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The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected
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The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected

4.49 of 5 stars 4.49  ·  rating details  ·  959 ratings  ·  169 reviews
The Insanity of God is the personal and lifelong journey of an ordinary couple from rural Kentucky who thought they were going on just your ordinary missionary pilgrimage, but discovered it would be anything but. After spending over six hard years doing relief work in Somalia, and experiencing life where it looked like God had turned away completely and He was clueless abo ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 1st 2013 by B&H Books (first published December 18th 2012)
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Glen
First, I need to alert the reader that I personally know the author behind the pseudonym, “Nik Ripken”. I’ve attended conferences he’s led on the persecuted church. I’ve met his wife. I actually went to seminary with his brother-in-law. I once even enjoyed a leisurely breakfast on the rooftop terrace of his home in east Africa. I first heard about Nik Ripken some ten years ago at a training conference for strategy coordinators led by representatives of the International Mission Board of the SBC. ...more
Penny
Wow. This book is heart-rending, uplifting, and incredibly, incredibly convicting. It's going to twist you up, but it's a good kind of twisting.

Nik Ripken (nom de plume) went into Somaliland in the 1990s to serve God. It was a dark, spiritually oppressive experience (everything they tried to do for good ended up backfiring, the few Believers they did meet were killed). So a tired, hurting Nik goes on a journey to other places with a history of oppressing and persecuting Believers to see how thes
...more
Mark Ward
A truly remarkable book. Very stirring and edifying. If I say, "a little light on the scriptural exegesis," don't think that in saying this I believe myself to be worthy to shine the author's shoes (or his wife's). And I can say that precisely because he himself is a humble man. And a godly one.

His insights into the persecuted church around the world would be difficult to improve upon. Who else has had his experiences? He not only ministered faithfully in a nation, Somalia, where persecution of
...more
Robert Ward
This book has affected me deeply. I am still processing it. I did not want the book to end. It put me in touch with a longing to see the Spirit work in my life and in those around me.
Richard Duncan
It will take a while for the message of this book to seek as deeply in me as it needs to go. It's the story of a Kentucky couple who ended up on the mission field in Africa. After fruitful ministries in several African countries, they next experienced heartache and confusion. They moved to Kenya so the husband could take trips to serve in Somalia, a Muslim country that experienced extreme tribal conflict, hunger, famine, and lawlessness in the 90s. After meeting horrific humanitarian needs for s ...more
Annette
Summary:
Nik Ripken (a pseudonym used for safety) began his "calling" for the mission field as a young man. His wife Ruth on the other hand had known since she was a young girl she would be a missionary. Nik and Ruth along with their three sons re-located to Africa in the early 1990's. Their home base was Kenya. Nik made hazardous trips to Somalia. Somalia was a country ravaged and oppressed by a drought and a civil war. Nik encountered a hell on earth each time he visited. He negotiated and work
...more
Rebecca
I've read quite a few books about the persecuted church, as well as missionary biographies, so there wasn't a lot here that really surprised me. I guess what really sets this book apart is its historical context. We all know that believers are suffering around the world, yet the majority of the books we find are about persecuted Christians at least one generation ago (for example, Soviet-era Eastern Europe). Even knowing that Ripken writes more than decade after the experiences he describes, he ...more
John
This was a challenging book. I'm still wondering how I will end up applying it in my life. The author was a missionary relief worker in Somalia before the UN took notice of that country. That is interesting and challenging enough, but it is only the begining. After he is forced to leave he travels the world to learn how Christianity can survive when it is persecuted and there the real story begins. It's a great book. Read it.
Christi
This was an excellent book. I am not sure the extent to which my life will be changed because of having read it, but there is no doubt in my mind that the change will be there. This book has offered a wonderful perspective on living for Christ and how to live BECAUSE of Christ.
Jamie
Wow. Powerful stuff.
Josh Meares
There were a lot of things I liked about the Insanity of God by Nick Ripken. But the one thing that makes me madder and madder the more I think about it is that he copyrighted what he calls "HeartSongs". Now, the basis of this book is that this man, whoever he is, is searching for God in the persecuted church. The audacity of taking the thing that he finds and copyrighting it literally makes me want to spit. What happened to "we don't peddle the Word of God for profit"?

How can I believe anything
...more
Gary
Great book. Missionary family from Kentucky who journey into difficult places to meet the needs of people and share the Gospel. Somalia during the Black Hawk Down period, later interviewing persecuted believers in Russia (under Soviet Gulags), China (underground churches), and some unnamed Islamic countries. The author (not his real name) sees New Testament movements of The Holy Spirit in many of these situations. Best book I've read in a while.
John
As if the title isn't provocative enough (and the title may be the worst thing about the book), Nik Ripken tells us in the second sentence of the prologue that Nik Ripken isn't his real name and the other names in his memoir are made up as well -- although nothing else is.
Lives would be in danger, he writes, if his and other real names were used. And if that seems like hyperbole in the prologue, it doesn't as the story unfolds.
Ripken tell us how he and his wife, Ruth -- presumably not her real n
...more
Daniel
I began reading this book over Christmas break at my brother-in-law's suggestion. We were discussing the almost total disregard for super-natural events in main-stream philosophy in spite of their ever-growing documentation. He referred to this book as a recent account of how God is working among people in non-Western parts of the world. Christians in North America, if I can serve as an example, tend to think we have perfected the faith and that we can universalize our experiences (or relative l ...more
Sherrill Hill
If you aren't already aware of how wide-spread Christian persecution is, this book will shake your world. You think the New Testament miracles are a thing of the past? Read this book to see what is happening today across the world, but don't expect to be the same afterward.
Meagan Cramer
Eye-opening and challenging

While it is necessary to take in all information with discernment and measure all things against the infallible Word of God, Nik's testimony is incredibly illuminating to the power and grace of God, even amidst such horrible evil. I have heard Nik and his wife Ruth speak three times about their experiences around the world, and have had my heart broken and eyes opened to the glory of our sovereign God and the joy found in persecution. Jesus is worthy of all--our lives,
...more
Sherri
One of the best books I have ever read on God's sovereignty. Also this book shows that God does not call us to comfort or to peaceful lives. God wants us uncomfortable. Finally great book on the 'hidden' church.
Ben Tarver
This book will challenge and increase your faith and commitment to Jesus Christ as you read first-hand accounts of our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. The Lord works in miraculous ways!
Sara Burt
This book is an incredible overview of the persecuted church. "Find Jesus. Find the gospel...Don't fear the cost or worry about the risk...Jesus is worth it! He is worth it all!"
Steve Gilbert
Definitely worth the read if you are interested in persecution around the world. Throughout the book I found myself thinking of those Christian groups here in the U.S. who claim that we are being persecuted. At worst, most Christians here are being inconvenienced. This book does an excellent job of describing what real persecution looks like throughout the world. The author, through testimonials from those in persecuted countries also shows how God continues to work miracles around the world. Wh ...more
Dave
Of course, Nik Ripken is not the author's real name. Revealing that could get people killed. And did.

The first half (or so) of the book covers the work of his humanitarian relief agency in Somalia, located blocks from the scene of "Blackhawk Down" … as it went down. (A guest, responding to buzzing noises around her head: "You have a mosquito problem.” Nik: “Get down. Those are bullets.”). They fed thousands, and watched thousands more starve as a result of both civil war and unrestrained greed.
...more
Vanessa
It's rarely that I read a book that captivates me from page one until the end, but more importantly a book that changes my perspective and view on the world. I was seriously challenged by this book and my understanding of missions, the world, and the way in which God works. It was through this book that I saw that this belief I hold so dearly is more than just an ancient book, it is more than my little world. God is at work in amazing ways, ways that are only explainable by the power and love of ...more
Grace
Reading this book opened my eyes to continuing miracles in the world. When the writer quoted the questions asked him by persecuted Christians in China, his comment says it all:
"In that moment, I began to realize how much I take for granted. I suddenly saw all the things that I have allowed to become common, things that would be considered miracles in the eyes of millions of believers in persecution. The truth is, these things we take for granted are all miracles!"
God IS present and at work in ou
...more
Terri
I am going to repeat some of the review my Aunt Donna gave this book. "Don't read it if you don't want to be convicted. Don't read it if you don't want to be amazed by God's work in other parts of the world. Do read if you want to feel hungry to have a closer relationship with the Lord."
This book will challenge and increase your faith.

"All over the world we encountered committed followers of Jesus who trust even His toughest teachings. They understand that anyone who wishes to save his life mus
...more
Linda
A remarkably, good book about a down-heartened missionary who finds hope in the stories of the persecuted. Loved it!
Judith
Don't like the title, but the book is a page-turner of how God is at work in so-called closed countries. Read it!
Jenilee Johnston Mullikin
Absolutely blown away by this book. My faith has been challenged and renewed.
Enoch Chhabra
A powerful book and a call to action. What have I been doing with my life and how am I living for Him. I wished Nik Ripken would have elaborated more on the stories, but he has certainly compelled me to relook my priorities and even my hesitation in sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone who would listen. It's so refreshing to read how the power of the Holy Spirit is moving just as in the early church. More sobering is how we Christian in Malaysia may have been living in a ...more
Paul Lunger
Nik Ripken's "The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected" is a surprisingly well written novel that takes us from Somalia & around the world as one man tries to find God himself. The book follows the author (writing under an alias) as he finds out exactly at what lengths people will go to express their faith & just how strong it is. From his humble roots in Eastern Kentucky to his travels around the world, Ripken reminds us just how important believes can be & learns to s ...more
Edie
What an inspiring and humbling book! In short the Ripken family were missionaries reaching our to Somalis in the early 90's at the beginning of the chaos there. After 15 years of living there they returned to rural Kentucky depleted, worn out and with a threadbare faith. Sometime later Nik travelled to interview Christians in countries of persecution. The stories he retells are amazing and humbling. The following is a quote from the book summarizing his observations well.

"This is one of the mos
...more
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“Don’t ever give up in freedom what we would never have given up in persecution! That is our witness to the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ!” 1 likes
“we can grasp the full meaning of the Resurrection, we first have to witness or experience crucifixion. If we spend our lives so afraid of suffering, so averse to sacrifice, that we avoid even the risk of persecution or crucifixion, then we might never discover the true wonder, joy and power of a resurrection faith. Ironically, avoiding suffering could be the very thing that prevents us from partnering deeply with the Risen Jesus.” 1 likes
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