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

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  19,273 ratings  ·  780 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 Kregel Publications (first published 2000)
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Average rating 4.24  · 
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Mar 31, 2008 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.
Vincent Chough
Mar 14, 2012 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
Mark Villareal
Jan 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book kept me glued to the story to understand this one mans journey, obstacles, and persecution for wanting to follow his faith. It is a recommended book for those seeking a story that is enlightening, and at times unbelievable, yet believable. I found myself in awe and reading more to uncover his journey.
Sep 26, 2008 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
Natalie Vellacott
Sep 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
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
Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
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 hu
Apr 17, 2008 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.
Dana Roberts
Dec 08, 2014 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
Talia DeBenedictis
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Praise God for the Chinese house church movement! This book is an auto-biography of Brother Yun, a leader of the Chinese house church movement in the midst of the Communist government.

A few thoughts/responses:
-God has been and IS powerful and miraculous
-God doesn’t require our ministry to be in relationship with Him
-The opposite of life is not suffering it is the absence of God. In suffering we experience and know Jesus the only means to true joy and peace

A quote from the book that captures a
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
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lots of controversy surrounds this book regarding whether many of the miracles Brother Yun talks about experiencing in this book really happened or not, since they resemble miracles found in the Bible. I went into reading this book with an open mind because I love a good biography showing God accomplishing His purpose by working through man.
To start with, this book is pretty intense. The things that Brother Yun went through are incredibly horrifying that no man should ever have to go through. T
Sep 15, 2009 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
Mar 18, 2008 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
Feb 07, 2015 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
May 14, 2011 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
May 25, 2012 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
Oct 05, 2013 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 dispa ...more
Maureen Russell
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow, so good. Unbelievable (yet true!) stories of miracles and persecution. And a faith that proves genuine through it all. So inspiring! Definitely for mature audiences. But highly recommend.
Dec 13, 2011 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 Jacob
Dec 23, 2010 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
Jan 23, 2009 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 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
Aug 20, 2012 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 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
Jun 30, 2015 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
Phil Morgan
Jan 07, 2012 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
Dec 04, 2010 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
Greg Bodwell
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book showed me many things including that I suffer and sacrifice very little for Jesus. It was convicting and also incredibly encouraging to read of God's amazing work in China and Brother Yun's heart for the gospel. The church truly does thrive in times of persecution as Christians must rely on God for everything. I highly recommend this book! ...more
Brandi McPeak
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: missions
Must read

I legit have no words. I kept thinking the book would end bc of this struggle or that but it didn’t. This man has endured more then his share, for sure.
Alex Lupoian
Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wow... Feeling pround of your devotion to the Gospel?
Read this, read Wurmbrand - it will put a break on your pride. Hopefully it did something benefic to mine.

Recently, a friend in mine asked me to tell him a great example of a man devoted to Christ.
I told him: Apostle Paul.
Him: yeah... He is a bit overused.

Well, brother Yun is a good example of a modern apostle.
(Not saying that he has the same authority or function as the first apostoles, but if there is still an office of the apostole, this
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Amazon rating 7 57 Dec 12, 2018 12:09AM  

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