Watchman Nee Meets T. Austin-Sparks

T. Austin-Sparks was 49 years old when Watchman Nee visited him in England and spent 8 months with him. Nee was 34. This meeting was a turning point in the history of the church, and one of the results was Nee’s “The Normal Christian Church Life” in English.

Note: Watchman Nee’s groundbreaking book The Normal Christian Church Life was translated from Chinese to English with the help of Sparks and his friends. The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee is a different book, though it was based on many of the spoken messages that Nee delivered on this same trip.

As far as I’m concerned, T. Austin-Sparks and Watchman Nee had the greatest revelation of Jesus Christ and God’s Eternal Purpose in Him since Paul of Tarsus. Their insight into Christ exceeded that of Augustine, Calvin, Luther, Wesley, etc.

Yet, as with most of God’s choicest vessels, few people know of them today.

Here’s a rare photo of Watchman Nee and T. Austin-Sparks together. Giants in the land!

Lord, give us days like that again. Where your choicest vessels whom you’ve called to restore your Eternal Purpose come together to labor arm-and-arm.

Watchman Nee

Related:

3 Books by DeVern Fromke All Christians Should Own

Watchman Nee’s Best Books (Discounted Box Set)

T. Austin-Sparks: A Major Influence on My Life and Ministry

Unveiling Christ

Rethinking Christian Conferences

From Eternity to Here

The Best Books by Sparks and Nee

Jesus Manifesto

The Eternal Purpose

Letters Regarding Watchman Nee & T. Austin-Sparks

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Comments

  1. David says

    Having read and listened extensively for over 40 years to the materials of both Nee and Sparks, I don’t think that there is any question that Sparks had a much greater revelation and apprehension of Christ. Despite a number of really good books by Nee, there is a thread of legalism in his thinking, as well as some error on church authority and the nature of the church itself. Sparks, on the other hand, puts the Cross and the Person of the Living Christ as central. It is absolutely amazing to me that there are websites today that completely misrepresent Sparks. Some of those websites are run by fans of Watchman Nee.

  2. Zenebe Deneke says

    Bless you. I have read more than twenty books written by Watchman Nee. The Normal Christian Life is lovely, but The Spiritual Man is my favorite of all the spiritual books that I have read.

  3. says

    I do agree with you on Watchman Nee though with some caveat to his dualsim and slight dipping into legalism (no card games) What I’ve read of Sparks I have liked. My list would include Major Ian Thomas and a few newer authors like Andrew Farley (the Naked Gospel) as well as an author I have enjoyed over the last few years by the last name of Viola…

    • says

      I don’t endorse all of Nee’s work. His views progressed as he got older. But the two books on the list are classic, as well as what’s on http://frankviola.org/top100 – in the normal Christian church life, I’d quibble with him about making the apostle an “office.” But other than that, the book is amazing.

  4. Leon Elijah says

    The union of these two sons of God was divinely occastrated for greater Kingdom Agenda. These men continue to influence my theology . I have almost all of there books and have just completed The Spiritual Man which I believe is the one of the critical subjects that must thaught to our Households today. Learning that these two men had connected is very comforting and makes me smile with great admiration.

  5. says

    Watchman Nee’s books were a great influence in forming my understanding of the church. This meeting of the giants is a really interesting piece of history. Thank you for sharing it Frank!

  6. Liz Heywood says

    Your mention of “The normal Christian Church Life”reminds me of the time years ago when my husband asked for a copy in the local Christian book shop. The assistant looked around the shop and then produced a copy from under the counter, saying that it was dynamite but not approved of by the established churches!

  7. alam says

    I just bought ‘The School of Christ’ – never read ‘TAS’ – but I’ll give it a go! Judging by what I’ve read about them, I’d pay a lot of money to attend a prayer meeting with TAS and Watchman Nee……..!

  8. Guy says

    Does anyone know where you can get an audio version of The School of Christ? I tried Christian Audio but they don’t have anything by Sparks.

  9. Rishi Sriram says

    The normal christian church life has really, really influenced the way I view God’s Bride.

    Thanks for the recommendation of the School of Christ.

  10. John Wilson says

    need to get “The Normal Christian Church Life!” Just finished ordering more of T. Austin Sparks. I am so thankful for having read Pagan Christianity and learning about organic church life!

  11. Kathy says

    Yes, I got through The Normal Christian Life too. Fantastic! I got that on your recommendation also Brother Frank. Truly an avenue of Christ I am thankful for, but I didn’t realize there was another book titled so similar. I ordered The Stewardship of the Mystery by Brother Sparks and the Ultimate Intention by Brother Devern Fromke, and From Eternity to Here by our Brother Frank. Found them at the same. I tell you, a journey through Christ! How blind I was for so long. The voices of Christ in our Brothers and Sister can swell the heart to a passion adventure-Christ.
    Thank You, Brother Frank

  12. Dwayne says

    WoW ! Sparks and Nee – sharing, caring and communion. Wonder what they joked about! And to think the result was The Normal Christian Church Life !

  13. says

    Same here, Guy. I’ve never recieved so much insight on our Lord in a single book, such as I did in “The Normal Christian Life”. I suggest every Christian reads this wonderful work, I believe it would change the Body as a whole if more believers were to read it. My next venture is T. Austin Sparks.

  14. says

    I am very thankful for the Watchman Nee’s and T. Austin Sparks’ “ministries”, God really used “The Normal Christian Life” to create a huge turning point in my Christian life and show me truth that I never knew, but that really should be foundational basics for the Church. “The School of Christ” is excellent, I just recently read it. I love seeing people so obsessed with the person of Jesus Christ and not just information about him.

  15. Guy says

    Frank, I read Nee’s ‘The Normal Christian Life’ after I heard you mention him as one of your greatest influences and I was not disappointed. The teaching is extraordinary. Do you have a similar recommendation from T. Austin-Sparks’ works?

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