Book Review: “Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret” by Howard Taylor, Maria Taylor, and Gregg Lewis (1932)

This much-shortened version of the two-volume biography of Hudson Taylor is a must-read for anyone interested in missions, biography, or history–and I do not recommend such things lightly. I can attest that, while I sloughed my way through large portions of the the enormous biography written by Taylor’s son and daughter-in-law, the intricate yet edited details they record of Hudson Taylor’s life were just a bit too many (as if no one had informed them when enough was enough). In Spiritual Secret, however, Howard Taylor got the memo on overwriting, and he has filled this tiny book with every major nugget he could mine out of the original biography. And what precious stones they are.

Hudson Taylor was a man whose life was, by choice and divine intervention, built on faith. In preparation for his missions work in China, he purposefully forewent regular income by refusing to ask for financial help from anyone (including late pay from his own employer!), and he limited his diet to what he thought might be his only sustenance overseas. This process and prayer prepared him for his first term only partially, but that first term–with all its worldly missionaries, war-infested cities, illnesses, and salary-less years–prepared him entirely for his ultimate lifetime in the lost land of China. You are probably familiar with Taylor’s purposeful transformation into the dress and lifestyle of the common 19th century Chinese. Such an inspired, before-its-time decision ultimately grew into the modern ideas of acculturation or indigenization, but to Hudson Taylor it was simply common sense. He craved to reach as many souls of China as possible, and he did so the best he knew how: through prayer and wisdom.

Such a life is what Spiritual Secrets depicts, and I strongly encourage you to pick up a copy. If you’re church library does not yet have one, let them know how much they are missing out.

©2011 E.T.

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Gallery | This entry was posted in Biography, Book Review, Chinese History, Evangelism, History, Missions, Non-Fiction, Pleasure. Bookmark the permalink.

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