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Leaving DarkLand -- Book Review

Leaving DarkLand -- Book Review

by Ed Wallen,
Solid Ground Christian Books, 2016

Reviewed by Roger Salter
Special to Virtueonline
March 10, 2021

"This is a book written "out of the depths" (Psalm 130:1). This is a great book because it is an honest book, one that deals with the deepest agonies of human life in the light of God's providential love and overcoming grace. And this is a book of genuine pastoral theology. No shepherd of God's flock should be without it. Tolle lege! "Take and read!" (Dr. Timothy George).

Leaving DarkLand is a book written by a wise and compassionate man of God who knew his Lord well, whose pastoral insight and care was appealingly shaped by the grace of God, the wisdom and consolation of Holy Scripture, and forged through the experience of deep personal grief. Ed Wallen's writing is the work of a saintly man who knew personal suffering and understood the afflictions that many of the people of God encounter in their everyday lives and struggles with emotional pain and spiritual conflict.

Wallen approaches the reader as an able pastor of long and varied experience, and also as a sympathetic friend with keen fellow feeling and genuine kindness. But he also effectively ministers and uplifts with a bracing biblical realism and strong encouragement from the word of God, his main source of help for the troubled. He does not shirk the agonies of DarkLand but brings us credible solace and strength in the face of adversity and his words bear deep meaning because he addresses us from the sincerity of shared familiarity with the gloomy shadows, fears, chills and discouragement of DarkLand. None, seemingly, of its daunting features have been omitted from the author's coverage: Stress, failure, discouragement, depression, impatience, fear death, grief, anger is all treated with examples from the servants of God derived from Scripture and Christian history. Every anecdote is apt, pertinent, and enriching of our understanding. Quotes from spiritual masters are judiciously selected, and all supportive material is worthy and engrossing. Nothing is glib and so much is exquisitely expressed and captivating.

Some instruction manuals can be idealistic, fanciful, superficial, and ultimately trite and useless, assuming easy results whatever their subject or aim. But this volume is deserving of the highest respect for its qualities of honesty and evident reliable and unpretentious intelligence. Immense gratitude is due for its effectiveness, and it merits the widest possible readership. It excels in its field of devout pastoral skill and care.

The section on death could be beneficially circulated as a separate booklet. - Roger Salter

I do not know of a book which has given such a comprehensive catalogue of the various negative emotions of true believers, how they affect God's people and how they can be managed. And it comes from a man who has walked a special road of grief and sadness . . .
John F. Thornbury, TH.M., D.MIN.

Leaving DarkLand is a deeply spiritual resource . . . . Ed Wallen masterfully addresses the subject. He introduces it with the most painful day of his life and draws upon his personal experience as well as decades of Bible Study and pastoral ministry. It is biblically and theologically sound.
Hugh Richardson

Wallen first biblically, then practically and experientially, shows the truth that God both ordains and uses suffering, pain and adversity for the believer's good and for His own glory.
Todd Wilson, Birmingham, AL

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