• Dr. Timothy X. Merritt

Missional Movement - Suffering & Grace

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The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken


Nik Ripken is a pseudonym. The author uses this name, because if his real identity were revealed, it would put the lives of the people he ministers to at grave risk. In The Insanity of God, Ripken narrates a tale in an easy-to-read style with a “down-home” feel about a simple Kentucky man who travels as a missionary to Africa with his family. In the process, he comes face-to-face with unimaginable human depravity, as well as grace from God that almost defies conception.


After suffering from malaria in Malawi, and enduring the painful loss of a son, Ripken and his family find their way into 1990’s Somalia. They were already in Mogadishu in 1993 during the Black Hawk Down incident feeding 50,000 Somalis per day through their missionary outreach.

After sharing a Eucharistic meal in secret, Ripken’s friends were butchered by Islamic militants, and he and his family came back to the US to recover both emotionally and spiritually. It is for laborers like these I imagined the Tyropoeon Valley Center. Normally, that would be the end of an amazing odyssey, but for Ripken, this tale is just beginning.


Tormented by his losses, Ripken seeks to understand how so many Christians seem to thrive in the most repressive environments on earth. So the next time he sets out, it is to learn, not to teach. He just goes to the worst places on earth, finds Christians, and asks them how they are doing it. Those familiar with my upcoming novel will recognize this as basically the same task my protagonist is given.


What emerges is so incredible that it almost defies description. People from all over the world pour out their stories to Ripken, and the stories of faith and God’s active work in the world are reminiscent of the miracles Yahweh of the Old Testament worked on earth. Christ is alive and well and working in the world today, hallelujah! Seen from a global perspective, Christianity is undergoing the greatest revival in human history, and The Insanity of God helps us understand why. You’ve got to read this book!





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