Books I Am Reading – “Against the Tide” – the Story of Watchman Nee, by Angus Kinnear

Against the TideWatchman Nee died in the summer of 1972, after spending 20 years in Chinese prisons for his faith.  In that same summer, the summer of 1972, I was pregnant with my 3rd child, and Ken and I were struggling to plant a church in Morris, Illinois.  I knew nothing then of Watchman Nee.  But now, having read his life story, I am privileged to understand that, in some very small way, I am a co-worker with him, and I am looking forward to sitting down comfortably with him someday soon – and talking of the wonders of Jesus Christ and the privilege of serving Him.

This book today is out of print, first published in 1978.  I had read bits and pieces of it over the years – I’m not sure when I bought it – but I never actually sat down and read the whole thing until just this last couple of weeks.  I can’t tell you what it has done to my joy and confidence in the Lord.  The timing has been perfect for me because of the increasing evidence in our city, our country and in our world that persecution for Christians is just around the corner.

Watchman Nee was a preacher, a Bible-teacher, a Christian leader, a Pastor, a church-planter – a simple Chinese man with an all-consuming desire to serve Jesus Christ with his whole life.

At the end of his life, in a Chinese prison, he knew a very sweet truth:  “He was not, after all, in the hands of unscrupulous men, but of God….At some point, early in his life, Watchman had learned the lesson of “brokenness” whereby the Christian, being once touched by God as to his own strength, and permanently crippled there, (as was Jacob at Jabbok), discovers in that experience the ever new strength of God.  When he is weak, then, in God he is strong.”   – Angus Kinnear, Against the Tide, p 298.

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