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Jesus in Beijing: How Christianity Is Transforming China and Changing the Global Balance of Power Hardcover – October 25, 2003

48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


David Aikman writes with conviction about the broad scope and deep roots of Christianity in China. It is a compelling -- James Lilley, former US ambassador to China and former US representative to Taiwan

From the Inside Flap

Is China America's Next Great Ally?

An unreported tectonic shift is happening in global politics--and it's driven by religion.

Within the next thirty years, one-third of China's population could be Christian, making China one of the largest Christian nations in the world. These Christians could also be China's leaders, guiding the largest economy in the world.

What is happening in China is what happened to the Roman Empire nearly two millennia ago--a great power transforming itself. The results could be astonishing.

Veteran reporter David Aikman, former Beijing bureau chief for Time magazine, takes you inside this revolution to reveal some shocking facts. In Jesus in Beijing, you'll learn:

*Why China might be America's next ally against radical Islam
*Why the Chinese believe that Christianity is crucial to the rise of the West--and of China
*Why fierce anti-Christian persecution and covert government encouragement exist side by side in China
*Why Chinese Christians see themselves as allies of the United States--and of Israel
*How the Christian underground has spread--and won over key members of the Chinese Communist Party
*The impact of a Christianizing China on global Christendom at large

In Jesus in Beijing, David Aikman recounts the fascinating story of how Christianity began in China (even predating Francis Xavier and the Jesuits), and the bloody anti-Christian persecutions (especially under the Communists), the revival of an underground Christian movement led by brave men and women risking death, and the flowering of Christianity today--though still under persecution.

While China's Communist rulers hope to reap the social and economic benefits of Christianity without losing power, as David Aikman so provocatively points out, the Chinese dragon might just be tamed by the Christian Lamb. Few books change the way a reader views the world. Jesus in Beijing is one of those books.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing, Inc.; 1St Edition edition (October 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895261286
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895261281
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #344,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. David Aikman is an award-winning print and broadcast journalist, a best-selling author, and a foreign affairs commentator based in the Washington, D.C. area. His wide-ranging professional achievements include a 23-year career at Time magazine, serving for several years as bureau chief in Eastern Europe, Beijing, and Jerusalem. His reporting has spanned the globe and he has covered all the major historical events of the time.

Dr. Aikman was educated at Oxford University and holds a PhD from the University of Washington in Russian and Chinese history. He is the author of many books, including Jesus in Beijing: How Christianity Is Transforming China and Changing the World Balance of Power; Billy Graham: His Life and Influence; Qi (Awaken the Dragon); and A Man of Faith: The Spiritual Journey of George W. Bush. He is professor of history and writer in residence at Patrick Henry College. He is married and lives near Lincoln, Virginia

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

103 of 111 people found the following review helpful By George Doyle on December 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Veteran correspondent Dr. Advid Aikman has given us the fruit of many years of academic study, living in China, extensive travel, and wide-ranging interviews to produce what is possibly the most useful book on the church in China available today.
He maintains the high standard set by writers such as David Adeney (China: The Church's Long March) and Tony Lambert (The Resurrection of the Chinese Church; China's Christian Millions), achieving both objectivity and appreciation in a careful balance.
After an appetizer-introduction, he traces the history of Christianity in China from the earliest missionary endeavors in the Tang Dynasty to the most current developments. His wide knowledge of history enables him to place each stage of the shurch's story in its larger context.
Lively writing, minute detail, arresting stories of many heroic individuals, and strategic insights make a potent combination; the book is hard to put down!
We come away with a deep respect for men and women who have risked all, and suffered much, to follow Christ, especially since the Communists took over in 1949. Widespread persecution, often marked by brutal, even barbaric, torture, has brought Chinese Christians through the refining fire that could not quench their zeal.
Though he concentrates upon the house churches, who form the vast majority of China's Christian millions, Aikman also offers a careful analysis of both the Protestant Three-Self Patriotic Movement and the two Roman Catholic organizations in China - one, like the TSPM, controlled by the government, the other loyal to the Vatican.
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76 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover
"Jesus in Beijing" is a quick summary of the events, leaders, and movements behind the explosion in Christianity in China over the past few decades. Aikman breaks his book up into several sections devoted to topics such as the Chinese church patriarchs, the slightly less influential but still very important church "uncles," famous Chinese Christian women, the roots of Christianity in China, how Christianity is influencing different artists, musicians, and others contributing to present-day Chinese culture, and most controversially, the debate between the government-approved churches of the Three Self Patriotic Movement and the "underground" house churches.

While Aikman is clearly more favorable to the side of the house churches and their leaders, I do believe he was fair to Bishop Ding, the leader of the government's Three Self Patriotic Movement. While it can be argued that Ding has done much to advance Christian freedom in China, Ding also made statements in the past that go beyond simple respect for Chinese law... statements that were clearly pro-Communist. Ding also at times has professed a theology that is beyond liberal to a point that is simply not Christian. Ultimately, it is somewhat telling that Ding never spent a minute in prison while so many other Christians during Mao's reign, especially church leaders, were being brutally beaten and imprisoned for years at a time.

Aikman sides at the end of the book with Chinese Christians that are critical of far right American groups (including some Christians) that seem only to want to exploit Chinese government abuses (which are indefensible) in order to shut off US contact and trade with China. He supports the Christians who believe that China is making progress, even if it has a long way to go.
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88 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Seth J. Frantzman HALL OF FAME on December 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This wonderful new book on the Christian role in China is written by a former Beijing bureau chief for Time magazine. He begins by looking at the history of the Christian church in China, its roots in Protestant and Catholic missionaries. Throughout he reveals the stories and turning points of the growth of the Chinese church. This dynamic group of men and women stood against all odds to bring the word of Christ to the people of China. The author then explores the quick growth and sad repression of Christianity. In many ways he compares it to the relationship between the Christians and Rome. Although they were suppressed they finally came to dominate the Roman empire in less then 500 years. Missionaries have been China for 400. The author forecasts a massive exponential growth of Christianity, showing how once it becomes 10% of China its rise will be unstoppable. The final conclusion of the author is that China will become a key ally of the west against militant Islam and that the commitment China have to Christianity will help renew the faith in the west, where church attendance is down dramatically. A very interesting work. The author helps to remind us that John Birch, who gave his name to the right wing society, was actually a missionary in China before being murdered by the communists.
Seth J. Frantzman
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Candi K. Cann on February 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Aikman's text is an excellent field ehtnography of Christianity in China, with a particular bias towards Chinese house churches and the growing evangelical movements in China. This text, however, does not give an unbiased view of Chinese Christianity (it tends at times to be somewhat disparaging of the Three Self Protestant Movement and Bishop Ding), nor does it answer the question about the global transformation of power (my guess is that this was an editorial choice of titles to maximize book sales). What Aikman DOES do, however, is provide a sweeping view of evangelical Christianity in China, giving us a birds' eye view of some of the challenges and problems of China's church today, while documenting major leaders of the autonomous house churches. I heartily reccomend this book for anyone desirous of learning more about evangelical Christianity in China today.
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