Toxic Charity

There is some of the missionary in every Christian. As the Lord extends to us the ability to trust in him and as he begins that work of transforming us from the inside out, he gives us the desire to share our faith with others and to extend his love to them. Since the church’s earliest day this desire has motivated Christians to leave behind all they know and to travel to the earth’s farthest reaches. A relative newcomer on …

Follow Me by David Platt

David Platt’s Radical was one of those rare books that catapults a first-time author straight to top of the charts. For two years it was a fixture on the lists of bestsellers and even today it remains a top seller in the Christian ranks. Radical was a call for Christians to escape the doldrums of the American dream and to live for something better, something that counts for far more. Books with this message are hardly a rarity today, but what …

Reckless Abandon

If books dealing with death are to be a regular part of my reading diet, so too are books on missions. I don’t mean missional living or the mere theory of mission work, but books describing real work on the real mission field. In Reckless Abandon, David Sitton of To Every Tribe Ministries has given us a good one as he recounts a lifetime of experiences among the most difficult to reach peoples. While Reckless Abandon is certainly not less …

Radical

Whatever David Platt is selling, people are buying it. At last count 750,000 copies of Radical were in print and it had been on the New York Times list of bestsellers (paperback advice) for 52 weeks. That is no small achievement! To be frank, it is the kind of achievement every author dreams of. Radical is a book about escaping the doldrums of the American dream. The American dream (which is a dream shared by pretty much all of the western, …

Gospel Pioneer to China

Dear God, if you should give us a son, grant that he may work for you in China.” That was the prayer of James and Amelia Taylor as they consecrated their first child to the Lord, months before he was even born. That child entered the world on May 21, 1832. His parents named him James Hudson Taylor, but called him by his middle name. Hudson Taylor would, indeed, grow up to work for the Lord in China. Not only …

For the Love of India

In the summer of 1805 a young man set sail on the long, perilous journey to India. He left friends, family and prospects behind in order to serve as a missionary in a foreign land. Already suffering the tuberculosis, the disease that had claimed the life of his mother and would soon also claim his two sisters, he forsook the prospects of a comfortable life as a minister or scholar and traveled to the far side of the world. He …

When Helping Hurts

In 2006 Americans spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.6 billion on short-term missions. Some 2.2 million Americans were involved in one of these trips, up from just 120,000 two decades before. Such misson work has very nearly become a rite of passage for young American Christians. Many years ago I spoke to a missionary who was often asked if teams could come and visit his work in South America so they could help build a home or rebuild a …

John and Betty Stam

“The fateful day began with deceptive normalcy at John and Betty Stam’s missionary residence in Tsingteh, China. Both the wood-burning stoves had been lit and were starting to heat up nicely, helping to lessen the chill that gripped the large old house that cold, early December morning. The Stams, along with the six Chinese who lived with them in the house, had already eaten breakfast. “John hoped to study and get some correspondence done that morning. Betty was preparing to …

Book Review – The Irresistible Revolution

Love him or hate him, it is tough to accuse Shane Claiborne of being an armchair quarterback. He is not a man who seeks to convince people to do something that he is unwilling to do himself. Instead he calls Christians to live as radicals while he himself lives in a radically counterculture way. Claiborne is one of the founders of The Simple Way, a small but increasingly high-profile ministry among the poor in Philadelphia. He lives here in poverty, …

Book Review – My Beloved Russia

I remember praying for the Christian men and women who lived in the Soviet Union. During the Cold War we knew that countless Christians lived on the far side of the Iron Curtain and that they suffered immeasurably for their faith. We knew they needed prayer that God would sustain them and allow the faith to spread despite vigorous persecution. I remember hearing Brother Andrew speak at a nearby church and rejoiced to hear the incredible stories he shared of …