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. Previously published as Spiritual Birthline: Understanding How We Experience the New Birth (Crossway, 2006).


“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