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The Heavenly Man: The Remarkable True Story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun

4.32  ·  Rating Details ·  12,119 Ratings  ·  579 Reviews
The dramatic autobiography of one of China's dedicated, courageous, and intensely persecuted house church leaders.
This is the gripping story of how God took a young, half-starved boy from a poor village in Henan province and placed him on the front line for Jesus, in the face of impossible odds. Instead of focusing on the many miracles or experiences of suffering, however
Paperback, 351 pages
Published December 23rd 2002 by Monarch Books (first published 2000)
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The Hiding Place by Corrie ten BoomThrough Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth ElliotGod's Smuggler by Brother AndrewThe Heavenly Man by Paul HattawaySurprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis
Best Christian Biography/Autobiography
4th out of 222 books — 117 voters
Bruchko by Bruce OlsonPeace Child by Don RichardsonThrough Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth ElliotGod's Smuggler by Brother AndrewThe Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
Great Missionary Stories
11th out of 104 books — 103 voters

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Community Reviews

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Mikha ϟ
Apr 11, 2011 Mikha ϟ rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
i only read this book 'cause my mom kept on telling i kept on reading books about vampires, witches and such and that I'm turning one myself. so, what i did is, I took one of the books in my sister's shelf and it was this one. To tell you the truth, i just read this to impress my mom but i actually realized a lot of things. Let just say its a lot, ok?
Mar 31, 2008 Betsy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
An incredibly challenging view of commitment to the Lord. As horrific as his experiences were, Yun and his coauthor Paul Hattaway share the story with amazing joy and vision. I did lay awake at night thinking about some of the abuses Yun suffered, but this is not a depressing book; it is both tremendously humbling and extremely visionary.
Oct 22, 2008 Stacia rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: No one
Shelves: biographies
I didn't really enjoy this book. I knew there was a lot of controversy surrounding the book right about the time I started reading it. I asked some missionaries that we know in China what they thought of him. Unfortunately, they know him through an American speaking engagement rather than the house church movement in China.

Anyhow, while I want to keep my mind open to the possibility that God can/does work in miraculous ways I found this book over the top. I've read a couple other missionary bio
Vincent Chough
Aug 31, 2013 Vincent Chough rated it it was amazing
How far are you willing to go for your convictions?

How much are you willing to risk? This book received five stars because it challenged me on many levels. On the surface it is the autobiography of a Christian in China, named Brother Yun, born in 1958. His family was very poor, and early in adolescence Yun had a spiritual conversion. The early chapters read almost like a parable. During his life practicing and preaching the faith, Yun faced tremendous religious persecution including years of im
Dana Roberts
Dec 08, 2014 Dana Roberts rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
This story is not likely true. I have attempted to contact Brother Yun about some of the issues I raise here. But his staff member says he will only answer questions at one of his programs. Does that make sense? Can you imagine Billy Graham requiring this, surrounded by an adoring crowd, with a few hundred people wanting to thank him? Of course the offer was disingenuous. Yun is much more popular among Christians outside his own Henan Province.

Here are the problems. 1) The larger fellowship of
Apr 17, 2008 Derek rated it it was amazing
We read this as a family a few years back, but the story has never faded. It is definitely one of a kind. Brother Yun went through some of the most extreme torture, both physically and mentally, while he was in China, but he experienced the most important thing in life too, God mercy and grace. He fasted for more the 40 days, I don't remember exactly, but definitely experienced a life empowered by the Holy Spirit.
It is intense, but it definitely is a life changing book.
Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
Feb 27, 2015 Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
About this book:

“It is the intensely dramatic story of how God took a young, half-starved boy from a poor village in Henan province and used him mightily to preach the gospel despite horrific opposition.
Brother Yun is one of China’s house church leaders. Instead of focusing on the many miracles or experiences of suffering, however, Yun prefers to focus on the character and beauty of Jesus. Interspersed with his personal account are contributions from his wife, Deling, made mostly during her hus
Sep 22, 2009 Mac rated it it was amazing
this book is powerful. it's probably the most single, powerful story i've ever come across. it has challenged me more than any other book i've ever read.

yun's story (which is completely true) shows what surrendering our lives to Christ looks like. it's a clear picture of what living selflessly looks like, what being willing to go where your sent by God looks like and what trusting Him in unbearable circumstances looks like.

and it's a clear picture of what it looks like when God delivers us from
Apr 05, 2008 Chris rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Chris by: Jon Ball
This was a fantastic book. It tells the story of Brother Yun, a Chinese Christian who played a significant role in the house church movement of China. His autobiography tells the story of his inspiring devotion to Christ, his multiple imprisonments (and experiences of abuse and torture), and the amazing miraculous ways he has seen God work in his life. It took me a few chapters to get into the book, but then I was hooked. Some parts are especially gripping, including the account of Yun’s miracul ...more
Natalie Vellacott
Apr 24, 2016 Natalie Vellacott rated it did not like it
Shelves: missions
I felt uncomfortable when reading this book firstly due to the title. Should anyone really name themselves "The Heavenly Man?" I found the many miracles almost unbelievable and would like to have seen other sources that supported his version of events. I'm just not sure I can accept that these things really happened and as another reviewer has pointed out, several of the stories mirror things that happened in scripture down to the last detail (Yun's escape from prison)

I wouldn't recommend this
Dec 26, 2011 Brian rated it it was amazing
We in the West have such cushy lives. Even when things go badly for us, especially as Christians, we cry out to God and say "why are you letting this happen to me?" We think we deserve the good stuff--you know, as though it's our birthright to not have to suffer.

This book will forever nag me when I complain. What I endure as "hardship," no matter how severe it may be will pale to what this man, and literally millions of others around the world endure daily in the form of persecution for what the
Mary Garcia
Jun 05, 2012 Mary Garcia rated it really liked it
Two years ago, I tried to read this very same book, but not even halfway through I stopped because of lack of interest.

Now I see that it's required reading for our Values Ed class in school so I decided to finish it in advance. The same problem went up again. The writing style just failed to captivate me and bring me "inside" the story and so I was eager to finish it just to get it done with.

But as I progressed, I got used to the blunt writing style and really got sucked into the story which, i
Feb 07, 2015 Kimberly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I was very excited to read this book as I have heard about Brother Yun but had not read his story. Brother Yun received Christ when he was a young man and from the time of his acceptance he had repeated visions from God. When he faced imprisonment and torture for his belief he would come out of it praising God all the louder.

Written from his perspective, with assistance from Paul Hattaway, this book opens the eyes of Christians everywhere of how a journey with God may not always be easy, but it
I'm not sure why I am unable to give this outstanding book 5 stars. While many Christian biographies tend to be weighed down by an author's infatuation with their subject and autobiographies the self-importance of the subject, this book falls into neither of those pits.

Indeed, I was incredibly impressed with Brother Yun's humility in admitting his mistakes and missteps. He even shares occasions where the LORD supernaturally directed him (through visions and/or prophecies of others) but he disre
Dec 20, 2011 Jimmy added it
It is incredible to think that this book is the autobiography of a Christian who began evangelizing and preaching at the age of 16 under the rule and persecution of communist China. It is a heart-wrenching read as Brother Yun describe living the Christian life--from the serious famine of Bibles, illegal Church meetings, and evangelizing different parts of China. The most grueling part of the book is to read of his time imprisoned for the faith. Reading about his imprisonment seems so different t ...more
James Seawel
Feb 28, 2011 James Seawel rated it it was amazing
My rating of books is far more about how much I enjoy them, the impact they have, and how they make me feel than the actual quality or merit. Perhaps due to translation from the Chinese or for whatever other possible factor, Heavenly Man isn't very well written. It reads sort of like a collection of journal entries and letters kind of flung together. However, Brother Yun's story/testimony, as well as his wife's and various other co-workers and friends, is nothing short of miraculous. What a beau ...more
Mad Russian the Traveller
There are two major groups of readers that will benefit from this book. Those who are Christians will benefit by learning what it really means to follow Christ, and you will be challenged to live up to what Jesus Christ has taught. It is also a lesson on how a follower of Christ must cultivate a close relationship with Jesus in order be used by God to extend the mercy of God to those He has chosen to receive it. This is also a warning of what Christians in the West may be soon experiencing as th ...more
Jan 23, 2011 Stacey rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Stacey by: Carol
An Amazing book, with much to think about after I have finished. I do not want to stay in the same place after reading this book but I am encouraged to become more like Christ and surrender my life again to his call.

So many parts stood out, the faithfulness of the church in China, in the midst of persecution.... Brother Yun says, "Don't pray for the persecution to stop! We shouldn't pray for a lighter load to carry, but a stronger back to endure! Then the world will see that God is with us, emp
Apr 15, 2012 David rated it liked it
This is a great testimony type book by Brother Yun, his wife and close friends. Their testimonies are added to the book to bear witnesses to Yun's testimony since the stories are fantastic about what God did for him and what sufferings he endured. It was as if I were reading the book of Acts. I am sure that some who read this book will think his stories have been exaggerated but if half the stories are are true and the way they really happened, the sufferings and experiences are far more than mo ...more
Nov 06, 2014 Loraine rated it it was amazing
The Heavenly Man The Remarkable True Story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun by Brother Yun The true life story of Brother Yun. Liu Zhenying took Christ as his Savior at the age of 16 in 1974. For the following 27 years, he was a leader in the Christian movement in China which led to two imprisonments, many incarcerations, and persecution, torture and life beyond our imagination. This book truly made me realize how easy it is to take our faith for granted in those countries where freedom of religion is truly a freedom. While in more recent times, there has been more and more disparag ...more
Jun 30, 2015 Carol rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookfun-org
This is the biography of Liu Zhenying. At the age of 16,Lui
took Christ as his savior. He began a challenging life of
commitment to Christ. Lui, who is better known to all as
Brother Yun, suffered torture,abuse and imprisonments but
still remained devoted to Christ.
This was a very powerful to read. The language in the book
was easy to read but the content addressing how the Chinese
Christians live in danger because of their faith was hard to
digest…..beatings, forced abortions, sterilizations, i
Aug 20, 2012 Stu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To be honest, I was first put off by the title "The Heavenly Man." I just assumed that Brother Yun was lacking in humility. Boy, was I wrong!

In reading this book I understood that when Brother Yun was arrested for preaching the good news of Jesus, the communist thugs would torture him for information about the location of other Christians. They drilled him over and over for places where the underground church met. When asked what town he was from, he said "Heaven" in order to protect his Christ
Dec 07, 2012 Judi rated it it was amazing
A difficult book to read, but also a very powerful book that every Christian should read. Now I see why the church in North America is so weak. We are not truly committed to going to all the world and making disciples of all men, as Jesus commanded his disciples before ascending to heaven. From a western point of view it is hard to understand how Brother Yun was willing and able to go through incredible suffering for the sake of Christ. We shrink from suffering, not even willing to risk the disa ...more
Mar 02, 2013 Brenton rated it liked it
This is a hard book to assess, especially from the perspective of western Christianity. Brother Yun is a leading pastor in the Chinese house church. He has suffered incredibly for his faith. He is a tremendous witness for Christ. He seems to have a tremendous mastery of Scripture. Western Christians have as much, if not much more, to learn from eastern Christians as they do from us.

The book reads as if the life of Yun is supposed to mirror the apostolic Christianity of the book of Acts, complet
Rebekah Padilla
Dec 14, 2009 Rebekah Padilla rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book it was the first bigger size book i've raed at first to me it seemed overwhelming since i don't read that much but i couldn't stop once i started. It was a very provking book that made me realize how well off i am here in the states and how him, the heavenly man, has it in China.

He endured threw so much for his beliefs. It made me wonder if i was put threw as much as he was if i could with stand all that and still keep my faith strong. It also helped me in thinking tho
Phil Morgan
Feb 11, 2012 Phil Morgan rated it it was amazing
I had this book on my (real world) bookshelf for several years, but had not gotten around to reading it through. I was inspired to pick it up after reading "Safely Home" by Randy Alcorn. So glad I did. What a challenging and inspiring read.

Despite some malicious attempts to discredit his testimony, Brother Yun's story has been vouched for by other well known house church leaders from China.

Some of the early chapters left me very convicted about our Western versions of Christianity, but the final
Josh Crews
Aug 19, 2008 Josh Crews rated it it was amazing
I am only halfway through as of this review.

It is stunning, and the sufferings of Jesus are more precious to me because of it.

The story is autobiographical of Brother Yun, a poor peasant saved by grace, and used mightily by God. Check this part out: in Bible-scarce communist China of the 70's he desired a to see a Bible. Just a page would have been a huge blessing. And an old Chinese Christian told him to seek God in Heaven if he wanted a "heavenly book". He prayed and prayed and prayed and afte
Apr 07, 2012 Chris rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographies, 2012
From the publisher:

The dramatic autobiography of one of China's dedicated, courageous, and intensely persecuted house church leaders.
This is the gripping story of how God took a young, half-starved boy from a poor village in Henan province and placed him on the front line for Jesus, in the face of impossible odds. Instead of focusing on the many miracles or experiences of suffering, however, Yun prefers to focus on the character and beauty of Jesus. Interspersed with his personal account are co
Dec 04, 2010 Andrew rated it it was amazing
In stark contrast to a lot of what I like to read, this book is in fact the true story of a real man who, to the best of my knowledge, is still very much alive today.

Brother Yun is a Chinese Christian, and this book tells the story of his Christian journey and the horrific treatment he has endured as he lives out his faith. It also brings glory to God through accounts of the amazing things he has done in Brother Yun's life, rescuing him from all manner of torture and imprisonment and sustaining
Frank Peters
Aug 12, 2016 Frank Peters rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good choice for inclusion into the Hendrickson Class (Christian) Biographies, and is a wonderful biographical book of faith. Brother Yun has lived a remarkable life characterised by God giving him the strength and grace to go through intense suffering and persecution. Up until his escape to Germany, the book is excellent but the latter portion of the book changes is tone and is somewhat redundant, inefficient and preachy. What is being preached is useful and important, but it has not ...more
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Amazon rating 4 50 Jun 27, 2013 12:43PM  
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“It is not great men who change the world, but weak men in the hands of a great God.” 40 likes
“I feel so sorry that many Christians live in bondage even though Jesus has signed their release form with His own blood.” 23 likes
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