I JUST FINISHED JACK DEERE’S NEW BOOK, Even In Our Darkness. It is his personal memoir. It is gripping. It is raw, and I couldn’t put it down. It is about Christian maturity. It is a story about where the Holy Spirit is taking every believer, and it is not where we expect. I give it the strongest endorsement.
Deere opens with the story of his son’s suicide. Then the author goes back to the beginning, to his youth and earliest memories. Born in 1948, the author became a Christian in his teens. He idolized his father, but his dad was seldom home. Then the reader tragically learns that his son’s suicide was only the beginning. He father also committed suicide when Jack was 12. He describes living with a single parent who was not a good role model, his teen aged conversion, and his rawboned struggle with sexual lust.
Eventually he earned his PHd. and joined the faculty of Dallas Theological Seminary. He married, wrote books, and experienced many of the relational issues that plague Christians everywhere. He travelled the lecture circuit speaking to large crowds. All the while his wife was struggling with insecurity and alcohol abuse. Eventually the reader learns that she was sexually abused as a child.
This book paints a verbal picture of life in a fallen world, the world each one of us inhabits. Bad things happen to good people, often through no fault of their own. In Deere’s case this meant broken relationships, rejection, struggles with indwelling sin, and marital problems.
But God is the hero of this book. Throughout the author’s many ups and downs God remains faithful.
Writing in retirement, with most of his life in the rear view mirror, the author sums up what he has learned from God . Its not what many Christians expect, but it is what every Christian who has walked with God for a significant season knows to be true.
“The purest people claim to be riddled with impurity. The humblest saints claim to be ruled by monstrous pride. At the end of his life, the apostle Paul claimed that he was the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). He didn’t write, “I was the chief of sinners,” but “I am the chief of sinners.” The closer Paul drew to the Light of the world, the more evil he saw in his life. I am no great believer. I wish I could make Paul’s confession. Maybe one day I will. But I can confess with Paul, “In my flesh dwelleth no good thing” (Romans 7:18 KJV). I am more aware of the enormity of evil in me than I’ve ever been. This is one way I can tell that the light within me is expanding.” (Pg. 276-77 Kindle edition).
Buy this book and read it. You will not be disappointed.
I read this book on a friend’s recommendation and heartily agree with your review. Jack Deere’s story is a page-turner, heartbreaking in many ways, yet still full of hope. You captured the essence of it very well.