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Review: Sorrow & Blood: Christian Mission in Contexts of Suffering, Persecution and Martyrdom

William Taylor (USA), Tonica van der Meer (Brazil), and Reg Reimer Eds.) Sorrow & Blood: Christian Mission in Contexts of Suffering, Persecution, and Martyrdom (Globalization of Mission). Pasadena: William Carey Library, 2012

Review by Malcolm from SE Asia

This hefty volume does not claim to say everything that can be said about the Christian and suffering, but it is a helpful introduction to a number of conversations. Most of the writers have either lived through or observed first hand Christians who have experienced significant persecution or martyrdom as a result of their or their community’s faith.

The book has six sections but the second to fourth section are where the action is. The second section has some very helpful reflections on Scripture and theology including two chapters devoted to the prosperity gospel.  Adiwardana’s two chapters on the book of Revelation and on the writings of Peter and Paul I found helpful.

The third section covers some historical as well as contemporary case studies from around the world. Reimer’s chapter is insightful into the roles of governments in the South East Asian region.

Mission leaders (including ours) might find it profitable to think through the issues of preparation, support and restoration of those on the field who are increasing likely to experience persecution. This is what section four is all about, and something I personally had not thought about, although it could help me to be more focused on caring for those undergoing persecution or on preparing those who I know will.