- Paperback: 230 pages
- Publisher: GFA Books; English Language edition (November 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1595890610
- ISBN-13: 978-1595890610
- Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 45 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #743,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Revolution in World Missions: One Man's Journey to Change a Generation Paperback – Black & White, November 1, 2009
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Your book stirred me to tears and drove me to prayer!
--Miss J.S., Towson, Maryland
If I had to pick eight books outside the biblical canon that every Christian should read, Revolution in World Missions would be one of them.
--Mr. J.L., Stockport, England
I was a missionary in Nigeria for 20 years and understand what this book is all about.
--Mrs. D.T., Kearney, Arizona
I read your book and think it is one of the most dynamic, down-to-earth books that I have ever read. I want to give a copy to our pastor, each board member and selected other people at our church.
--Mr. P.W., Santa Margarita, California
K.P. Yohannan's book draws the Church back to the very heart of what Christ has called us to do. I would urge every Christian, and especially every pastor, to read this book with a humble heart before the Lord. I'm reading it through again, and it's still a heart-stirring blessing.
--Pastor M.W., Worthing, England --Reader Reaction, pp 1-2
About the Author
DR. K.P. YOHANNAN is the founder and international director of Gospel for Asia. He is the author of more than 200 books and is also an internationally known speaker and missionary statesman. He and his wife, Gisela, have two grown children who both serve the Lord with their families.
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Review By Dr. Robert H Bennett Author of: I Am Not Afraid: Demon Possession and Spiritual Warfare
I received this book for free via his website. I was excited about reading it - I love God's heart for the nations and was excited to learn more about the vision of his ministry, which focuses on empowering nationals (Indians) to proclaim the Gospel in their own context (India... which, like all nations, is rather complex). I agree wholeheartedly with many things he said throughout the book - Jesus certainly had a heart for the poor and least of these - yes and amen! I also agree that "in order to plant the Gospel, we must take risks" (32) - yes and amen! I agree wholeheartedly that many people in the US are "more than just unaware of their affluence - they almost seem to despise it at times" (38) and that we "routinely take [our] astonishing wealth for granted" (39). Yes, true true! I agree that "born into affluence, freedom, and divine blessings, Americans should be the most thankful people on earth" (85). Indeed!!!
Furthermore, it brings me great sorrow to think just how little the American Church is prone to care for people besides ourselves (very broad generalization - there are definitely exceptions in the Body of Christ in the US). We are, as a culture, generally very individualistic and self-centered. That is a reality of our culture, and we would be blind not to see it. And as KP is a foreigner looking it, we ought to listen carefully to his critiques of our culture. Yes, please help us see our blind spots KP!
BUT, he is wrong about the TRUE Church in America. It is not true that "for the most part they had absorbed the same humanistic and materialistic values that dominated the secular culture" (41). All of the TRUE believers that I know love God with great passion and live radically - financially, with their time, etc etc. This is not always perfectly the case AND there ARE many flaws in the American church, but I think many of his arguments are rooted in GROSS exaggerations.
For example, KP says that "even today I sometimes cannot freely order food when traveling in the US... I look at the costs and realize how far the same amount of money will go in India, Myanmar..." (43). This is a TRUE statement, but he is totally abusing (neglecting) basic economic principles. The value of goods in the US is relative to the average salaries in the US. And while eating out IS more expensive than say, buying food from the grocery store, it is totally illogical and impossible to use this logic on buying groceries: (this is me hypothetically speaking:) "I am disgusted that Americans spend $240 on groceries a month! Do you not know how much food that would buy somebody in ______." True - the dollar is more valuable than other currencies AND we DO have a much greater quantity of wealth... But my wife and I are very strategic about our purchases being almost exclusively for necessities. And that is STILL a lot of money. But that is because it is RELATIVE to the cost of living in the US. Food costs more in the US.
Long story short - this is to say that GUILT TRIPS with pseudo-truths are NOT ultimately the most helpful in encouraging death to the American Dream and commitment to Christ. I do trust God to use this book well in awakening missionary desires in Westerners and awakening Westerners blind to the lie of the American Dream, but the BEAUTY and GLORY of CHRIST and his GOSPEL are what compels us to radically give away our everything. HE is better than anything we could ever have from the American Dream. And having the greatest treasure of all - THAT frees us up to give radically - NOT burdening people with pseudo-truths.
KP has lots of over exaggerations that are not exactly helpful. For example, it is not unheard of to think that "for the cost of my coat and boots in Germany, I could have lived comfortably for months back in India" (37). Sure, I would like to see some math to make sure this is not more than exaggeration-to-make-a-point, but the point is made. The standard of living in Germany IS ridiculous compared to the majority world (Formerly known as 3rd World nations). I agree that it IS ridiculous in America. But the solution for Western prosperity and Majority world poverty is super crazy complex and way above my head (NOT to dismiss or minimize such efforts in poverty relief - praise God for economic development, etc etc)... I do not think the radical call to follow Jesus is to sell everything you have in America and live as a homeless person on the same "$2" a day (let me clarify - he never alluded that we should do such a thing - I am getting ahead of myself... BUT his logic is dangerous and overly simplistic, although it is helpful towards his arguments to create emotion, it is unhelpful in practice). The reality is that cost of living IS expensive in the US and I honestly DO need $15-35k for my wife and I to live and eat in America. We DO need cars in most cities because there is no solid public transportation. My wife and I DO give intentionally and generously. I am NOT trying to exalt myself or defend myself. But I do know that there ARE lots of Christ-loving Christians in America who don't want to waste their lives on the lie of the American Dream. It seems as if KP handpicked the quintessential prosperity "gospel" preachers (whose lives and ministries ARE largely dishonoring to Christ) as the example of the normative Christian life and thought in America.
If you haven't caught my drift, I agree with KP's MESSAGE in many ways, but he is flat out WRONG in many of his assumptions, and the manner in which he delivers the message can be quite unhelpful. Look with me at p.45. "Is it God's fault that men like Brother Paulose are going hungry? I do not think so... North American Christians alone, without much sacrifice, can meet all the needs of the churches in the Two-Thirds World". Yes and amen, sorta.... I AFFIRM that we must feel the weightiness of world poverty AND how our brothers and sisters in Christ ARE suffering physically for the Gospel - from persecution to hunger. But it is once again reductionistic to assume that the poverty Brother Paulose is experiencing could be eradicating from more money from the West. AND it is MOST disgusting to me that KP begins what I understand to articulate that in essence, the American Church will not and should not radically sacrifice, but that we just need to give a little bit more and sacrifice a LITTLE - and that sacrifice specifically should be money, and not our blood. Stay with me - more on that later. But how about internal issues within Majority World nations? Are governmental corruption and poor economic development not factors as well? Poverty is not something an issue to simply point fingers at one another.
More things I affirm from KP, lest you think I am unjustly biased against him. I love what he says on p. 51 - "Americans have never known the fear of persecution" - YES, very true! AND I agree that "God did not shower such great blessing on this nation for the Christians to live in extravagance, self-indulgence and spiritual weakness" - YES and amen! But his logic is reductionistic so many other places... p. 58 - "Soon I could not buy a hamburger or drink a cola without feeling guilty... " and on p. 63, "Gisela and I conformed our lives literally to the New Testament commands of Christ regarding money and material possessions..." This is not particularly helpful exegesis. He even uses (and abuses) the fact that the prosperity "gospel" is alive and everywhere in America to describe the American church unfairly: "I made it a point to listen to Christian radio... some of the broadcasts would have been hilarious if they weren't exploiting the gullible - hawking health, wealth and success in the name of Christianity... Such con games bring a smile to our lips, but the same basic package is marketed with more sophistication at every level of this society" (96). Indeed, there is much worldliness in American culture (did not say church, but it is there as well) at large, but KP my brother - you are describing the very thing I also hate - the prosperity "gospel" and its fruits. Furthermore, not that this is a scholarly book - but the majority of his statements that he claims to be fact lack any sort of factual basis or relation to articles or data or ____ - they are purely his "observations." And he sure has a lot of them.
I honestly appreciate his critique of Western culture - it is highly needed. I really, honestly, truly do. My heart genuinely BREAKS and I WEEP over many of the realities of the majority world - the devastation of poverty, the reality of street children, sex slavery, etc... I weep over child prostitution and lack of running water and abortion... BUT I strongly disagree with his final conclusions: Americans should send their money to the nationals, since they are more "fruitful" for less. See p. 184 - "I do not ask Westerners to join them - sleeping along roadsides and going to prison for their witness. But I do ask believers to share in the most practical ways possible - through financial sharing and intercessory prayer. In essence, he is saying that Americans should send their money and not their blood to the nations - since it is more cost effective. "I say to KP - "over my dead body."
I love summoning Christians to the glorious call of missions. I love being used by God to awaken people's passion for God's heart for the nations. But I strive to be used to produce this fruit of the Spirit in the hearts of God's people through proclaiming the value and beauty of Christ as seen in the Word of God - not plea after plea of reductionistic argument (134 - "we can go trading souls for bodies, or we can make a difference by sponsoring Bible-believing national missionaries overseas"). He even uses the absolute worst example of a missionary known to man (exaggeration on my end, but he uses a really lame example of a "missionary") in pages 164-65 as if she were normative. So, Brother KP - please continue to believe the urgency of the Gospel and the reality of hell. And yes, please continue to spread the Gospel! But I do not appreciate how often KP (and so, so, so many other missionary-motivator-speaker types) attempt to summon men to duty through guilt, reductionistic arguments, and pseudo-truth. We response with worshipful lives when we have seen how great of a God we serve. Show people Christ exalted and God will indeed wreck our hearts.
Lastly, I do not want to dismiss lightly KP's critiques of the Western Church. We do have a great deal of flaws. God is still graciously purifying his Bride in sanctification, and we would be very wise to listen HUMBLY to his critiques and check our hearts and our ministries to see if we are guilty of such errors. By much grace, I know that myself and many other Americans do long to be like Jager, the kind of missionary he proudly compliments in pages 147-48. But there is much room to grow.
PS. I would love to know what it means to have "established five churches" after three years (204). How healthy are they? Will they last? Is it just a glorified Bible study - how does it qualify as a church? I love how God can work miraculously quick - and can bring dead men to life with a word in a matter of seconds, but I want clarification as to what this means...
PSS - I am concerned that the implied idea that KP's "radical - total comittment-kind-of faith" (my words) is the only way genuine biblical faith can look like. Indeed, he says on 201 - "If your life is not totally committed to Christ, you are not qualified to be on this committee. That means you cannot use your time, your talents or your money the way you want to. If you do and still think you can help direct God's people to reach a lost world, you mock God Himself... The way each of you lives is where we begin our crusade to reach the lost of this world." There are some things in there I affirm, and I am by no means against whole-heartedness towards God. But there is no Gospel encouragement in that. Nobody could have been on that committee!!! I am not totally committed to Christ and never will be. Neither is KP. But we strive to! And thanks be to God that Christ died on the cross, wholly committed to his Father and his Father's glory, in our place - so that we could experience the current and future joy of being fully committed to God and his glory via faith in Christ!
Lastly, know that my heart (which is tricky to know fully, but can be known in part) is NOT to condemn this book. My heart is for you to read it with intentionality. Glean from the positives and think hard about the negatives. Listen to the critiques humbly. I do not have a personal vendetta against this author. I hope God uses this review to encourage you to read carefully - that is all.