A Challenging Book With Multiple Layers of Meaning

A Challenging Book With Multiple Layers of Meaning

I’ve recently been reading a book titled The Heavenly Man, the spiritual biography of a Chinese Christian leader called Brother Yun. I’m finding it scary, convicting, challenging and more. It speaks to me on multiple levels.

First and most obvious, it tells of his extreme sufferings for being an uncompromising Christian and a Christian leader. Like any authoritarian state, China’s Communists tolerate no other loyalties among Chinese citizens than to the state. Christians’ loyalty and faith in God squarely challenge this demand. Those who openly refuse to give this loyalty and who urge others toward faith in Jesus are persecuted, often with incredible cruelty and brutality. While Brother Yun details much of the brutality to which he was subjected, he avoids glorifying himself, doing it “pornographically”, or trying to incite the reader to hatred. This is the scary level.

Then there’s the amazing level of the book. A reader is continually faced with a choice. Is Brother Yun a wild-eyed liar making claims that are beyond crazy-outlandish? Or did God do amazing things in, to, and through Brother Yun?

If it isn’t immediately obvious from this blog being linked in my signature line, this is my blog. I seldom post specific posts from my blog here, but this one seemed worthwhile, not for my eloquence, but because of the book that is the subject of my blog post. It’s an “easy” read, yet it has led me to do a lot of reflecting, reevaluating and praying. Hopefully, some changing, too.

I wish I had realized years ago that some of the most incredible, inspiring, instructive and eye-opening stories are those of prisoners and refugees of conscience.

For me, the first step came with If Prison Walls Could Speak, by Richard Wurmbrand. Later, I read his In God’s Underground.

Besides that, over the past year, I read The Evidence That Convicted Aida Skripnikova (Russia) and These Are the Generations (North Korea). I have Clay in the Potter’s Hand in my to-be-read stack.