Date read: 01.31.2017. How strongly I recommend it: 8/10
I’ll admit, the title has always been a bit off-putting to me. But what better way to explain the content of the book than with this title. So I’ll overlook that. The title itself tends to draw a more feminine crowd—though I do not believe that was the author’s intention. This book is written for the spiritually-hungry crowd, the woman who is longing to see miracles in her ministry, the man who knows there is more to the daily grind. Most church-goers will find this book naturally inspiring and even a bit jaw-dropping. The stories and recollections that the author shares will inspire many young people to follow the call of God wholeheartedly.
Here it is, another book from Heidi Baker that seems nonsensically simple and preposterously unsophisticated. So simple and unassuming, in fact, that the voice of God swiftly ruptures the atmosphere and, without warning, cuts to the core of my religiosity. Suddenly her words don’t seem so elementary, cracker-barrel, ordinary, but rather stark, sincere, absolute. The author speaks at all times experientially. This is not a theoretical read. She has been stoned, beaten, jailed, hungry and cold, shipwrecked—all for the sake of the Gospel. So she aligns her thoughts with another unassuming, unlikely candidate who shares her admitted guilelessness: Mary, the mother of Jesus. Birthing the miraculous is not an easy task and like Mary, the author trusts in the announcements of God because her faith rests in intimacy with Him not skepticism about Him. “Sometimes God’s promises will look like this: bizarre, implausible, and even crazy. At times great promises will invite misunderstanding from those around us—even to the point of reproach.” The content of this book is straightforward and candid, for “even the smallest ‘yes’ matters to God.”
If you’re expecting to get answers to topics like “How do I grow my ministry?” and “What are the top 3 leadership principles” and “How do I plant churches effectively?” then this is not the book for you! In fact, the author herself reiterates multiple times that she has no idea how to grow a ministry to the size of hers (thousands of church-plants across Africa and the world). Her firm belief is simply to soak in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Supernatural miracles ensue from the place of intimacy, though even supernatural outcomes are not the goal. The goal is simply to dwell in the presence of God and enjoy Him; to see that He enjoys you; to then find that fruit comes easily to those who are immersed in the presence of the Holy Spirit.
I have a confession: I started this book a while back and for some reason (the season of my life, perhaps, or my pedantic disposition) I struggled to finish it. I put the book back on my shelf until it was thoroughly dusted… until yesterday. It’s true: I finished the book in one day on my second try! Initially, I found statements like “laid-down lover” (a reference to a recent worship song) and the term “wrecked” (in the positive, albeit—in my humble opinion—ludicrous modern Christian vocabulary, as in “wrecked for Jesus”) to be daft. But when I recovered (slightly) from my pretentiousness, I was able to happily receive the book. That being said, the creative style of the book is at times lacking both in creativity, form, and flow. This, however, is not a reason to disregard the author’s words.
Similarly, I felt the language selection was short on high vocabulary. Of course, that is always a personal vexation of mine. I had second thoughts about the necessity of creative language however when I read the author’s following submission: “Many ministers are brilliant with their words. They can do amazing things with sermon structure, research, and oratory. They can do all the notes and quotes. That is a wonderful gift—but I cannot preach the way they do because God gave me different gifts.” Well stated and acceptable.
I have been challenged in such a topsy-turvy, subversive way by this book. The stories of suffering for the Gospel were tremendously impactful. My faith was challenged. I find myself contemplating the simplicity of my relationship with God, my identity in Him, my calling as a missionary to the nations. I sense the Kingdom alive and at work all around me. I am expectant. The typical book does not do this to me. This is not your typical book. Again, it is not theoretical but rather experiential. That much I appreciated. Overall, I am challenged and inspired to dream bigger dreams and expect the miraculous in my ministry.
10 POINT RATING
I give Birthing the Miraculous an 8/10.