I found this title while searching the shelves of Half Priced Books in Dallas, Texas this past weekend. If you and I are serious about following Jesus, this book raises some questions we need to ask.
Jesus in Beijing: How Christianity Is Transforming China and Changing the Global Balance of Power was published originally by Regnery Publishing in 2003. A paperback version was published in 2006 with updates. The author was David Aikman, the former Beijing bureau chief for Time Magazine. Here’s Dr. Aikman’s bio from Amazon.com bio.
“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.”
This editorial review snippet of Aikman’s book describes it succinctly:
“This book details the great unreported story of the Chinese giant and its enormously rapid conversion to Christianity and what this change means to the global balance of power.”
James Lilley, former U.S. Ambassador to China and former U.S. Representative to Taiwan, commented on the book.
“David Aikman writes with conviction about the broad scope and deep roots of Christianity in China. It is compelling.”
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….
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.” (Emphases mine)
Questions we should be asking.
- How did God do what He did in China and how can we cooperate with Him to see the same work where we are?
- What can we learn from our brothers and sisters in China about following Jesus?
- How can we keep from “organizing away” what God is doing in China as American churches and boards send “missionaries” to train pastors and other church leaders?
I praise God for what He did and is doing in China. I fear what we might do.
I wonder what we could learn from Chinese Christians…
He, who has ears to hear, let him hear.