Campaigning for Christ is a heartening account of high caliber missionary service during a time when Christian mission work was especially difficult. Despite the challenges they faced, the Baehrs worked tirelessly to tell the story of Christ not just in China, but also in Japan, Taiwan and the United States.
As we study Chinese history from 1800-1950, we see two main dynamics happening in relation to foreigners and foreign missions in China. On the one hand, we see foreign imperialists forcing China to sign unequal treaties and taking advantage of an obviously weakened Chinese state, unable to defend itself. With these unequal treaties, we see an opening for foreign missions organizations that come into China on the coattails of the imperialists. On the other hand, we cannot ignore all the wonderful works that the foreign missionaries accomplish, including Bible translation, setting up schools, Universities, and the start of the modern day Christian church in China.
Missionaries have been criticized for a wide variety of reasons: In China, they came in with the European gunboats, which forced open the door to trade, including the import of opium. This led to one humiliation after another, and it was hard for Chinese to distinguish missionaries from their governments.
As the church expands its frontiers, new questions must be answered from the Scriptures. Each time the Word of God is mined for responses to a different culture, the Church develops a theology which is far richer than what it had inherited. Without contradiction or conflict, fresh dimensions expand the boundaries of our previous understanding of the Truth.