"Unmasked, unsettling, and unforgettable... this will change the landscape of your soul." - Ann Voskamp
"Filled with the raw pain, beauty, mystery, and grace that our hearts were meant for." - Matt Chandler
Prepare yourself for an unvarnished look at the Christian life, told now for the first time. A powerful memoir of finding beauty and friendship through the pain of loss, tragedy, and brokenness, Even in Our Darkness explores what it means to know God and be known by him.
Jack Deere tells the true story of his life growing up near Fort Worth, Texas in the 1950s and the disintegration of his family following his father's suicide. In his mid-20s, Jack would rise to fame and success as a leading scholar, popular speaker, and best-selling author.
But despite being rescued and exalted, Jack would ultimately be crushed in the years that followed. He would lose his son to suicide and his wife to alcoholism. Only then would Jack wrestle with his own addictions, surrender control, and experience true healing.
An authentic story of the Christian life, Even in Our Darkness will serve as your own guide in overcoming life's disappointments and learning to hear God speak in unbelievable ways.
- Left Wanting
Jack Deere was once a tenured professor at Dallas Theological Seminary but was drawn away by those who claimed to speak for God. This story reveals some raw truths about his life, revealing some very dark and difficult trials. I went into it expecting to come away with some rich words of wisdom gained by a life focused on Christ, but found instead that the story unfolded more like a confessional. From the beginning, I found the extent at which Jack delved into the accounts of his sexual experimentation as a young man a bit disturbing and almost salacious in the retelling.
Jack, having lost his father and hero to suicide as a boy, seems to cling to certain individuals to fill that role, and in this, I can see some of the workings that caused him to turn from what he saw as cold theology to his new heroes who claimed a more direct and emotion-based connection to God.
Fast forward to his wife Leesa’s alcohol and drug-induced breakdown. At one point, she leaves him, writing him a note threatening to expose him of hypocrisy, rage, financial fraud and sexual sin. He confides in a friend, telling him that the financial fraud charges were false, but that some of the other charges were true. Something about this mini-confessional, which says much about his character during his years of Christian leadership, really disturbed me - especially in light of the long and uncomfortable retelling of his youthful indiscretions.
I have to confess some bias here. As an ex-charismatic, one of the reasons I left the movement had to do with my observation that those who dwell under the expectation of a “fresh word” from God tend to lean too far into the sensory realm. They become imbalanced and dependent – not so much on Christ as on those who claim the “anointing.” In my view, this imbalance can be especially devastating for those who suffer from depression or other mental illness.
In this, I can’t help but believe that had Jack not taken that detour at Dallas Theological Seminary, his story would have read much differently. Granted, he may have still faced the devastations of losing his son and having to deal with his wife’s alcoholism (because none of us are fully immune to such trials) but his story and revealed character would likely have pointed instead to the transforming power of God’s word. But his story seems quite disjointed, and the wisdom and truth he offers seems paltry for a man who held the position of a Christian leader for most of his life.
Where does our power come from to walk the walk of faith and to make a difference in this world of darkness? I think Paul’s instruction to Timothy contains the answer.
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of god may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Tim. 3:14-17)
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