In this 150-page paperback Paul Hattaway tells the story of the amazing growth of the Chinese house church movement in the past 60 years and of these churches’ united vision to carry the gospel to the Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim worlds along the Great Silk Road, back to the Middle East where the gospel originated.
It is amazing that China should be the country experiencing the fastest Christian growth of any country in the world, jumping from about five million just before the Communist takeover in 1949 to about 100 million today. We have heard allusions to this during the past decade but in this book it takes on flesh and blood as we meet some of the key players and events.
Hattaway gives a quick review of the history of Christianity in China, then traces the “Back to Jerusalem” movement, a vision born in the hearts of many Chinese believers in the 1920s. It means taking the gospel first to the Buddhist strongholds of southeast Asia, then into the Hindu strongholds of northern India and then finally to the Muslim strongholds of central Asia and the Middle East. This may seem a staggering concept, but these Chinese Christians believe that at least 100,000 missionaries will be sent out of China in the next decade or two.
We meet three of the current Chinese leaders: Brother Yun, Peter Xu (pronounced Shu) and Enoch Wang. The latter came to the Lord through the ministry of Watchman Nee. Peter Xu is leader of a network of house churches numbering about 20 million members. These three leaders together have endured almost 40 years in prison.
In the chapter called “Strategies,” Hattaway describes the route they will follow, the workers, the team concept and the money that will be needed. In the next chapter he answers questions that arise in the hearts of those first hearing about this missionary movement.
This book is a must for anyone committed to the mission of the church in the world.
| © 2008 Mennonite Brethren Herald
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