Sunday, September 5, 2010

Preaching the Gospel in Action: Chapter 1 in "A Hole in Our Gospel"

My friends Jason and Sarah are hosting a a book club. This week the links are on Jason's blog, next week Sarah's, etc...
The book is The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearn. From reading the prologue and Chapter 1, he seems to me to be saying that as Christians, we need to act on our faith, and not just profess it. We also need to encourage others to act on faith in Jesus, and not just let stated belief be the end of the Christian walk.

I love the fact that he quotes St Teresa if Avila before the beginning of Chapter 1.
"Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours.Yours are the eyes through which Christ's compassion for the world is to look out; yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good; and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now."

The fact that he quotes a Catholic saint implies (to me, anyway) that he recognizes her as as his sister in Jesus Christ. Sometimes Christian authors who are not Catholic go off about how Catholics believe we are saved by works (I'll explain our position on works some day if you'd like...) and therefore not really Christian, but the very fact that Mr. Stearns quotes Catholic saints (on p. 23 he quotes St. Francis of Assisi "Preach the Gospel always; when necessary use words") implies to me that he does see us as his brothers and sisters in Christ. So he and I definitely start off on the right foot early on.

I also like that he includes a Study Guide in the back. The question about what keeps me in my own little bubble was a good one for m to reflect on. The answer I came up with is that I have been willing to help, but only from a distance. I will give money or canned goods to the poor, but have I ever given my time, or myself? No. That is what contributes to the existence of my bubble, and what I think this book will be challenging me on.

Go to Jason's site this week to see other blogs who have linked up and talk about the first chapter in this book. It seems a lot of us are gleaning different things, and none of us are wrong.

1 comment:

jasonS said...

Awesome, Helen! So glad you're feeling better and adding to the discussion. :)