The Heavenly Man by Brother Yun and Paul Hattaway records the life and work of Brother Yun, a Chinese Christian who has undergone persecution from unbelievers and believers alike, but who continues to serve God with all of his heart. He has witnessed miracles like those in the Book of Acts, and still gives the glory to Jesus.
(photo credit: Asia Harvest website for this picture, and Goodreads for book cover in header image)
The Things I Liked
- Reading this book was basically like reading a second volume to the Book of Acts for me…except all the stories were new and contemporary.
- Brother Yun gets into some deep topics, but this book is never dull or preachy–it’s always engaging and it revolves around how Jesus manifested in Yun’s life.
- It’s in China!!
- Brother Yun is human, and this book is okay with showing that. I appreciate when a person’s flaws are shown so we can all be inspired.
- It was convicting and inspiring to see how Yun was desperate to experience God and worship and get a Bible and all those things I personally take for granted.
- It wasn’t written to where it was super hard to remember a bunch of foreign names, which I definitely appreciate.
The Things I Didn’t Like
- Some sections of it were gory or graphic for me (I am a bit sensitive to those kinds of things), and during one or two I literally had to pause, look out the window, and smell some fresh air before continuing. (more on this during the Note to Parents section)
- The first chapter had a little bit of honoring the dead in it–Brother Yun basically just put a big importance on headstones and such for a dead missionary, and corrected some Christians (who didn’t place an importance on the dead; instead placing the importance on the mission of that missionary) for not honoring the dead missionary with a headstone. It didn’t come up again that I remember.
Note to Parents
Note: Y’all should know that you can expect my age estimates to be very conservative, and not at all representative of today’s culture. These will be based off of my own homeschooled, protected life and, most importantly, Biblical principles. Also do remember that my age estimate will be based off of my experience of kids at various ages (including myself), but maturity and level of exposure play a big part in determining an age. You obviously know your child better than me, so my estimate should only be for reference.
I would recommend your child is at least 12 before embarking on this book alone, but some kids that are exposed to more graphic video games or movies probably won’t find some of the content nearly as disturbing as I did. If your child is younger than 12 I would recommend you pre-read it. Some content was:
- Using electric batons for torture, including putting them in the mouth
- Throwing a prisoner into human waste and forcing him to stay there
- Cruel beatings
Note that these scenes are a part of the journey and are never glorified as the main part of the story. The spiritual journey this book takes one on is well worth the few, relatively mild scenes, so, even if you determine your child is too young, consider reading the inspiring sections aloud at devo time.
I would definitely recommend this book! God increased my faith and challenged me through this book. It was worth every penny. I know you won’t regret purchasing and reading this book!
How to Purchase
I recommend purchasing The Heavenly Man from Asia Harvest. That way, you know your money is going to strengthen the Chinese ekklesia, along with our other brothers and sisters all over Asia. While you’re over there, check out their ministry! If their price is a bit out of budget, check out ThriftBooks–I bought my copy for around 4 dollars from them and it was in really good condition when I received it.
Do you have any questions about The Heavenly Man you’d like to ask before you purchase it? Are there any books you’d particularly like to see me review? Do you have suggestions for the layout or content of these reviews? If so, please drop a comment below or contact me in my contact form. I look forward to hearing from you!