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The Power to Save – A history of the gospel in China

By Bob Davey
December 2011 | Review by Mark Pickett
  • Publisher: Evangelical Press
  • ISBN: 978-0-85234-743-0
  • Pages: 356
  • Price: 9.99
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The Power to Save – A history of the gospel in China
Bob Davey
Evangelical Press
356, £9.99
ISBN: 978-0-85234-743-0
Star Rating:

Bob Davey has carefully researched the story of the church in China. In Power to Save the reader is given a short introduction to China’s wider history and the story of Nestorian and Roman Catholic missions up to AD1800. The lion’s share of the book, however, is on evangelical missions and the churches that have sprung from them. As Davey makes clear, this emphasis is deliberate because it is his conviction that biblical Christianity is evangelicalism (p. 18). Insofar as evangelical missions and churches have carried the gospel to China, the growth of the church is the story of God’s dealings in this great country.

Davey writes well—it is a gripping story peppered with such fascinating characters as Robert Morrison, Hudson Taylor, J. O. Fraser and Gladys Aylward as well as Chinese evangelists and pastors like David Yang and John Sung. The stories are set in their social and political context, though analysis is kept to a minimum. The vexed issue of the relationship of church and state was causing concern as early as the Japanese occupation. The story of Wang Ming Dao’s polite but firm refusal to join a government controlled organization is stirring stuff and prescient of the noble stand that so many Chinese Christians took under the horrors of Mao’s brutal dictatorship.

Every Christian should know something of God’s dealings in other parts of the world. China is the most populous nation on earth and one in which vast numbers are coming to faith. More people attend church in China on any given Sunday than in the whole of Europe! And today many are gearing up to take the same gospel to other parts of the world in what could become a very significant missionary movement. We need to pray for them and for the evangelization of the many millions in China today who, even after such tremendous gospel growth, have yet to hear the story of Jesus. Reading this book will inspire you to do so and to cry out for God to do great things in other places too.


Mark Pickett,