China's Millions: The China Inland Mission and Late Qing Society, 1832-1905

China's Millions: The China Inland Mission and Late Qing Society, 1832-1905

China's Millions: The China Inland Mission and Late Qing Society, 1832-1905

China's Millions: The China Inland Mission and Late Qing Society, 1832-1905

Synopsis

In China's Millions veteran historian Alvyn Austin presents a compelling historical narrative of the China Inland Mission (now the Overseas Missionary Fellowship) -- the first history of the CIM by an outsider -- including 36 never-before-published illustrations and maps from the CIM/OMF archives. In the course of his sweeping survey, Austin examines a remarkable array of subjects, from the visionary, charismatic sect-leader Pastor Hsi, to the "wordless book," a missionary teaching device that fit perfectly with Chinese color cosmology, to the opium-soaked aftermath of the North China Famine of 1877-79.

Excerpt

The conservative evangelical tradition is not generally renowned for its veneration of saints. However, James Hudson Taylor’s place in evangelical hagiography has been secure ever since the publication in 1911 and 1918 of the two volumes of his biography written by his son, Dr. Howard Taylor, and daughter-in-law, Geraldine Guinness. the graphic nature of Hudson Taylor’s vision of the perishing millions of Chinese, dying without the saving knowledge of Christ, was intrinsic to his magnetic appeal to the Christian imagination in his own day, and has remained so subsequently. No less compelling was the extraordinary spiritual ambition displayed by Taylor’s formation of a mission which set out to evangelize the largest nation on earth with a sublime indifference to the elaborate paraphernalia of committees and fund-raising that other missions deemed so indispensable. Perhaps most attractive of all to a sector of the Christian constituency that tends to value activism more than holiness, Hudson Taylor appeared to symbolize the perfect union of the two — mystic as well as missionary, man of prayer no less than man of action.

This book is not another biography of James Hudson Taylor, yet his enigmatic personality and pervasive influence are indelibly imprinted on the pages of this history of the China Inland Mission during his lifetime. Alvyn Austin seeks to sidestep the aura of sanctity which has enveloped Taylor himself and focus our attention instead on the ordinary women and men, whether foreign missionaries or Chinese evangelists, who staffed his mission and gave their lives (some of them literally, especially during the Boxer Rising) for the implementation of Taylor’s vision. in so doing, Austin breaks new ground. Using the cim archival collections in London, Toronto, and Wheaton College, Austin tells the story of the internationalization of what . . .

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