Everyone has a spiritual journey. Where did yours begin?
You may recall a particular moment of change. You may feel as though you’ve been a Christian forever. You may not yet believe. How does conversion work? What does it mean to be “born again”?
Stephen Smallman unpacks these questions by looking at John’s gospel as well as biblical, historical, and contemporary case studies, showing how the Holy Spirit’s work can be traced in the lives of new believers.
As we study the stories of others and consider our own, we will discover a new way of relating evangelistically to the people around us—not as spiritual salespeople but as spiritual midwives called to assist in the birth.
With a birthline chart and lesson plan for a six-week course, this book will be a help and encouragement to anyone exploring what it means to become a Christian.
Table of Contents:
1. Kathy’s Story
2. The Birth line: A Sixty-five-Year Pregnancy
Part One: How the Spirit Works in Conversion
3. A Study in Scripture: Jesus’ Meeting with Nicodemus
4. Knowing and Telling Our Own Story
5. The Role of the Christian Community
6. Charles Colson: A Case Study of Regeneration and Conversion
Part Two: The Work of a Spiritual Midwife
7. What Is a Spiritual Midwife?
8. Studies in Scripture: The Ministry and Teachings of Paul
9. The Spiritual Midwife: Getting Started
10. The Spiritual Midwife: Calling
11. The Spiritual Midwife: Conversion
12. The Spiritual Midwife: First Steps of Faith
13. How the Children of Christian Families
14. Living for the King
Appendix A: Beginnings and African-American Culture by Douglas A. Logan Jr.
Appendix B: A Class on the Birthline and Related
Stephen Smallman served for over forty years in pastoral ministry. He is an urban missionary serving with CityNet Ministries and is assistant pastor of New Life Presbyterian Church in Glenside, Pennsylvania.
“In place of our too-often clichéd born-again narratives, Smallman guides us to a richer understanding that is wonderfully profound and reassuringly practical.” — Mindy Belz, Editor, WORLD
“Beginnings . . . gave me an interpretive framework of [the] new birth that was not only more accurate, all-embracing, and truthful but, more importantly, God-centered.” — Rico Tice, Founder, Christianity Explored
“In a compelling way Stephen Smallman helps us understand . . . the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. This book will prove profitable to all who read it.” — Jerry Bridges, Author, The Pursuit of Holiness