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From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya: A Biographical History of Christian Missions
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From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya: A Biographical History of Christian Missions

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  840 ratings  ·  45 reviews
This is history at its best. From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya is readable, informative, gripping, and above all honest. From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya helps readers understand the life and role of a missionary through real life examples of missionaries throughout history. We see these men and women as fallible and human in their failures as well as their successes. These great l ...more
Hardcover, 528 pages
Published August 29th 2004 by Zondervan (first published September 1st 1983)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,638)
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Marisa Banas
Dec 18, 2007 Marisa Banas rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People on the mission field
This book changed my thinking about a Godly life. For so long I had assumed that I was to be a good christian--one that doesn't have run-ins with other people, personality flaws, and marital issues. As I turned each page and lived in another person's life for just a moment, I found that every biography included a messed up person that loved God with all their hearts. Flaws are part of our nature, and they have nothing to do with a calling to be an overseas missionary.

I was amazed to see that a g
Anna Redsand
Remember, it's a textbook. But I found it on the bookshelf in my brother's basement in Grand Rapids 3 years ago, and it helped me figure out the format I wanted to use for the book I'm writing now (working title: Missionaries). It also resulted in an online friendship with the author, whom I'm going to meet in person next month.
Brian Whited
This book is a great resource to understand the lives and journeys of some of the most influential missionaries since Christ handed over the task of mission to the priesthood of believers. Thankfully, this book portrays both the inspiring godly traits and also the shortcomings of each missionary. This makes the stories raw and definitely real. It is like the Bible in this aspect. Some of the missionaries had character flaws that prevented them from finishing their task well. While others pushed ...more
This book is short biographies of past mission workers. I only gave it 4 stars because I don't know of any other book like it--it's a really good idea and there's good bibliographies about each mission worker if you want to go deeper. It's also well written. However, I constantly found myself not being able to identify with these old school, intrepid, weird-at-times mission workers. The general storyline: dude sails from England, everyone dies, he goes a little nuts on his 3rd wife but has some ...more
Gavin Breeden
Great book. Some will read this and be shocked at the behavior of many Christian missionaries throughout history. Some of them were big jerks who mistreated the people they ministered to and some continually neglected or put their own families in danger for missions.

The point of the book, however, is an encouraging one: missionaries are not super-Christians, they are broken people who need Jesus just like you and me.

Fascinating and encouraging.
Josh Crews
Loved it. You get about 3-5 pages per missionary biography from the 1st century through the 20th.

When Hebrews 13 says "Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith", what a way to absorb the witness of the saints (missionary saints) over the centuries.
A great lesson in the history of missions, but even moreso that God will take those who say here am I send me, and cover them in His grace many times using us despite ourselves.
Anyone who thinks they have a heart for missions should read.
If you like pithy and inspirational missionary biographies, which I do, you will enjoy this.
Jeff Noble
Simply one of the best, most inspiring books available about Christ's global mission effort.
I read this in college andoccasionally pick it up. Some of the stories are still quite moving.
Will Lohnes
I read this book in 1989 and can still remember the author's intent and purpose. This is the book you should read if you are looking to have an intense overview and direct understanding of Christian missions from the perspective of evangelicals. Tucker is an expert in her field with both personal understanding and historical notations of missionaries, missions, nations, and continents of evangelistic endeavors. This creates a clear and indefatigable progression for the reader who just wants to k ...more
Dec 27, 2010 Michelle marked it as to-read
A biographical history of Christian missions. Rec. by Ann Voskamp for family read aloud
Rebekah Rooker
Jan 12, 2008 Rebekah Rooker rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
This is one of the best biography/history books about missionaries I have ever read!!
A well-documented biographical approach to recounting the history of Christian missions.
This was a fun and interesting read. Helped direct my thinking on missions and my future. A little bit.

The best: Ruth focuses on the personal stories of individuals and families involved in missions, not leaving out the good, bad, or ugly, but pinpointing the intersection of sin and grace in the human heart. It's pretty cool to see that God uses morally imperfect humans to shine the light of His love and truth in this fallen world. It means that He can use me too, despite my gross failings. It's
Zachary Guthrie
I highly recommend this book to anybody wanting a broad-view of mission in interdenominational lines. The book is fair and has moderate opinions of denominations generally. In this light, Tucker brings a summary of Christian missions as the Gospel and discipleship seen through the lens of humanity and humanity’s constant failure. The mission failure is not some ubiquitous of getting sick in some African country and living in mud huts (Tucker does tell those experiences, though with great attenti ...more
As suggested by the title (an allusion to Acts 1:8), Ruth A. Tucker tells the story of Christian missions from the Apostle Paul through the early 1980s ("From Jerusalem ..." was published in 1983).
She does so primarily through biographies-in-miniature -- no more than four or five pages -- of a great number of missionaries. At first, I thought this book seemed daunting. The publisher chose to lay it out in two columns per page, which is intimidating to my eye. Even though I am fascinated by missi
Review of 2nd Edition

I read this when I was a young lad and it made an impact on my view of missions. The book is engaging since it is biographical. Even though it is very ecumenical in its content, it offers great insight into the lives of those who serve as missionaries. This new version has deleted section IV: The Call For Specialization which deals with Medical Missions, Translation and Linguistics, Radio and Recordings and Missionary Aviation. It also adds a few new chapters to Part II, "Th
May 05, 2008 Rachel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Rachel by: the missions minded
Shelves: non-fiction
A extensive overview of missions from it's very beginnings to the modern era highlighting key people and events. The brief stories behind each person made what could have been a dry read a little more colorful, but be warned, lots of sad stories (especially romantically) and persevere through the early missionaries who tend to be fairly disappointing, sometimes morally, but more often by the sad fact that they were more often a determent to missions than a help.
Over all not bad, I had to read i
Peter B.
This was a good attempt at giving an overview of the lives of representative foreign missionaries throughout the ages of the church (with heavy emphasis on those from 19th century onwards). Due to the broad nature of the subject, the book is unable to get into much depth on the individuals it covers, leaving more to be desired. I would also have appreciated it if more time had been spent on the conversion of Europe in the Middle Ages. Yet, the book serves its purpose and is a nice overview.
As nearly as I can remember it teaches that if you marry and take your wife overseas to be missionaries, your wife will 1) go crazy, 2) die or 3) go crazy and then die.
You will then 1) marry her sister or 2) leave the children with your fellow missionaries while you go upriver to another mission and troll the single women there until you find one willing to take on the seventeen children your first wife had before she went crazy.
To be fair, I have never quite understood foreign missions - seems
Good read! A history of mission work, with fascinating individual accounts throughout.

Jul 20, 2014 Sarah rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 12+
Recommended to Sarah by: Sonlight
Although there was nothing wrong with this book per se, it didn't grab my attention at any point and wasn't very unique. It gives a brief biography of many missionaries from the days of the early church to the present. However it gets kind of repetitive as many people have similar stories. Furthermore, although the missionaries had extremely exciting lives, the book was not written in a particular exciting fashion. Instead it lists dry facts about each person and leaves it at that. So although a ...more
Michael Tien
Brutally truthful and inspiring.
This one is long, but I often consider reading it again because it was that good. It gives you a history of the world/Church/missions all in one very inspiring, very well-done package. Most of the long chapters are broken up into short biographies of individuals. You come away thinking that God must be behind missions otherwise how would such a bunch of misfits have reached the world? Other times you are inspired by what people are able to bear for Christ. Seriously, this book is a huge recommen ...more
I thought this was a good overview of a broad swath of missions history and the various figures around the world who made sacrifices for the cause of Christ. I could use this book with my kids by reading them a missionary story each day, and it would probably take a long time to get through all the figures that this book covers. When it comes to the coverage of recent missionaries and missiologists, the book makes me interested in further reading on some of the individuals, history, and issues t ...more
Bruce Morock
Oct 30, 2008 Charles rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People interested in history
Recommended to Charles by: School
Lots of great stories, but the book suffers from having too much content. Things seem to feel very dry at moments, and at other times I was so inspired and moved I wanted to dance. A great read, but very difficult to get through.

Add a point if history is your thing and subtract a point if you hate short stories
Sanjay Luis
This book has most interesting missionaries biographies. The author has cover all the possible area of each missionaries life. More than success the book speak about the faithfulness of each missionaries. It is great tool for History of Christian Mission subject. I recommend every Christian Minister must read it.
It took me several months to read this book, but it gives an excellent overview of Christian missions work throughout the ages starting with the apostle Paul. I later went on to refer to one of the chapters (about single women missionaries) for a web page project I made in college.
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