Protestant Christianity did not reach Japan until 1859, and during these 100 years the progress of the church has been comparatively slow. These are even now only about a quarter of a million converts in a population of over 90 million. This book seeks to explain many of the peculiar difficulties created by a unique and mystifying culture, which face the missionary and Japanese Christian there. It is written out of a burning desire to further the cause of Christ in a nation which is of the greatest strategic importance in the Far East and which aspires to be the bridge between nations of the East and the West.
To divide this book into two parts is logical. One part deals with the general culture and religious background of Japan, while the second tells the story of the outworking of the Christian faith in the lives of the Japanese. All readers will not necessarily want to commence with the first half; some readers may prefer to read the second half first.
From the dust jacket.
This title is copyright OMF International UK and is reproduced here by permission. You can download this book for free educational purposes. It must not be reublished for profir without explicit written permission from the copyright holder. My thanks to Book Aid for providing a copy of this book for digitisation.
1. A People Unveiled
2. The Imprisoning Web
3. The Spirit of Japan (1) Its Origin
4. The Spirit of Japan (2) Its Modrn Guise
5. Other Gods of Shinto
6. Pale Moonlight of Buddhism
7. A Pseudo Salvation-ny-Faith
8. The Sense of Sin
9. The Fer of Death
10. The Japanese Language – The Art of Concealing Thought
11. A Blunted Sword
12. Black Lily of Resentment
13. Meeting of East and West
Part II. The Preaching of Release
14. With Long Patience
15. Tent Evangelism
16. The Northern Island
17. North Glory Church
18. Hidaka Coast
19. Samani – By-path Meadow
20. Aomori – The Gospel in the Capital
21. In Cities Old and New
22. In Quiet Country Towns
23. Thirst for Knowledge
24. Bruised Reeds
25. Hope For the Future
The “fires” in the title of this book are Nepali Christian workers who sought to bring the gospel to their fellow countrymen and women. “Fish-Tail” is the magnificent Mount Machapuchare which dominates the sky-line of the city of Pokhara in Central Nepal. This little book tells the story of some of these fire brands. It was published by the Nepal Evangelistic Band in 1959 and reproduced here by kind permission of the International Nepal Fellowship. You are free to use this PDF for free educational purposes, but not to sell it for profit without written permission from the copyright holder.
There are expositors who teach that the seven Letters to the Churches in Revelation 2 and 3 are descriptive of the seven epochs in history which must be completed before the Return of the Lord. Most of them have made comparisons which suggest that today we are in the final·epoch descriptive of the Laodicean Church. Yet surely the Philadelphian experience of the open and shut door is incredibly interpretative of our generation. The door is closed in China; it is almost closed in other territories where permission for continuing work begun many years ago is ungraciously given, and then chiefly for educational or medical reasons. It would seem that to-day doors that were once wide open are certainly closing. It is equally true that doors that have been fastened against the Christian Missionary for centuries are now beginning to open. Since there are no chance happenings in sovereign grace it must be in the Will of God that Nepal has opened its doors, and therefore the following contribution by one of the pioneer missionaries, one of the first to pass through the open door, is not only of interest, but of great value….
Ion Grant Neville Keith-Falconer [1856-1887] was Professor of Semitic Languages at Cambridge University.
The remarkable life of the third son of the Earl of Kintore was once familiar to many Christians, for his academic and cycle-racing prowess as well as his love of the arabs were outstanding. In 1881 whilst in Assiut in Egypt to learn colloquial Arabic, Keith-Falconer observed the work of a Presbyterian missionary, Dr Hogg. Influence, too, by discussions with General [Felix T.] Haig, and by General Gordon Gordon (of Khartoum) Keith-Falconer heard God’s call to take the Gospel to the Arabs of South Arabia, gaining access by the British Colony of Aden. In 1885 he made a four month visit to assess the situation, concluding that there was much scope for medical and educational work. He chose to make Shaykh’Uthman, twelve miles inland from Steamer Point, Aden, the base for such work which would aim to reach into the interior of the country.
Shirley A. Fraser, In the Footsteps of Ion Keith-Falconer. A brief overview of the history of the Christian Mission to South Arabia. 1998. p.2. [Brackets mine]
Although he died on malaria within six months of arriving to establish the mission in 1887… “his vision and talents inspired Samuel Zwemer and Zwemer’s brother, Peter, and Scottish and Danish recruits who took up his labors”. [Kenneth Cragg, “Keith-Falconer, Ion G(rant) N(eville),” Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, p.356.]
I am grateful to one of Theology on the Web’s supporters for providing a copy of this book for digitisation. This title is in the public domain.
In 1996 Dr Valerie M. Inchley, known in Nepal as ‘the running doctor’, was awarded an OBE for ‘services to the British community and health care in Nepal’. Her 43-year ministry as a medical missionary and international Bible teacher is described with humour and humility in her autobiography, On Call.
The growth of the Nepali church is a modern mission miracle. There were approximately 1,000 Christian when Val arrived in 1970; today there are over 1,000,000. Until 1990 it was costly for a Nepali to be baptised – they could go to jail or be disinherited – but this gave the church strength and spiritual depth. Proselytism was also punishable by imprisonment, but Val realised that “converting” someone is different from ‘living a life that attracts people to Jesus, telling them about him, and offering to pray for them when they are in need’.
Aged 26, with limited language skills and no salary, she travelled to Pokhara to serve in the International Nepal Fellowship (INF) as a doctor. Her book describes the challenges she faced – cultural, religious and often language misunderstandings (such as the man who thought he must stand in the river each day to take his tablets ‘in water’!) Cases she treated include ‘catastrophic haemorrhages after childbirth; burnt and charred babies; men with bellies so swollen from bowel blockages that they looked like pregnant women’.
However, Val’s commitment to the language and people meant that she was soon reading Scripture and leading prayer meetings in Nepali. She also found that ‘the possibility that there might be something better [than karma’s fatalism] made the positive teaching of Christianity particularly attractive, especially to low castes and “lepers”, many of whom gained hope and were radically transformed by Jesus.’
In the mid-70s the government decided that Pokhara did not need two hospitals, so INF began to concentrate on tuberculosis and leprosy work. Val became the Regional Leprosy Officer in Ghorahi, developing the clinic there and supervising surveys in several Mid-Western districts. Nepalis called her the ‘running doctor’ because of her unbreakable, but un-Eastern, habit of doing everything “at the double”. In one town she treated 186 patients, visited officials, lectured at the college and taught the hospital staff – all in 5 days!
In 1979 Val returned to Pokhara. The closed INF hospital had become a community health and tuberculosis centre, where she worked as Medical Coordinator until 1983. Then she served at the government hospital, helping to equip its 150-bed extension whilst working in the obstetrics and gynaecology department. She even escorted the Queen of Nepal around the new buildings during a royal visit.
Having heard, in 1987 that her mother had been taken in hospital, she returned to the UK. During that time she attended a “Walk Thru the Bible” (WTB) seminar – an experience which would shape her future ministry. The following year, when she returned to Nepal, she first served as Acting Personnel Secretary, even becoming Acting Director for three weeks, and then as Health Projects Director for 7 years. With permission, she translated the WTB material into Nepali and developed it further, calling the new course “Bible Yatra”. She initially taught this within her ladies’ fellowship. Then Nepal’s revolutiom of 1990 enabled expatriates to offer greater support to the Nepali church, so she began to give seminars in several churches and Bible training centres.
In 1990 she became INF’s Medical Director, and also later the Director of their Health Services Partnership. Then in late 1997 she sensed God calling her to ‘move outside the security of a mission visa’. She resigned and explored the option of staying in Nepal with a campus visa to study Nepali, whilst further developing Bible Yatra. This proved timely; in 1998/9 the government clamped down on “extra-curricular” activities and some INF expatriates were expelled.
Val ompleted the handbook for the Bible Yatra course, whilst obtaining a Diploma of Higher Education in Theology, and then went on to research thousands of Nepali proverbs, gaining a Master’s degree in “Global Issues in Contemporary Mission”. Later, as part of the great poet Devkota Centenary Celebration she was awarded for her ‘continuous dedication to promoting Nepali literature and… tireless efforts in taking Nepali language to the international area.
For 13 years Val survived on study, research and business visas, until she had fully handed over the Bible Yatra ministry and it was officially registered as a Nepali NGO. She and the teachers she trained had taught the course at 1,000 seminars to over 20,000 students, including in the Nepali diaspora. Her faithful work continues to support the Nepali church and Nepalis in the diaspora today.
This article was reproduced from Together Magazine issue 30 (Mar/Apr 2018): 28. It is appears here by permission of Editor of Together Magazine and the DIrector of Onwards and Upwards Publishers. On Call. The Unexpurgated story of the RUNNING DOCTOR is published by Onwards and Upwards Publishers. ISBN-13: 9781911086949.
The history of the Bible Churchmen’s Missionary Society, now Crosslinks, from 1922-1947. The book includes several photographs and maps showing the locations of the mission stations in India, Iran, Ethiopia, Uganda, Canada, Morocco and Burma. Reproduced by kind permission of the copyright holder Crosslinks. This PDF can be used for free educational purposes, but not sold for profit without written permission from the copyright holder.
Foreword, by the Rev. Daniel H.C. Bartlett, M.A., D.D
A New Church Society
Early Days and Small Beginnings
Consolidation and Extension
Another Contindent Entered
Stubborn Strongholds of Antichrist
The Most Troubled Land
Thrusting Outward in the Burma Field
Gatehring up the Threads
The Falling Star of Ethiopia
China’s Two Suns
Rays in India’s Darkness
Bright Sky in Burma
A Constellation and Single Stars
The Young Crescent
The Lights of Home
Remote from the Battle Fronts
Threatened, but not Touched
Disorganization in Africa
China Still in the Throes
“A People Scattered and Peeled”
Testing Times at Home
Building Waste Places
Epilogue, by the Rev A.T. Houghton
This history has been entrusted· to one who did not take part in those inner councils which germinated and eventually directed the life of B.C.M.S., but who watched with sympathetic interest from an independent position the founding of a new Society based upon the wholehearted acceptance of the trustworthiness of the Word of God written and the Word of God Incarnate.
And the object of this history is simply to give Glory to God without Whose enablement and guidance the whole effort would have expired ignominiously. But Divine Grace manifested in the gift of a practical Faith engendered a “don’t-careism” concerning the things of Time, so necessary to the launching of a new witness to Truth amidst almost universal opposition….
The rate of church growth in Nepal is one of the fastest in the world. This growth is not primarily due to the presence of foreign missionary agencies that have been present in the country since the 1950s. Rather it has been through the evangelistic efforts of the Nepali people themselves, reaching out despite the risk of imprisonment for proselytising. This book tells the story of the church in Nepal up to 1979.
I had the privilege of serving in Nepal in 1988/89 and received a copy of this book as part of my orientation course. It appears on-line thanks to the kind permission of the United Mission to Nepal.
The history of Christian Missions will probably record that the United Mission to Nepal is unique among missionary organizations on any continent. It cams to birth in the movement only in 1954, making it now 25 years old. On this anniversary the Directors considered it appropriate to put into writing an account of the country where the Mission has enjoyed these years and also the story of Christian Missions as related to Nepal.
The United Mission is only a small part of a much larger whole. Its roots go back into history in many directions and its branches touch and its missionary movement in southern Asia. This book attempts to gather up these many parts – Capuchin Fathers, Bible Translators, Darjeeling Christians, Missions on the border, evangelists and believers – to fit them together and to see the larger whole.
Special attention is then given to this unusual Mission – the nature of its ‘united-ness’ and the content of its ‘mission’, Within it are more than thirty mission societies from four continents which hae joined together to work as one body of Christians ‘in the Name and Spirit of Jesus Christ’. Here is the account of those diverse nationalities, the denominations from which they come, theuir human frailties, the glue which hold them together and the prevailing faith which sends them with joy into witness and service.
Nepal is unique among countries as the United Mission is among mission organizations. It has been a little-known Hindu Kingdom, closed to the outside world and shut up in its medievalism. Recently it threw open its windows and doors, joined the world family of nations and is moving vigorously in the current of the times to build a New Nepal. It is within this society and its environment, related to Agreements signed with His Majesty’s Government of Nepal, that the United Mission has found it manner of life and its place of work.
A special feature of the book in the way it leads the reader around to the Nepal side, to join the Nepalese in looking down from their mountain strongholds upon colonial movements and the coming of missions, to think their thoughts and understand their actions. Then to come around and view the drame of life in Nepal from the eyes of the Christian movement. This book contains two parts and relates them to each other, what it calls “Nepal” and the “Gospel of God”.
Eugene Stock’s comprehensive History of the Church Missionary Society runs to 2,740 pages and 4 Volumes. My thanks to the Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide for providing a set of these volumes to scan. These titles are in the pubic domain.
The Centenary Volume of the Church Missionary Society covers the years 1799-1899. It lists the many services of commemoration, both in the UK and overseas. My thanks to the Redcliffe College for providing a copy for digitisation. This title is in the public domain.
The Three Years’ Enterprise
The Second Jubilee
The Three Years’ Enterprise in the Mission Field
Part II: The Centenary Commemoration – The Commemoration in London
Day for Prayer and Thanksgiving. Monday April 10
Day for Review of C.M.S. Missions, Tuesday, April 11.
The Centenary Day, Wednesday, April 12
Day For Review of Other Misisons, Thursday, April 13
Day For Looking Forward, Friday, 14
The Commemoration in the Provinces
The Commemoration in Scotland and Ireland
The Commemoration in the Colonies
The Commemoration in the Mission Field
Part III: Centenary Funds
Part IV: List of Officers, Statistics, &c.
Introductory Historical Sketch
During the eighteenth century next to nothing was done by British Christians to spread the knowledge of the Gospel among the Pagan, Heathen, and Mohammedan nations of the world. Two Societies, both identified with the Church of England, were practically the only agencies which aimed at discharging this duty, and the aim of both these was limited within narrow boundaries. The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, formed in 1698, aimed at discharging the object proclaimed in its title chiefly by providing schools and – literature, and by subsidizing other institutions. It did not propose to employ living agents. Nevertheless, for well-nigh a century in God’s good Providence, it was led to support and, indeed, virtually to direct a Mission among the Tamils of South India, which had been instituted by Frederick IV., King of Denmark, and which was manned by Lutheran missionaries, some of them, such as Ziegenbalg and Schwartz….
Samuel Marinus Zwemer [1867-1952], known as the Apostle to Islam, was “one of the most celebrated Protestant missionaries of the twentieth century”. [Biographical Dictionary of Christian Mission, p.763]
His book on Islam, reproduced here, remains as relevant today as when it was written. This title is in the public domain.
The churches of Christendom are at last awaking to the fact that one of the great unsolved missionary problems of the Twentieth Century is the evangelization of the Mohammedan world. The Cairo Conference reports, the Haystack Centennial volume, the organization of new missionary societies for work among Moslems, and the recent statements concerning the Moslem peril in West Africa and the Soudan, all carry this message to the churches and the student-world of Christendom. The Cairo Conference appeal, voicing the opinion of many leading missionaries from every Moslem land, was primarily a call for trained men from the universities and professional schools. And this appeal, in the words of Mr. John R. Mott, “has laid upon students as never before the responsibility of reaching the Mohammedan world.”
But if we are to reach that world with the gospel of Christ we must first know of it and know it…
The proposal to write this book was first discussed at the Ecumenical Study Conference for East Asia, held at Lucknow, India, in December 1952. The plan approved by the Conference was to issue an interpretative volume on “Christianity and the Asian Revolution” in preparation for the Second Assembly of the World Council of Churches. It was agreed that Christians in Asia should contribute articles to this volume, and, that it should be edited by the undersigned in his capacity as the Joint Secretary for East Asia of the International Missionary Council and the World Council of Churches.
In using the term ‘Asian Revolution’, we have had in mind much more than the political changes in East Asia during the past twenty-five years. Revolutionary developments have affected every aspect of Asian society. Political, economic, social and ideological changes are discussed in the first section of the book….