“Sometimes persecution should be embraced with all one's heart, and sometimes it should be fought with all one's might. It takes wisdom to know the difference.” (p. 273) And you can find much of that wisdom in Faith that Endures by Ronald Boyd-MacMillan. Many books on persecution tell individuals' stories, as does this one. Many describe the situation in countries experiencing severe persecution, as does this one. Many have inspiring quotations, as does this one. What set Faith that Endures apart from most other books on persecution is the depth of Boyd-MacMillan's analysis.
Boyd-MacMillan analyzes: why people kill Christians; how persecution develops in a society; the seven strands of persecution; the five elements that lead to persecution; five sources of New Testament persecution and how they play out today; the four global sources of world persecution; the four crises in China; the three forms of persecution in the West; four ways we fail the persecuted when we intervene negligently; seven effective tactics of intervention and when to use them; how to choose organizations to donate to the persecuted; how the persecuted church serves us; and three struggles of Christian living.
He explains the importance of martyrdom but he is concerned “that the fuller story of the contemporary persecuted church remains a tragically untold story. We hear too much of the deliverance stories of the few and not enough about the endurance stories of the many. There is a grander, greater narrative of God' sanction underneath the stories of individual pain, suffering, deliverance, and endurance. (p. 17) And he tells that story both in anecdotal and analytical forms.
Boyd-MacMillan divides the book into five sections. In the first, he describes individual countries with different types of persecution. The second section deals with legal and biblical definitions of persecution. The third section delves into global persecution with profiles of individual Christians and sample countries to watch. In the fourth section he offers suggestions on really serving the needs of the persecuted. And in the fifth, he leads us to confront ourselves and to see how the persecuted church serves us. The last section of the book alone is worth the price of the whole book.
The author writes in a fascinating and straightforward style. His incredible stories and inspiring quotations carry the reader along. His love for and experience with the persecuted church glows on every page. The profiles of individuals under persecution convict me. In some sections of the book he gently rebukes the western church and I have to agree that we deserve it.
Brother Andrew of Open Doors writes the foreword. Boyd-MacMillan mentions various books throughout the narrative that readers may want to explore, and he includes notes. I have two minor suggestions: I believe that maps would help many readers along with an index.
As someone who writes about persecution, I've read dozens of books on various aspects of it, from history to biography to global overviews to the problems of an individual nation, sex, or ethnic group. However, I place Faith that Endures in the top five books on persecution ever written. Anyone seriously interested in the persecuted church or in the spiritual future of this country needs to read this book. -- Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com
What does the persecuted church have to teach us?
Most of us are blissfully ignorant of the true extent and nature of the persecution of Christians today. On top of that, we don't know how to effectively help our suffering brothers and sisters. Now Faith That Endures stands as the most comprehensive and authoritative guide on the persecution of the church today to help you answer these important questions:
Through true stories from the author's many years of work supporting the persecuted church, you will see how God is building His kingdom all around the world. And as you become more connected to the experiences of the persecuted, you will discover new spiritual truths that will transform your own faith and witness