Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Book Review: Wisdom of the Sadhu

When I read the description of Wisdom of the Sadhu I immediately knew I was interested. Sundar Singh is supposed to be India's most famous convert to Christianity. As the wife of a Christian Indian with obvious ties to India I was eager to read this book, even though I never had heard of Singh.

This book is his story. A convert to Christianity disowned by his Sikh family, he chose to embrace Jesus while refusing to adopt a Western interpretation of what being a Christ follower had to look like. The book is a mixture of a biography and the man's own writings.

Unfortunately one of the burdens that the era of colonialism left us with was often the idea by former colonized countries that Christianity is a "Western" religion. This is despite the fact that not only is God universal but the ancient Judaism that was Jesus's backdrop is far more Eastern than Western. However, as Christianity flourished in the West it absorbed and shaped its culture so that when the era of colonialism drew them East they struggled with eyes to see what was truly Christian and what was simply the European cultural expression of Christian faith.

I think part of what fascinated people about Sundar Singh was his very Indian perspective on Christianity, which challenged preconceptions both by non Christian Indians and Western Christians. Regardless of theological agreement it is a good thing for writings by men like Singh to be included in the conversation on Christianity so that we learn how to see beyond culture to see Christ more clearly.

I received this book for free in exchange for my unbiased review.

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