Ripken, Nik. The insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected. Nashville, Tenn: B&H Publishing Group, 2013, Kindle.When Nik Ripken is asked if he believes persecution is coming to America, he says, "Why would Satan want to wake us up when he as already shut us up?" (310). It's good logic considering the deep faith and explosive Church growth Ripken has experienced in places of great persecution. Ripken witnessed the entire community of Christians wiped out in Somalia. When he arrived during their civil war, there were about 150 believers. Four remained when he left. And not long afterwards, they were hunted down too. In the mist of this great loss, Ripkin's son died. It was too much for him to take. Ripkin seemed, but his own confession, to question God.
In his questioning, Ripken set out to find ways to help grow the church in places of great persecution. He started visiting persecuted countries to interview Christians. What he found fills the pages of his book, The Insanity of God.
The Insanity of God is easy to describe on one hand, and nearly impossible to explain on the other. I'll let this video try to get at the basics of the book:
What becomes difficult to explain are the feelings generated deep within the soul of the persecuted believer. It's not guilt, but something else. Gratitude maybe. Or instead, it might be a greater understanding of persecution as well as why American Christians seem so much more apathetic, so much less rich, vibrant, energized.
Reading The Insanity of God it might be easy to think the stories are inflated, but I have no reason, experience, or expertise to suggest Ripkin may have stretched the truth. It almost would matter anyway because one can easily image the same attitudes and responses of the persecuted. At one point Stoyan, a friend of Ripkins' and interviewee encouraged, "Don't you ever give up in freedom wen we would never give up in persecution" (311). How can anybody argue his point?
Nik Ripken has a ministry website at nikripken.com that's full of many more resources and stories. It's worth your time to check it out. I also encourage you read The Insanity of God.
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