Thursday, October 3, 2013

Unfinished by Richard Stearns

Stearns asks us to consider what brings purpose to our lives. Many Christians are not feeling fulfilled even though we go to church activities, read our bible, etc. He argues that we have lost sight of the bigger story.

Meaning, purpose and significance are found only by aligning our lives with God's purposes, in lives committed to following Jesus Christ.” (xviii) Stearns argues that each of us has a very specific role in the unfolding story God is writing.

Stearns' book is a call to action, not simply believing in the right things. It is a call to go out into the world to reclaim, reform, and restore it for Christ. (xx)

He helps us understand the purpose Jesus gave the church – to proclaim, establish, and build God's kingdom on earth. (56) We have forgotten that the full gospel is more than just our sins being forgiven. He explores what it means to be a Christian: submitting to God's rule, forming communities ruled by God's values, going into the world as God's ambassadors. He addresses those things that compete with our devotion to Christ. He gives steps for knowing God's for our lives. He takes a serious look at the church today, and it is not a pretty picture. Throughout the book Stearns shares his own experiences in his role as head of World Vision.

This is a good book for anyone feeling dissatisfied with their Christian life, looking for more. I have read his first book, The Hole in Our Gospel, and feel that one has a greater impact than this one. But then, that book is a hard act to follow. This is a good follow up, a good continuation of the story. You'll be encouraged by the many stories of people giving up what ultimately has no meaning in eternity for the cause of Christ.

An extensive Study Guide is included with suggestions for prayer and action. A small group or Sunday School class would certainly benefit from studying this book.

And Stearns has included lots of ways we can be involved, from sponsoring a child to joining a business group. You can find out more at www.worldvision.org.

Richard Stearns has served as president of World Vision US since 1998, having formerly been the CEO of Parker brothers Games and Lenox, Inc. He and his wife live in Bellevue, WA. You can find out more at www.richstearns.org.

Thomas Nelson, 262 pages.
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