"The Insanity of Obedience" is the follow-up to Nik Ripken's earlier work, "The Insanity of God." Both books represent impassioned pleas for the church to take the Gospel to "the hard places." Christian persecution remains real in many parts of the world today, and blessed are those willing to enter those areas armed with love for Jesus Christ and love for those He came to give His life to redeem. Ripken (not his actual name) calls for total commitment in much the same way that David Platt has done in his "Radical." For the casual church member whose "involvement" in missions is in giving to the "missions fund" or in posting "prayer cards" of missionaries on the refrigerator, this book may not move them very far. But for those who are intentional about carrying out the Great Commission whatever the cost, it may just move them to greater "hands-on" (and possibly even "boots on the ground") commitment. The author writes with great conviction, having invested a quarter-century in taking the Gospel to the nations. He and his wife lost a son in this great enterprise, something that forced them to take an honest step back in order to evaluate whether any cost was too great in order to make Christ known. The stories of those who have suffered for their faith and the experiences he shares are rarely found in books on missions that tend to focus more upon the "romantic" aspects of the "missionary call" or list "foundational principles" of mission work. The world is changing, and so must our methods of reaching it for Christ. Only our Savior and the Gospel He left for us to communicate remain unchanged. I found "The Insanity of Obedience" to be the most authentic and practical exposition of modern-day mission involvement that I have read to date. It is convicting and challenging beyond anything else I have come across in my extensive search, especially in its application to work among people groups where Christ is not immediately welcomed. Special emphasis is accorded ministry among Islamic peoples. including motivation to "cross the street" to speak with our Muslim neighbors here as well as "crossing the ocean" to reach them there. No one considering mission work, especially in difficult places, should proceed very far without reading this book. Immediately after completing this book, I purchased "The Insanity of God." I believe Nik Ripken has something to say that today's church needs to hear and to heed. After all, a dying world is waiting!
Author Nik Ripken's passion for seeing Jesus proclaimed to the ends of the earth--especially in the tough places--is obvious. His reminder for every Christian to follow Jesus, no matter the cost, is commendable.
Persecution and obedience to God's call are mentioned throughout, and there are a few stories from those who actually suffer for Jesus' sake. However, the book is long (300 pages) and sometimes difficult to follow. Experience is given more weight and volume than Scripture, which is its greatest weakness.