by Bill and Amy Stearns
Wouldn’t it be great if our vision were perfect? 20/20 Vision by Bill and Amy Stearns is a very readable and compelling book about gaining a clear and healthy vision of God’s plan for the world.
Bethany House, 11400 Hampshire Avenue South, Bloomington, MN 55438, 2005, 234 pages, $12.99.
—Reviewed by Cindy Judge, Global and Local Outreach Department, Wheaton Bible Church, Wheaton, Illinois.
Wouldn’t it be great if our vision were perfect? 20/20 Vision by Bill and Amy Stearns is a very readable and compelling book about gaining a clear and healthy vision of God’s plan for the world. It is a good read for mission newcomers and students of missions. It might be described as Cliffs Notes written for the layman not inclined to read more scholarly books on missions. Yet the book is much broader than that.
Every chapter opens with an exciting story. Hundreds of thousands of radical Christian Euro youth march in Berlin on “Jesus Day.” One hundred thousand persecution-tested Chinese missionaries are on their evangelistic trek back to Jerusalem. Missions in India are seeing thousands of young church planters reap a harvest of souls in an area known for years as the “graveyard of missions.” Unlike some mission reporting, the twelve stories are told with a colorful flare and street-smart vernacular. But the deeper reason to read this book is its treatment of God’s plan for the world as it unfolds throughout the epochs of history.
The stories introduce a chronological analogue of the Genesis-to-Revelation-blessed-to-be-a-blessing theme of the Bible. After a serious look at the spiritual battles of the end times, the final chapters delve into the unfinished task still before us, defining terms like “unreached” and “people group.” Important statistics are included. The Stearns make readers feel the personal challenge and thrill of being engaged in the battle to win the world. They write, “You were selected by God to land in this era of history” and “You have a reason for being part of the big picture for such a time as this.”
The questions at the end of each chapter are ideal for use in small group settings to lead readers into personal application. The pithy chapters of this book will entice the pastor or lay reader to keep reading and be challenged to rethink our Western complacency. The book covers scriptural mandates and helps us develop a Christian worldview. The personal cost of missions involvement is our comforts, our agendas and our securities. But the reward will be sharing eternity with the ever-increasing family of God. It’s the book that is being distributed as required reading at my next missions board meeting.
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