Author Interview: Rich Stearns Discusses “Unfinished”
Unfinished, the new book by Rich Stearns, president of World Vision USA, asks the question, “What do you do after you believe?” We caught up with Rich and chatted about what it means to be a disciple of Christ in the 21st Century.
Q: Why did you feel the need to write a second book after your first [The Hole in Our Gospel]? What was “unfinished”?
Rich Stearns: I think because the first book was so widely accepted it really encouraged me that I had an audience out there and a platform to say more. Of course the second book is very different. I like to think of the first book as Global Poverty 101; it’s a really good introduction to the issues and what the Bible says about Christians and poverty and justice. The second book, Unfinished, you could say is Discipleship 101. It’s an unpacking of what it means to be a follower of Christ in the 21st century. It answers the question “Now that I’ve become a Christian, now what?”
Q: How have your ideas about religion evolved over the course of writing these two books?
RS: When I came to World Vision in 1998, I was certainly an evangelical Christian, and my faith was very important to me. But my experiences with World Vision made me see the world through different lenses and really required me to dismantle my faith one brick at a time, all the way down to the foundation and then rebuild it again. As I saw the global church, and I began to understand issues of poverty and justice in a more profound way, I started to read the Bible differently, and I understood passages in the scripture that I didn’t before. And those two books are sharing my own rebuilding process for people who might not be able to have the same kinds of experiences I had.
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