J. Hudson Taylor: A Man In Christ was an incredible book. I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading it, as I didn’t know much about him. I selected the book on a recommendation I found on a website. I am extremely glad I chose this book.
Essentially, it follows the life of Hudson and focuses on his creation and growth of the CIM (China Inland Mission), which has since changed it’s name to OMF (Overseas Missionary Fellowship) as it has expanded into other Asian countries.
Not only did this book give me a better perspective of overseas missions, but it also, and perhaps even more so, showed the life of a man who was incredibly dedicated to God. Hudson’s prayer life and reliance and confidence in God’s provision was exemplary and have made me really re-think some of my perspectives in these things.
Hudson was rather unique in his time for his convictions on adopting the culture and dress of the country you are in. Many other missionaries at the time thought it was best to bring their culture and dress with them to China. While other missionaries were building gothic style churches, Hudson preferred if a church was built, that it be built using the Chinese style and architecture. The focus is not, and should not be changing a culture, but in preaching the gospel of Jesus.
Another unique thing about the CIM was their policy not to take collections at speaking engagements and other churches. Hudson believed and trusted that God would always supply for the need, and did not want people to act upon brief emotion, but to go home and pray about the decision to send financial support, as there was always ways to give to CIM afterwards by mail. He also did not want the potential for taking away from potential giving to other causes and organizations due to the collections being taken.
On an interesting note, in many occasions in the book, it mentions people’s ideas and thoughts on what Hudson would look like and how he would be before people met him for the first time. Many were let down initially by his shorter stature, lighter curly hair, and his soft-spokenness. They often expected a larger man, with dark hair and a commanding presence. Though disappointed at first, they soon realized the great Godly quality and heart that he had.
In many areas, this book has greatly challenged me, and has shown a picture of the type of Christian that I want to be. Without question, I recommend this book to everybody. You will be challenged and encouraged by this book in a very positive way. This is an excellent read for every Christian, even those who claim to not be called or interested in missions.