This is history at its best. From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya is readable, informative, gripping, and above all, honest. It helps readers understand the life and role of a missionary through real life examples of missionaries throughout history. We see these men and women as fallible and human in their failures as well as their successes. These great leaders of missions are presented as real people, and not super-saints.
This second edition covers all 2,000 years of mission history with a special emphasis on the modern era, including chapters focused on the Muslim world, Third World missions, and a comparison of missions in Korea and Japan. It also contains both a general and an illustration index where readers can easily locate particular missionaries, stories, or incidents. New design graphics, photographs, and maps help make this a compelling volume. From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya is as informative and intriguing as it is inspiring—an invaluable resource for missionaries, mission agencies, students, and all who are concerned about the spreading of the gospel throughout the world.
“Christianity penetrated the Roman world through five main avenues: the preaching and teaching of evangelists, the personal witness of believers, acts of kindness and charity, the faith shown in persecution and death, and the intellectual reasoning of the early apologists.” (Pages 22–23)
“Allen points out that Paul, unlike so many missionaries since his day, concentrated his work in the strategic population centers—centers of trade and political influence from which the gospel would quickly be carried to outlying areas. Moreover, he reached people from all levels of society, providing the church with a broad base. And above all, he established independent churches, not mission stations. He ‘did not gather congregations, he planted churches,’ avoiding an ‘elaborate’ and ‘foreign system of church organization.’” (Pages 27–28)
“What carried him through the years of opposition, hardship, and disappointment? Three characteristics are worth noting: his unbending optimism, his ability to enlist the help of others, and his absolute certainty that God, not he, was saving souls and was in control of the bad times as well as the good.” (Page 79)
“Francis of Assisi proposed that the Muslims should be won by love instead of by hate.” (Page 57)
“But the vibrant evangelism that was conducted during the post-apostolic period began to wane in the early fourth century during the reign of Emperor Constantine. Christianity became a state religion, and as a result, the churches were flooded with nominal Christians who had less concern for spiritual matters than for political and social prestige. Christianity became the fashion. Elaborate structures replaced the simple house-churches, and creeds replaced the spontaneous testimonies and prayers. The need for aggressive evangelism seemed superfluous—at least within the civilized Roman world.” (Page 25)
This book, now better than ever, has no competition. No one has ever so ably, efficiently, and delightfully linked together the key personalities that portray so dynamically the story of the expansion of our faith from a handful of people in Jerusalem to the very ends of the earth. It is a must-read for all serious believers.
—Ralph D. Winter, founder, William Carey International University
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