The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken–Book Review

I received a copy of a devotional by this author,The Insanity of Sacrifice by Nik Ripken , — Book Review and I enjoyed it so much that I checked his earlier book, The Insanity of God, out of the local library.

In this spiritual autobiography (one of my favorite genres), you’ll learn Nik’s full story, and it’s fascinating.  In response to God’s call, Nik travels from his home in Kentucky, to seminary, then with his wife, Ruth to Africa and eventually to Russia, the Ukraine, China and more.  He takes the direction of the Great Commission in Matthew seriously, and maintains it is for all Christians.

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.  When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Matthew 28:16-20

In Somaliland he deals with discouragement.  After years of relief work, providing food and medical care to starving people, he still feels he has failed in taking the gospel to this largely Muslim country, because very few converts were made.  He even questions whether he should be trying to convert people who will then suffer, be persecuted and possibly die for their faith.

This leads him to a study of persecuted Christians around the world, and what keeps them going.  He finds that in many places, Christians expect persecution.  Being imprisoned for the faith is normal.  Becoming mature in the faith requires suffering, and a willingness to sacrifice for God and others.

You’ll find this to be a challenging read.  It made me ask myself hard questions, and look at my Christian life in a different way.  According to Ripken, the miracles and signs of the church described in the book of Acts are still going on around the world.  I certainly recommend it.  Five stars!

Persecuted Saints

While on vacation I read a book entitled, Hearts of Fire, the story of eight different women who were persecuted for their Christian faith.  It was published by Voice of the Martyrs, an organization started by Lutheran pastor Richard Wurmbrand and his wife Sabina in 1967.  Sabina’s story is one of the eight recounted.  Both of the Wurmbrands were arrested and imprisoned in Romania after World War II.  In spite of this, they continued to speak and spread the gospel. After being ransomed by the Norwegian Mission to the Jews and the Hebrew Christian Alliance in 1965 they came to the United States determined to speak for persecuted Christians throughout the world.

Hearts of Fire: Eight Women in the Underground Church and Their Stories of Costly Faith

The organization has many books, videos, brochures and other products to help you and your church learn more about the persecuted church.  They offer many ways to help, including prayer, donations and letters of encouragement.

This book is not easy reading for those of us who live in a country where we are free to practice and proclaim our faith.  You’ll be pulled into the testimonies of these faithful women from different cultures and times who truly put Christ first — before their jobs, their families, their freedom, even their lives.  It is humbling and inspiring;  it teaches much about faith and forgiveness.  I certainly recommend this book to our readers, and hope you will visit the Voice of the Martyrs website for further information.  You can also call 800-747-0085 to order materials or receive a free monthly newsletter.

https://www.persecution.com/

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 5:10