The China Chronicles
The China Chronicles overview (5 vol in print and more to come…)
Many people are aware of the extraordinary explosion of Christianity throughout China in recent decades, with the Church now numbering in excess of 100 million members. Few, however, know how this miracle has occurred. The China Chronicles series is an ambitious project to document the advance of Christianity in each province of China from the time the gospel was first introduced to the present day.
The genesis for this project came at a meeting I attended in the year 2000, where leaders of the Chinese house church movements expressed the need for their members to understand how God established His kingdom throughout China. As a result, it is planned that these books will be translated into Chinese and distributed widely among the Church, both in China and overseas. Millions of Chinese Christians know little of their spiritual legacy, and my prayer is that multitudes will be strengthened, edified, and challenged to carry the torch of the Holy Spirit to their generation.
My intention is not to present readers with a dry list of names and dates but to bring alive the marvellous stories of how God has caused His kingdom to take root and flourish in the world’s most populated country. I consider it a great honour to write these books, especially as I have been entrusted, through hundreds of hours of interviews conducted throughout China, with many testimonies that have never previously been shared in public.
Another reason for compiling the China Chronicles is simply to have a record of God’s mighty acts in China.
At the back of each volume will appear a detailed statistical analysis estimating the number of Christians living in every city and county within each province of China. This is the first comprehensive survey into the number of believers in China— in every one of its more than 2,400 cities and counties—in nearly a century.
Many Chinese believers, too numerous to list, have lovingly assisted in this endeavour. For example, I fondly recall the aged house church evangelist Elder Fu, who required two young men to assist him up the stairs to my hotel room because he was eager to be interviewed for this series. Although he had spent many years in prison for the gospel, this saint desperately wanted to testify to God’s great works so that believers around the world could be inspired and encouraged to live a more consecrated life. Countless Chinese believers I met and interviewed were similarly keen to share what God has done, to glorify His Name.
Finally, it would be remiss not to thank the Lord Jesus Christ. As you read these books, my prayer is that He will emerge from the pages not merely as a historical figure, but as Someone ever present, longing to seek and to save the lost by displaying His power and transformative grace.
Today the Church in China is one of the strongest in the world, both spiritually and numerically. Yet little more than a century ago China was considered one of the most difficult mission fields. How things have changed! When it is all said and done, no person in China will be able to take credit for the amazing revival that has occurred. It will be clear that this great accomplishment is the handiwork of none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. We will stand in awe and declare: The Lord has done this, and it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118.23–24, niv 1984)