The Insanity of God may sound like a strange title for a book that seeks to glorify God, but once you read the stories enclosed in this work, you will understand.
Nik Ripken (whose name is changed for security purposes) and his family started with missionary work in Malawi in the 1980’s. Through a series of events Nik was able to be involved with relief work in war-torn Somaliland long before the United States or United Nations got involved. What he saw and experienced in that desperate place made a lasting impact on his life.
After seeing persecution of Christians face to face he decided to travel the world and discover what characteristics of the church allowed it to survive and even flourish in the midst of such conditions.
Most of the book, then, is spent chronicling the stories of Christians from all over the world that experienced persecution. These accounts are stunning. The faithfulness of these believers despite their conditions is humbling. How little persecution we in the West endure, yet how weak our faith is. This book will certainly cause you to examine your own relationship and commitment to Christ and his church.
There are many stories from this book I could share but of the ones that caused me to stop and say, “Wow!” this was the most stunning.
Ripken is lead to a remote, rural area in China where he is able to meet with many leaders from a persecuted house church movement. He is undoubtedly the first non-Chinese believer they have met. Once man asks, “Do the people in other countries also know about Jesus – or is He still known only in China?”(pg. 242) That question alone is incredible!
Ripken goes on to share about how there are believers in other countries and that in America these believers pray for them, the persecuted Chinese. Later that night a young lady asked him, “Since Jesus is known in other countries, are the believers there persecuted like we are?” (pg. 243) Nik shared about believers in two Islamic countries and their experiences under great persecution. Suddenly, the crowd of Chinese believers was stunningly silent. The night ended there.
The next morning Nik was awakened to the sound of screaming and yelling. His first thought was that the police had come and were arresting the house church leaders. Soon he discovered though, that the sound he was hearing was that of dozens of Chinese believers crying and shouting prayers to God for believers in the two Islamic countries he had mentioned the night before. One man explained the scene, “They were so moved by what you shared last night about believers who were truly persecuted, that they have vowed before God that they will get up an hour earlier every morning to pray for those Muslim-background believers that you told them about…until Jesus is known throughout their countries!.” (pg. 244)
The Insanity of God is filled with stories just like this. They will deepen your faith, challenge your prayer life, and cause you to worship anew the great, mighty, and global God we serve.