- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: P & R Publishing (April 29, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1596382368
- ISBN-13: 978-1596382367
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #729,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hudson Taylor: Gospel Pioneer to China Paperback – April 29, 2011
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"Vance Christie has written an excellent biography of one of the greatest missionaries of all time. His lively style captures the drama, the danger, and the dedication of this little man whose faith in God enabled him to accomplish so much. Readers of all ages will be enthralled by the story of God's remarkable work in and through Hudson Taylor and the China Inland Mission, which Chinese Christians today gladly acknowledge as essential to the growth of perhaps the largest church on earth." --G. Wright Doyle, Director, China Institute and Global China Center, Coauthor, China: Ancient Culture, Modern Society, Editor, Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity
"No other missionary in the nineteen centuries since the apostle Paul has had a wider vision and carried out a more systematized plan of evangelizing a broad geographical area than Hudson Taylor." --Ruth Tucker, Author of From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya: A Biographical History of Christian Missions
About the Author
Vance E. Christie (MDiv, Grace Theological Seminary) is ordained in the Evangelical Free Church in America and is a member of EFCA Ministerial Association. He is the pastor of Aurora Evangelical Free Church in Aurora, Nebraska.
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Within his book, Hudson Taylor: Gospel Pioneer to China, author Vance Christie seeks to encourage and strengthen the believers of today. He knows that a life lived for the Lord in any century holds truth that transcends current fashions. Therefore he relates the life of this nineteenth century missionary through all of its ups and downs. Beginning with Hudson Taylor's family background, readers are brought along as the young man is consecrated to God and later converted to saving faith in Jesus Christ. The missionary call and its outworking are then described in detail as Hudson makes his first trip to China. The early struggles of family life in China and faithful service in action are chronicled, yet the heart of Hudson is always on display as an example to follow. The final portion of the book centers on the establishment and expansion of the China Inland Mission (CIM). By the time of his death, it is not difficult to define how God can use a life fully consecrated to Him.
Biographies tend to fall into one of two categories. The first centers on the creation of an exhaustive and complete examination of an individual's life and thought. The second is written at a more popular level, and is designed to give a broad overview of its chosen subject. Vance Christie's book falls into the latter category. It does not seek to lay out every last known detail, but to give a generally good outline of Hudson's life and times. In general, it succeeds in accomplishing this purpose. Perhaps the only drawback to be found in the content comes from the choices the author was forced to make. In order to cover Taylor's entire life, every event had to be short and succinct or else something would be left out. On the other hand, certain portions of the missionary's life deserved to be fleshed out to help the reader feel the intensity of the situations and struggles. Not able to accomplish both objectives, the book serves as a great introduction to Hudson Taylor's life, yet it works even better as a springboard to seek out a larger tome that brings to life some of the deeper details of his faith and service.
Taylor became a Christian as a teen and was immediately drawn to China, deciding that the Lord was calling him to serve as a missionary. He spent several years studying medicine and the Mandarin language before departing on the long and perilous journey to the Far East. Very quickly he made the radical decision to adopt Chinese dress and hairstyles, understanding that such things could increase his credibility in the eyes of those he loved (even if they would make him a laughing stock among his fellow missionaries). He went on to found China Inland Mission, an organization that continues to exist today (though under a new name). The story of his life deserves a lot more attention than I could give it in just a few short paragraphs, so I will hold off and point you to Christianity Today's brief biographical sketch.
Hudson Taylor is the subject of Vance Christie's biography Hudson Taylor: Gospel Pioneer to China. I love missionary biographies, so I suppose I was predisposed to enjoy this book. Sure enough, I enjoyed it a lot. Christie is a talented biographer and in this book he works with a fascinating subject. In place of sharing the details of Taylor's life, let me tell you a few of my takeaways from this biography, a few of the things I've had to ponder as I've been given just a glimpse into the life of a great man.
Called to Suffer. Hudson Taylor's call to take the gospel to a foreign land was a call to suffer. And this man suffered very deeply, eventually burying his wife and four children on the mission field. I wrote about this a little bit more in an article from last week titled The Sweet Prattle. The call to serve as a missionary may have seemed glamorous to those who sponsored him and it may seem glamorous to us today, but in reality it was a call to suffer and to suffer deeply. Yet it is clear that this suffering was an important forming influence in his life; in many ways it made him the man he was. The Lord did not work in him apart from this suffering, but through it.
God's Preparation. When God calls a man to serve him, he also prepares him for such service. Hudson Taylor invested a great deal of effort in his own preparation through learning languages and studying medicine. But the Holy Spirit also prepared him by granting him a great love for the Chinese people, by giving him great confidence in the gospel, and by granting him continued awakening and re-awakening. This man was equipped vocationally, but also spiritually.
God Provides. Taylor had an unshakeable belief in God's ability and desire to provide for the work he had called him to. Where God had called, God would also equip. For that reason Taylor relied fully upon God, refusing to plead for money in the ways most missionaries did. He would even refuse to have a collection taken up after he spoke at a church, asking everyone to wait and pray about whether the Lord would have them support his work. He would rather people not give at all then have them give out of emotion.
Those are just 3 of the many lessons we can learn from this man's life.
In Hudson Taylor: Gospel Pioneer to China, Vance Christie has given us a short but powerful account of the life of a man who was truly great in the Kingdom of God. If it has been too long since you have read the biography of a missionary, don't miss out on the opportunity to be blessed by this one.