2023 Christianity Today Book Award of Merit for Missions & Global Church
“If we want revival in our communities, then let us learn from those being revived.”
For many Western Christians, the experience of suffering and persecution is remote. For Chinese Christians, on the other hand, persecution is a regular aspect of the Christian life. If a Christian from the West was transported to a Chinese house church, the topic of suffering would be ever-present in preaching and conversation. With decades of persecution under government oppression and a rich theology of suffering, the Chinese house church movement has much to contribute theologically to the global church.
In Faith in the Wilderness, editors Hannah Nation and Simon Liu pull together the insights of the Chinese Church for the West. These sermonic letters from Chinese Christians pull back the curtain on the pastoral heart and hope behind the house church’s remarkable faithfulness, awakening readers to the reality of the gospel—the ground of our hope—in the midst of darkness. Readers will be convicted, encouraged, and edified by the testimony of these Chinese Christians.
Let us learn from the witness of our Chinese brothers and sisters so that we can stand fast all the better as we face trials wherever we live.
—Tim Keller, from the foreword
Feed yourself on the riches here; you will be thankful that you did.
...a timely resource for Christians in the freer world.
These sermons challenge our complacency and self-pity with Christ-centred gospel faith, hope, and joy.
—Christopher J. H. Wright
“The theology of suffering represented by the sermons contained in this book has three aspects. First, it states that the Christian’s union with Christ reveals the broken state of the world.” (Page 3)
“What we need the most now is to repent, rather than to ‘stay strong;’ to confess our sins, rather than to boast of ourselves; to bear responsibility, rather than to shift blame; to speak up, rather than to keep silent.” (Page 22)
“He knew very clearly that, while God sends disasters, he can also stop them. He can afflict you, but he can also heal you, and he is the most merciful. To fall into the hand of God resigns ourselves to providence, which is the best choice in a difficult situation.” (Page 17)
“The word translated ‘meddler’ is an amazing Greek word. It means to be a busybody or to be tactless. What Peter and Jesus are saying is, if you are talking about your Christian faith in a feckless way, a tactless way, an abrasive way, an insensitive way, a culturally inappropriate way, and people oppose you, don’t say, ‘I am being persecuted for Jesus’s sake!’ No, you are being persecuted for your sake. If you are being obnoxious, the promise of blessedness doesn’t hold.” (Page xx)
“He replied: ‘I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man’ (2 Samuel 24:14).” (Pages 16–17)
Hannah Nation is managing director for the Center for House Church Theology and content director for China Partnership. She is co-editor of Grace to the City: Studies in the Gospel from China.
Simon Liu is a pastor and mentor to pastors in China. Over the past decade, he has been involved in over 140 church plants across China.