Published in 2001, The Heavenly Man, a testimonial account of a Chinese brother who faced persecution in China named Liu Lao Zhuang, also known as Brother Yun, written by Paul Hattaway, has recently stirred up a controversy of misunderstanding that the author hopes to clarify in an open letter posted on the Asia Harvest website.
Hundreds of books have been distributed in nearly twenty languages since 2001, and it was even named Christian Book of the Year in 2003 and Best Biography in 2004 in the UK.
Recently, in the past few months, however, there have been attacks on Yun primarily from Titus Pan, a man that once supported Yun, who lives in Hamburg, Germany, the author wrote. His claim is that Yun is a fraud, a con-man, a liar, and a thief and has endorsed this claim on the internet in the form of email campaigns, videos, cassette tapes, and DVDs.
Among a few of the accusations, there is a claim that Yun's testimony is impossible, that he swindled money from his meetings around the world, and that he claimed to be the major house church leader.
The open letter states that Yun's testimony is possible and suggested that before his fame, there were many that testified to his accounts. In addition, Hattaway said that Yun does not take care of his money when he speaks at different ministries, and that he never claimed to be the house church leader, but that he often wanted to be known as, "a Christian brother from China."
The book has touched the lives of many people, who bought the heavenly man in bulk and passed them along to their friends and family, but because of the controversy, some have asked that their books be refunded, the author said.
But, despite this, there are many reviews praising the book on websites, such as Amazon.com and some Christian websites saying that the book was "inspiring." One well-known evangelist from Germany, Reinhard Bonnke was blessed by the book and said, "You may begin reading the book, the Heavenly man on your couch, but you will finish it on your knees."
“Anyone reading these pages will not remain the same," he said and, Brother Yun's testimony allows us to start thinking about the message behind the book, which is, "In the fiercest of persecution of God's people […] they out live and out die their enemies of God and fulfill the world with the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ […] this is not only true for China, but also for the rest of the world."
Paul Hattaway has written the following books Operation China: Introducing all the Peoples of China and Peoples of the Buddhist World: A Christian Prayer Guide.
To view the open letter visit