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The Christ of the Indian road

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Jones recounts his experiences in India, where he arrived as a young and presumptuous missionary who later matured into a veteran who attempted to contextualize Jesus Christ within the Indian culture. He names the mistake many Christians make in trying to impose their culture on the existing culture where they are bringing Christ. Instead he makes the case that Christians learn from other cultures, respect the truth that can be found there, and let Christ and the existing culture do the rest.

223 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 1925

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E. Stanley Jones

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 42 reviews
86 reviews11 followers
September 20, 2019
This book was written by Stanley Jones almost a 100 years ago but is both timely and contemporary. More so, it is prophetic. India has been inundated by alien forms of White, Western (American and British mostly) evangelicalism with its heavy dark tones of implicit cultural and socioeconomic (neo)imperialism for well nigh a century. Now, with the ascendance of the Hindu right-wing BJP in politics with the help of the RSS and its hydra-headed nationalistic cohorts, evangelists and missionaries, both White and indigenous, have begun feeling the heat of a a politicised populace swiftly jettisoning the ignominy of its submission to external religions like Islam and Christianity across centuries, an era that forced them to feel ashamed of a hoary religion of variety, breadth and depth like Hinduism. Pastors and churches have increasingly come under attack, by both legal and violent means, from Hindutva fanatics bent on ending conversions to Christianity across India.

How did this terrible situation come about in a land where the Christians, who form a minority of hardly 5 per cent of a billion-strong population, now see themselves as second class citizens and fear for their lives? Read Stanley Jones and you will realise that the missionaries and conversionists from the West who strode across India laid the grounds for this backlash in many ways. This is not to disparage the work of some dedicated Western missionaries in the fields of education or health or seeking to preserve Indian languages. But, to quote Shakespeare in a cliche: "The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones."

The evil that a large chunk of white missionaries sowed in terms of despising Indian religions, culture and philosophies is being reaped by the Indian Christian community. The present government has a two-fold agenda. One is to end the flow of money from Western nations to India used to "convert" Hindus to Christianity and keeping White missionaries out as far as possible. The other is to keep the Christian community in fear and hobble indigenous evangelistic mission activities by means of weapons like anti-conversion legislation or direct force, including killings.

Stanley Jones had foresight about such developments. He understood the depth and value of the culture and philosophy of the Indian subcontinent and its people while at the same time being loyal to Jesus Christ as His disciple. Even then, in the mid-20s, he said “Christianity must be defined as Christ, not the Old Testament, not Western civilization, not even the system built around him in the West, but Christ himself, and to be a Christian is to follow him.” He wanted the people of India to have an authentic encounter with the Living Christ and for it to be interpreted in terms of an Indian Christian experience rather than through mere argument. He firmly stood against the planting in India of the kind of Christianity most Western missionaries worked towards which meant the raising up of an alien religious superstructure on the ruins of another religion.

He wrote: “I have dropped out the term “Christianity” from my announcements (it isn’t found in the Scriptures, is it?), for it had connotations that confused, and instead I have used the name of Christ..." He refused to attack Indian religions and presented Christ positively as being able to meet the needs of anyone who sought the Master's help. He refused to entertain or condone the standard white, Evangelical missionary's (and that of his Indian clones) feelings of superiority over the heathen or the pagans, "so ruinous to Christian work". Even then, he saw that “It (Christianity) must work with the national grain and not against it.”

He went one step further, as a disciple, when he asserted: "Christ must not seem a Western Partisan of White Rule, but a Brother of Men. We would welcome to our fellowship the modern equivalent of the Zealot, the nationalist, even as our Master did.”

There's much deep wisdom hidden in this book for those who would spread the authentic fragrance of Christ in India. It is a primer for all who would break the alabaster box like the sinful woman at the feet of Christ so that the entire Indian sub-continent, a big house of many nations, tribes, languages and spiritual flavours, be filled with that becoming fragrance.
Profile Image for Laura.
186 reviews1 follower
December 14, 2011
Powerful stuff. Convicting read. Great reminder to keep our focus on Christ. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Our focus is to be on Him, on the the 'who' of Christ, rather than getting sidetracked and overly caught up in the 'whats' of Christianity.

A couple quotes:
"We must call men not to loyalty to a belief, but loyalty to a Person. ...He creates belief."
"If some are afraid of what might happen if we were to give India Jesus without hard-and-fast systems of thought and ecclesiastical organization, lest the whole be corrupted, let our fears be allayed. Jesus is well able to take care of Himself."
"We who feel that we must be steadiers of the ark must remember that Jesus can take care of himself, even in moments when there seems most to fear." (pp. 166-167)

The book was written in the 1920s, so it's helpful to know that the Immigration Law that was a prominent discussion topic at the time established unequal quotas by country; the law was passed in 1924 and was basically repealed/replaced in 1965.
Profile Image for RANGER.
185 reviews17 followers
September 5, 2021
Profound, must-read Missionary Classic: inspiring, insightful, soul-stirring
I read a lot of inspirational, evangelistic, and mission-oriented books and testimonies. But it's been a long time since I read one that stayed with me the way this one has.
The Christ of the Indian Road is the classic work of Methodist Missionary to India and renowned Gospel Teacher, E. Stanley Jones. Jones' ministry spanned much of the twentieth century. He was a well-known public speaker and author. But it was his time spent as a missionary in India that had the most impact on his life and where he felt he found his life's calling.
As E. Stanley Jones has testified, he went to India to teach the Indians but ended up being taught by them. He did not mean that he had "gone native" or compromised the Gospel. What Jones meant was that his entire outlook on evangelism and spiritual matters was greatly enlarged by what he learned there. Jones recognized that most Protestant missionary endeavors to India were only effective among the "low hanging fruit" of untouchables and lower class Indians desperate to break out of the native social structure. The educated upper classes had largely been unreached and ignored by missionaries due to the perception that they were disinterested, even hostile to the Gospel. Especially in that time of rising nationalism and anti-Western protest.
In candid discussions with intellectuals and social elites, however, Jones discovered a great interest and curiosity about Jesus Christ. The problem was, most Protestant missionaries were trying to bring the Western Church, Western Christian Culture, and the social baggage (like materialism, racism, hyper-individualism) of Western Christianity into India instead of the simple Gospel message of salvation, of experiential faith, and the Person of Christ.
By changing his missionary message focus to presenting Jesus Christ as the end of all religion, the epitome of Godliness, and the "One Way" to understanding and experiencing the Heavenly Father, great revival began to break out amongst the classes of people long thought least likely to be interested in Christianity.
E. Stanley Jones was a product of his time. The Christ of the Indian Road was first published in 1925. The independence movement and a series of protests against British rule, led by Mahatma Gandhi's campaign of non-violence, were gathering strength. Pakistan and India were still one nation, Bangladesh would not emerge for another 50 years (no one could have known what a brutal bloody time those 50 years would be). It was a difficult season for Western Missionaries. Yet it was also a time when intellectuals and spiritual leaders of all factions, were looking for a unifying force. Jesus Christ, the Person -- not the Western Christianity -- was being viewed as the manifestation of God that transcended all traditions. E. Stanley Jones presented Him as such. That was the Key. And doors unlocked and opened all over the Sub-continent for E. Stanley Jones to step in and preach the Gospel to people others had long given up on. For a season, Jones even became an advisor to Gandhi. The stories in this book are thrilling... even if we know some of the hopes Jones held out for India would be dashed to pieces by the partition and the sectarian violence that dominated that landscape after Independence.
I have traveled throughout South Asia preaching revivals and crusades. I have a great love for the people of India and Pakistan. So for me, perhaps this book had a special meaning and grace upon it that others won't appreciate. But Jones is such a great writer and pastoral example. His love for the people of South Asia shines through. His writing style is conversational. And his testimonies are compelling. I believe any Christian with a heart for the lost will be inspired by this thoughtful and profound book, The Christ of the Indian Road. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Profile Image for Joshua Moran.
26 reviews
July 4, 2017
As I continue my way through the 25 Essentials list, I finally had the joy of reading Christ of the Indian Road over winter break. I owe this privilege to Eric Mingle who hooked me up with a pretty sweet copy. This was my first exposure to E Stanley Jones and his writings and I can tell you it won’t be my last.

At first glance I thought this was a book about his life but it turned out to be a book about missions. A book about Jesus. A book about taking Jesus to people and letting them accept Jesus, not Jesus and western culture. Just Jesus.

The more I think about this book, the more I like it. The more I think about what it means to take Jesus to people,to offer the Son of God and a relationship with him, the more excited I am. It also challenged me to know Jesus more. How I can I introduce someone that I don’t know? I must know Him to introduce Him. I want to do this. This book helped me think through these things and understand the figure of Jesus better because He is the God that loved the world not just western civilization.

A few quotes from the ever quotable E Stanley Jones:

Besides, let it be noted that if Christianity isn’t worth exporting it isn’t worth keeping. If we cannot share it, we cannot keep it.

Experience and expression are the two sides of the Christian life, and one cannot exist without the other. Kill either and you kill both. We have tried to get the church to realize it’s joyous privilege of soul-winning.

Jesus does not need to be protected. He needs to be presented. He protects Himself.

Check it out and let me know what you think!
Profile Image for Adam Parker.
231 reviews8 followers
February 19, 2015
There are three books which have drastically affected my daily life with profound teaching and wisdom; this book is one of them. E. Stanley Jones lays out very profound teachings in a simple way. He takes concepts I thought I've known my entire life, things I've taken for granted, and turned them on their head in a single paragraph. That could speak to the fact that I had a very weak understanding, and maybe it does, but more so, it speaks to the fact that Jones, through the Holy Spirit, taught and continues to teach through his books in a very enlightening way! Please, read this book if you are a follower of Jesus! If you aren't, read it, too! You won't walk away unchanged.
Profile Image for Blake Thompson.
10 reviews
September 11, 2018
E Stanley Jones is writing from a wealth of wisdom in missions to the Hindu populations of India. I was deeply struck by his love for India and her people. As I was reading, it felt as if I was just sitting at the feet of this man as he recounted his experiences and Christ's movements in India. Super cool book.
Profile Image for Jenn Bettinger.
6 reviews1 follower
May 5, 2019
This book is definitely in my top 3! It was incredible. Written in 1925, the pages are full of profound thoughts. The entire book oozes Jesus and causes me to be all kinds of messed up - in a good way. This is a must read!
17 reviews
January 23, 2021
Was a slow start but later couldn't put it down. Having lived in India I relate to how and why Jesus is so meangingful for the amazing people there.
Profile Image for Adam Gellert.
Author 5 books49 followers
November 26, 2017
Wow! What a great book, so glad I discovered E. Stanley Jones recently! This is one of the best books I’ve ever read, with so many memorable quotes that I felt like I was marking up every page. I was also amazed that so many issues he writes about in 1925 are relevant to today, like racial divides and immigration policy - it makes me realize we haven’t grown much as a society. E. Stanley Jones also emphasizes the need to keep it simple when going to other countries with the message of Christ, and let Him do the rest. Go out and get this book!
Profile Image for Bryan Neuschwander.
262 reviews8 followers
September 29, 2017
What a hope saturated read! Jones seems to have deeply known the person of Jesus--the book practically oozes the gracious spirit of the King. This is a profound, mature, and lively reflection on learning to love and live across culture and religion in the way of Jesus. Highly recommend.
Profile Image for J. Michael Smith.
131 reviews
March 22, 2022
Written almost 100 years ago (1925), we get acquainted with E. Stanley Jones, a gentle spirit, a sharp thinker, and a man who embodies much about the focus of his life: Jesus of Nazareth. Jones had already been in India for 17 years when he wrote this memoir. His time there coincided with the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, and the two were acquaintances and had several interactions.

Jones’s critique of traditional Christian missionary work and institutional Christianity is devastating. Sadly, his observations still apply. India’s 19th and 20th century experiences of Christianity were tied in with English colonialism, racism, and entitlement. Jones believed that Christianity had been portrayed exactly the opposite of who Jesus really was. Initially, he believed that his job was to present “cultural” Christianity to the Indian people, complete with justifications for the Old Testament, 20 centuries of Church history, and the entire Western civilization, “the whole line.” Very quickly he realized he had to “shorten his line” and focus on the person and work of Jesus alone.

The book is full of insightful phrases and telling illustrations. He tells how the Mayflower, after depositing the Pilgrims, left port to steal slaves from Africa, how a tribe of Saxons became baptized while holding their right hands out of the water… so they could continue to use their weapons contrary to the nonviolent Jesus.

Jones very quickly settled on six rules for doing missionary work in India. 1) Do not attack other religions. 2) Show how Christianity is helps fulfill the yearnings of other ancient religions. 3) Start with topics that are familiar to all and bring Christian perspectives to the table. 4) Be absolutely frank, no hidden agendas. 5) Allow people to ask all the questions they want, express opinions, and engage in friendly argument. 6) Share Christ as an experience, not an argument or theory.

Jones believed that all people need three things: 1) an adequate goal for character development, 2) a full and free life, and 3) a connection with God. If people had no connection with God, they would be vulnerable to devoting their lives to institutions and causes that would take life from them without giving back. Jones believed that a growing experience of Jesus, as portrayed in the gospels, was the surest path to each of those needs. He shared with people out of love for them and identification with their needs, not out of his own sense of triumph.

Jones firmly believed that Christianity and the institutional church could not hold Jesus. He also believed that people need not give up their native religions entirely in order to put Christ first in their lives. As with Judaism, Christ came to fulfill the Torah, not abolish it. The perfection and fulfillment of every great spiritual tradition can be found in the person of Jesus. If only institutional Christianity could rediscover Jesus… Jones devotes an entire chapter in this book to Gandhi and the similarities and differences between him and Jesus.

A theory he promotes in his book is "Evangelize the inevitable.” See where people are developing new powers and influence and spend time with those people, sharing the grace and love of Christ with them. Jones was not afraid to relate to anyone, however rich, poor, powerful, powerless, or frightening.

He is especially harsh on the American church for its racism and sexism, showing how practices in churches here have discredited the gospel message elsewhere. Over and over he recalls individuals in India chiding Christians for being so unlike Jesus.

His concept of “Christ of the Indian Road” invites people in India to picture Christ not as a westerner, but as one of their own who walks the roads of India. As he encouraged people to envision Jesus as one relevant to their own culture, he noticed how much people were becoming attracted to the Jesus of the New Testament.

For all who whose Christianity needs a tune-up, this book will surely do the job.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
14 reviews
January 22, 2018
I am somewhat stunned by how well written and thoughtful this book is, given that it was written in 1925. He records talking with Gandhi many times, and thinks of his campaign as a noble failure, which, of course, is what it was in 1925. Though his vocabulary of Christianization is not going to read well, his sense that Indian people should be encouraged to accept Jesus without the accompanying burden of Christianity as the west has practiced it is well thought through, especially for the time in which it was written.
1 review2 followers
August 9, 2018
Great book on missiology

There is much that can be extracted from this pivotal work regarding how to have a missional approach to the people/placed God has called you too.

E. Stanley Jones taught me to bring Jesus everywhere. Make Him simple. Proclaim unadulterated. Introduce Him to and trust Him with others. Be a learner of world-views and see where Christ is looking to fulfill because all truth is God’s truth. Saturate in Him daily and let the saturation pour to the hungry souls searching for it though they don’t know it yet.

So good. Read it.
Profile Image for Ron.
30 reviews1 follower
November 29, 2020
Jones describes beautifully what in the Indian culture I was only beginning to see during my time in India. He writes that we need to let Christ be the head of the church rather than exporting Western Christianity to a different culture. He tells of the concept of "Bhakti" inherent to the Indian of giving oneself in total devotion to another; as we are called in our relationship with Jesus Christ. I remember speaking with an Indian man while in India who spoke of that concept as what India can offer uniquely to Christianity. And now, I find myself envious of that openness to God.
Profile Image for Deb.
3 reviews
May 7, 2022
I found this book in 1983 while serving as a missionary in South India. It was life transforming for me, as have been all of his books. His heaven centered, Christ centered perspectives have kept me from slipping into the quagmire of culture wars. Loving Jesus and loving others is his mantra...and he was so very very good at it. And what a MIND! His thoughts and his ability to communicate are so rare.

Most especially as I read I can sense the author's genuine love and burden for mankind. May I always carry the same.
5 reviews
February 13, 2023
There are several very powerful stories and understandings of what it means to practice evangelism. Unfortunately, there is also a lot of fluff that presents the growing popularity of Christianity as being proud of Christianity.

It was also written by a white man in the 20s and, at times, read as such. At one point, while naming that the KKK is an embarrassment to Christianity, he comments that he has very fine friends who are Klan members.

Overall, this is a classic text for understanding evangelism but should be read with a keen eye to the who and when it was written.
Profile Image for Connie Leigh.
19 reviews
September 19, 2022
The parts I loved about this book I give a 5/5. However, because of the parts I didn’t, it gets a 4/5. Jones mentions “Paul’s greatest failure” which is at best misleading but more likely just harmful. He also makes some comments about friends he has in the KKK. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt because he was born in 1884, but I can’t in good conscience give this book a full 5.
Profile Image for Levi Britting.
76 reviews
September 20, 2022
Good book. His devotion to Christ is palpable, and he is right in his ideas to remove all baggage from Christianity. However, this book wreaks of subjectivism. Jones predates the overt philosophy that has led to this, but nowadays everyone loves the idea of Jesus. Few of those people are saved. Sinful hearts can interpret the Christ right out of Jesus.
Profile Image for Susan Kendrick.
640 reviews8 followers
October 15, 2022
I found this book really enjoyable. It was written almost 100 years ago and some of the cultural assumptions show that, but this reads like a memoir and a devotional work all wrapped up in one. A beautiful missionary biography that is also a love letter to India.
Profile Image for Jeannie Marie.
Author 2 books22 followers
June 21, 2018
One of my favorite books of all time. Mind-shifting. It changed my world view about Jesus and freed me up to just offer Jesus to my friends and not a religion.
Profile Image for Mike.
Author 7 books37 followers
October 20, 2020
My favourite of a number of Jones' books.
Profile Image for Cassian Lynne.
236 reviews1 follower
December 14, 2020
Some excellent and beautiful illustrations of who Jesus is! And in spite of a publishing date of 1927, modern key topics and questions are addressed.
Profile Image for John.
738 reviews23 followers
January 6, 2014
E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973) was a Methodist missionary from the U.S. who served primarily in India. This book, his first, was written in 1925. It seems remarkably contemporary, although Christians reading it today might feel a little less optimistic than Jones did then.
His overall thesis, as I understood it, is that he didn't come to India to bring Western civilization, or even to bring Christianity, but to bring Christ. His respect for the people of India and for their beliefs is apparent throughout.
Although this remains primarily a book for those of us who are interested in Christian missions, the historical backdrop is interesting because of course at the time India was still under the dominion of Great Britain. Jones felt that needed to change for the West to have any relevance in India.
Jones was a contemporary and friend -- and eventually a biographer -- of Mahatma Gandhi, and the chapter on Gandhi is particularly interesting.
But the whole book is inspirational, powerful and oh so reasonable.
Here are a few excerpts:

Christ must be in an Indian setting. It must be the Christ of the Indian Road.
... we are not measuring ourselves by ourselves, but in the white light of the person of Jesus.
We announce that we believe that we have discovered the center of this moral and spiritual universe -- the person of Jesus. That causes confusion and upset. But when men once find that center they find that an orderly spiritual universe comes out of chaos. But we do not impose it upon men, we share it with them.
He and the facts not only command us to go, but he, standing in the East, beckons us to come. He is there -- deeply there, before us. We not only take him; we go to him.
If Christ is in this, I do not see how we can be out of it.
I have had no plans that I was not ready to scrap, if they did not seem to be vital, or did not work. There was one concern and one only: how could I help India to see in Jesus what I saw.
... if the East is crucified on a cross of servitude, we are being crucified on a cross of materialism. We both need thee -- desperately.
I said, "Mahatma Gandhi, I am very anxious to see Christianity naturalized in India, so that it shall be no longer a foreign thing identified with a foreign people and a foreign government, but a part of the national life of India and contributing its power to India's uplift and redemption. What would you suggest that we do to make that possible?" He very gravely and thoughtfully replied: "I would suggest first, that all of you Christians, missionaries and all, must begin to live more like Jesus Christ."
... we are inoculating the world with a mild form of Christianity, so that now it is practically immune against the real thing.
We should be grateful for any truth found anywhere, knowing that it is the finger post that points to Jesus, who is the Truth.
To lose one's temper would be to lose one's case, for we are not there to win arguments, but to win men.
In my ministry I was to be not God's lawyer, but his witness. That would mean that there would have to be living communion with Christ so that there would always be something to pass on.
They forget many, if not most, of my arguments, but they bring up this matter of experience again and again. It grips.
If the emphasis in our approach to Christianity is "What?" then it is divisive, but if the emphasis is "Whom?" then we are drawn together at the place of this Central Magnet.
Every nation has its peculiar contribution to make to the interpretation of Christianity. The Son of man is too great to be expressed by any one portion of humanity. Those that differ from us most will probably contribute most to our expression of Christianity.
How is it possible to limit or demarcate the lines of the Kingdom any more? He steps beyond them, and shocked and frightened like the Pharisees of other days we stand and wonder how far he will go in his warm sympathy and understanding. He eats with publicans and sinners and with the Hindu too.

I wish the publishers had included a biographical note, although that's found easily enough on Google.
Most of the books I read are borrowed from the library, but I'm glad I bought this one. I already want to read it again.
Profile Image for Richard Bartholomew.
Author 1 book10 followers
May 5, 2016
E. Stanley Jones has sometimes been dubbed the "Billy Graham of India" for his evangelism in that country; however, the evidence of The Christ of the Indian Road suggests that Jones was a man of broader experience and imagination than Graham. While remaining true to his evangelical experience, Jones had friends and associates among the Hindu intelligentsia – particularly M. K. Gandhi – and appreciated the need for Christianity to be interpreted by Indians within an Indian context, rather than conflated with Western civilization and imposed from the outside. Jones explains that Hindu intellectuals are increasingly coming to appreciate the significance of Christ and the problems with Hinduism, and that this would lead to a Christian future for India: "The Greeks were the brain of Europe and did its philosophic thinking, just as the Hindus are the brain of Asia and have done the philosophic thinking for Asia… Jesus stood midway between the Greeks and the Hindus…"

This is not, though, itself an intellectual volume: it is based on a series of addresses given in the USA in 1925-6, and "at the request of the publishers the spoken style has been retained". Much of the book consists of rapid-fire observations that range from the insightful to the glib (the above quote has something of both), and his argument depends to a large extent on the piling up of anecdotes. At the heart of the book is the notion of Jesus as "Personality", with a capital "P", whom Jones pitches with old-time sawdust enthusiasm ("there is literally non on else on the field and nothing else on the horizon"). His approach made me think of "Jesus Plus Nothing", a phrase associated with the Fellowship, and it is worth noting that Jones was also an associate of Abraham Vereide.

One chapter deals with "the Great Hindrance" to evangelism: western racism. This prompts one of the strangest passages in the book:
At question time a voice came out of the back of the crowd, "What do you think of the KKK?" This was about four years ago, when I had scarcely heard of the Klan myself. But here in the backwater of India, a place where I thought the least from the outside would penetrate, the loud speaker was speaking and was embarrassing our witness and message. I have many fine friends in the Klan, and they are sincere and earnest, but since they are a religious organization and have the cross at the center of their gatherings, their racial attitudes are a decided embarrassment to us.
The book also includes an amusing assessment of Krishnamurti:
I had a long interview with him, found him of average intelligence, of rather lovable disposition, of mediocre spiritual intuitions, and heard him swear in good, round English! I came away feeling that if he is all we, as a race, have to look to in order to get out of the muddle we are in, then God pity us.
Profile Image for Jim Dressner.
141 reviews3 followers
June 30, 2014
This book, published in 1925, is both dated and surprisingly fresh. E. Stanley Jones seems remarkably free of the standard colonial mindset and lavishes much praise for many aspects of the Indian cultural genius. This book communicates his passion to have Jesus understood not from a Western point of view but rather from an Indian point of view, and expresses his view that this Indian understanding would enrich the global church's understanding of Jesus. This is now standard mission thinking--however imperfectly realized--but probably seemed radical at the time.

Jones' expressed optimism about Jesus' teaching becoming accepted widely all across India; I suspect he would be discouraged that respect for Jesus has not led to more followers of Jesus. It is disappointing to think of the lost opportunities and potential. Jones also projected the decline of Hinduism; I kept wondering how he would view the rise of Hindu nationalism and the recent electoral victory of the BJP.

The book is a surprisingly easy read, and has nuggets of wisdom that apply broadly to believers anywhere. I was particularly struck by the chapter entitled "The Concrete Christ"; while it didn't particularly fit the logical flow of the book, Jones made an interesting case for Jesus acting and teaching in strong, specific "concrete" ways.
Profile Image for Kathleen Dixon.
3,623 reviews59 followers
January 14, 2010
This book was published in 1925, and the author of this book had been a missionary in India for many years He felt himself to be a part of the country. By his account he was highly successful in introducing Christ to India - because he didn't attempt to spead Western Christianity, but to witness to the Christ himself. In the words of 100CBCC 100 Christian Books That Changed the Century, he 'questioned stardard missionary procedure as well as British colonialism,' and that this 'was a key book in preparing the way for the future (p.47)'.

For a man of his time he was quite remarkable, though he was still limited by his need to proclaim Jesus as the Only Way. Still, if he had moved further he would then have been completely lost to the Christianity of the time and would thus have had little influence. So I would say that the seeds he planted (e.g. his praise of Gandhi, and his call for people to interpret Christ within their own context) proved ultimately fruitful. Though it took a long time, there has been some excellent, recent scholarship on the culturally interpreted Christ. JOnes would be pleased.
14 reviews5 followers
March 17, 2014
This book is truly eye opening. Jones was a missionary to India for many years, and during that time he was compelled to think about the message of Christ over and against the idea of Christ as propagated in the United States. Much of the book is dated with events and illustrations from his life, but it also contains some deep metaphysical reflection on the exclusivity of the Christian faith. Jones was not given to criticizing other faiths (and is helpful in this regard), but he never sacrificed his belief that Jesus is the only true hope for the world. He wanted to shake (burn) the chaff from the wheat, to use a biblical metaphor, and in this regard the book is a good teacher. It helps us to focus on the Christ of the Bible, not the Christ who has frequently been reinterpreted in light of modern sensibilities.
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