by Arthur Wallis
Cityhill Publishing ©1986
Reviewed by: John Maniatty

Arthur Wallis takes the reader on a historical tour of the spiritual and political life of Communist China. He cites the Great Cultural Revolution as a time when “churches were compulsorily closed, pastors were imprisoned, and bonfires made of Bibles and Christian books. It seemed to outside observers that the Church in China had been wiped out.”

The author makes a strong case that the mere existence at all of the Church in China today is nothing short of a miracle. When you consider that this move of the Holy Spirit “has reached into almost all of China's twenty-nine provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities,” infiltrating a nation of over ONE BILLION people, it certainly seems miraculous. Moreover, this revival occurred when most of the mature church leaders were in prison, when Bibles were banned, and Christian literature was almost nonexistent.

The Church in China stepped back in time to embrace New Testament Church life with much of the same fervor the early Church exhibited. In some of the larger cities there are over 500 house churches with a membership of two hundred people or more in each church. They meet regularly for prayer, for worship, for teaching, for fellowship, for the breaking of bread, and their lives are dedicated to proclaiming the Gospel. The Chinese Christians have paid a price for the mighty miracles wrought by the Holy Spirit. They have suffered much persecution at the hands of the not-so-secret, Secret Police. This, of course, has driven them to their knees before the Lord. The Chinese have a saying, “Much prayer-much power! Little prayer-little power! No prayer-no power!”

China Miracle portrays their overall attitude: “For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died;and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” This is wondrously displayed in their attitude towards their jobs: they work only in order to support their evangelistic efforts! They don’t work to go to sporting events, to have two cars, a bigger house, etc. They have given their time, outside of their jobs, to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” They do this by twos or threes, with families and friends–their lives are first and foremost concerned with Jesus’ commands.

Arthur Wallis compares four ingredients of the ‘house church’ movement in his native England that formed the backbone of the revival that swept through that country in the seventies to the present revival in China. He notes that both revivals were: concerned with returning to the simplicity of the Gospel, brought forth anointed leadership, had genuine congregational participation, and expressed a distaste for the spiritual mixture in the professing church.

The message in this book is more than just an account of an incredible move of the Holy Spirit in China; it is an indictment of much of Western Churchianity while at the same time stirring faith for true New Testament Christianity.

In my opinion, that which Arthur Wallis reports as the “China Miracle” is actually normal New Testament Christianity! This book will challenge you to live your life with the same commitment to the Lord Jesus that these Chinese Christians do. As we live with this same commitment we may yet see a move of the Holy Spirit such as is recorded in this book. With or without our western version of Churchianity, His Church will be established. Jesus said, “I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” I believe it!

Read it!

Copyright 2014