Guest / Limited Access /
Reviews

/

Some Christian leaders contend that we are divided and ineffective in our witness because the Western world has turned against us and the church has abandoned the truth of the gospel. Others see a hostile, hurting world and blame the church for failing in compassion for the kind of sinners Jesus joined for dinner.

And then there's Richard Stearns, president of World Vision and a former corporate CEO, who faults the church for a lack of will to finish the mission Jesus left behind for us. Following up on his successful first book, The Hole in Our Gospel, Stearns observes in Unfinished: Believing Is Only the Beginning (Thomas Nelson) that "affluent, comfortable, and distracted" Christians no longer burn with passion to change the world. Yet we still want to know our lives matter. We want to know we're living out God's purpose for us. We don't want to confine our Christianity to Sunday morning. Stearns seeks to reinvigorate our Christianity with zeal to resume the revolution launched by Jesus so we can storm the very gates of hell.

But if we're going to finish the mission, Stearns warns, we'll need fewer cheerleaders and more drill sergeants commanding from our pulpits. Consumer-oriented churches, popular among Western Christians, draw especially pointed criticism from Stearns.

"Better the church should shrink than risk losing its God-given purpose and identity," he writes. "A community of true disciples authentically living out the teachings of Scripture is far more attractive than a latte bar or a Vegas-style musical performance."

Stearns peppers Unfinished with biblical quotations and does not shy away from Jesus' hardest teachings. He challenges readers ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Browse All Book Reviews By:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedWhy Do These Pentecostals Keep Growing?
Why Do These Pentecostals Keep Growing?
Many evangelical churches and denominations are in a state of plateau or decline. Why aren’t Pentecostals?
TrendingA Decision in Ferguson: How Should Evangelicals Respond?
A Decision in Ferguson: How Should Evangelicals Respond?
The grand jury has made a decision in Ferguson, now we have to make ours. How will we respond?
Editor's PickStockpiling Treasures in My Junk Closet
Stockpiling Treasures in My Junk Closet
How I got rid of 1,000 things and finally found shalom.
Comments
Christianity Today
A Wake-up Call for Blasé Believers
hide thisMay May

In the Magazine

May 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.