Awakening to Helps

By Dr. James Willingham

One of the items that the Puritans found to be of value was that of “helps.” By this they meant the writings of other ministers which could provide them with a wealth of insight in a text or a subject.  Such helps provided them with an amount of materials that they might be hard pressed to find and develop; they also gave them something on which to exercise their minds.

Recently, I received a book by Dr. Ed Wallen bearing the title, Leaving Darkland, published by Solid Ground Christian Books of Vestavia, Ala., January 2o16 ){Phone number: 205-443-0311). A foreword to the work was written by Dr. Timothy George, founding dean of Beeson Divinity School of Samford University and General Editor of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture.  The book is of great value, and the foreword really adds insight and understanding to what the author has written.

Dr. Wallen’s work deals with the loss of a beloved daughter who was killed in a terrible car wreck.  His wife was also severely injured in that wreck.  The writer deals with subjects like death, grief, anger suffering,  stress, failure, discouragement, depression, impatience, recognition, fear and persecution.    He also deals with “The Gift Nobody Wants,” namely, PAIN.  And surely there is no greater pain in this world than the lost of a child or a loved one.  Having suffered the loss of four members of my family due to murder and suicide, the reviewer found a great deal of comfort and encouragement in Leaving Darkland.

The author is acquainted with many good writings, especially the Puritans who seemed to be ready writers on such subjects.  The reviewer can remember one or two, especially, which were of comfort at a time of great grief.  This book by Dr. Wallen is up-to-date and more likely to meet the needs of today’s contemporaries.   The reviewer recommends the work to any one suffering grief and to pastors who might want to counsel someone in grief or give a work to someone who has the need to read a writing that addresses the issue.  God grant that it might provide relief and comfort to some needy soul.


About dr. james willingham

B.S. Ed. Lincoln Univ., Mo., '67; M.A. (American Social and Intellectual History) (GPA 3.7) Morehead State Univ., Ky. '71; work toward a Ph.D. in American and Black History, 6 hrs. Univ. of South Carolina and 12 at Columbia Univ., NY, Spring and Summer of '71 respectively; M.Div. '74; D. Min. '76 Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, NC; M.A. '88 Liberty Univ., Va, (counseling). Honors: Phi Alpha theta - the International Honor Society of Historians; Pi Gamma Mu - The National Honor Society of Social Scientists Graduate Assistant, Morehead State, '69-70; Lecture: The Stanley Elkins Thesis: A Critique. Summer Afternoon Lecture Series Columbia University, Summer '71; Instructor, South Carolina State College, 1970-72 (taught 4-5 sections in American History. taught one course in Philosophy, Spring of '71), Adjunct faculty" Richmond Community College, Rockingham, NC 1985, taught two quarters of Political Science. Thesis for M.A. in American Social & Intellectual History: "The Baptists & Ministerial Qualifications:1750-1850." Prospectus for Doctoral Dissertation at Columbia University, Summer of '71, "The Baptists and Slavery." Instructor Seminary Extension: Greater Gaston Baptist Association, Gastonia, NC, 2002-2004. Taught Systematic Theology, Baptist History, Church History, Preaching, Isaiah, Hebrews Introduction to New Testament Theology. Pastorates: Pilot Knob Baptist Church, Belle, Mo., '62-64; Elston Baptist Church, Elston, Mo., '65-66; Gum Springs Baptist Church, Moncure, NC., '72-83; Heritage Baptist Church, Rockingham, NC, '84-96; Interim, Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Casar, NC, 1/2001-3/2001. Chairman, Historical Committee, Sandy Creek Baptist Association, '77=81; Chairman, Historical Committee, Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, '85-86. Annual Sermon, Sandy Creek Association, 1981 Lecture: "The Genius of Orthodoxy: Eldresses." BSCNC. Delivered as Chairman of the Committee Fall of '85. Play: The Mirror of Our Past. Visual History of Jersey Baptist Church
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