world. Just because our comfortable American homes shield us from the poverty in this world does not mean we can turn a blind eye. And throwing money at the poor is not the answer either. A hand-up is better than a hand-out.

A one point, I felt overwhelmed by what Stearns describes, but he carefully brings us back to the hope we have in Christ. Repeatedly, he reminds us,
1. Every one of these hurting people is created in God’s image and loved by Him.
2. Every one of these challenges has a solution.
3. Every one of us can make a difference.

Thankfully, there is hope, and we can make a difference. Reading this book will open your eyes to the problem and open you heart to make a difference.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Nelson's Illustrated Guide to Religions

This is not an easy book to read cover to cover, but it is a terrific reference book. I shall keep in on my shelf and refer to it often. It summarizes relgions and belief systems and provides books and websites for further study.

I liked that the author prefaced the guide saying that he was coming from a Christian worldview. It was be hard to read a summary of world religions from an anti-Christian worldview.

My only negative comment is from the chapter on Islam. The god of Islam is Allah, not God who is the God of Christianity and Judaism. In the chapter on Islam, the author refered to their god as Allah sometimes and as God at other times. I found this to be confusing as Allah is not God.

That is my only negative comment. This is a great reference book and well done. I will enjoy it for years to come.