Ronnie Martin, worship arts coordinator at the Grace Brethren Church in Ashland, Ohio (Dan Allan, pastor), has written a book with Ted Kluck.
Finding God in the Dark: Faith, Disappointment, and the Struggle to Believewas released earlier this month by Bethany House and is available at amazon.com.
Danny Wright, pastor of teaching at the Grace Brethren Church in Greenville, Ohio, recently reviewed the book on his own blog, growing gray. A portion appears below. Click here to read the complete review.
I don’t know that I’ve ever read a book exclusively by Ted Kluck. (Though I love sports, I’ve never read one of his sports books.) Usually, when I read Ted’s books, he is one of the authors but not the only author. I don’t know why this is the case, and I don’t know who’s making this decision (Ted, publishers, etc?), but it works. Similar to when DeYoung and Kluck collaborate, Martin and Kluck works too. Their styles are a bit different, which keeps it fresh, but not so different that you get whiplash.
The book is the true to life accounts of Martin and Kluck dealing with painful effects of living in a sin cursed world. Sometimes the accounts are things that just happen, sometimes they are sins others have committed against them, and sometimes the effects are created by their own sinful appetites. In fact, in each case, they seek to lay their heart open in front of others and ultimately get at what God is teaching them.
Here are some things that struck me about the book:
Deeply Personal. I was stuck by how open both men were. In each illustration, Ted and Ronnie avoid vague generalities and present their own honest motivations and attitudes. You know more than what they went through, you know how they went through suffering. As a reader, you can’t help but feel like you know the authors. Personally, I feel like I know Ronnie better now than I did. In a weird way, I wonder if things would be awkward if I ever met Kluck, feeling like I know so much real stuff about his life, yet he doesn’t know a thing about me. (Quite honestly, I plan to see Ronnie later this week, and haven’t seen him since I read the book. Part of me is a bit nervous that our relationship has perhaps become “lopsided” from my having read it.) In the end, I think this personal nature of the book is a very good thing. It brings the reader into the storyline.
Victimless Presentation. Many times, such a personal account would create an aspect of victimization…or would cause you to see the author as innocent. While I empathized with Kluck and Martin, I did not feel sorry for them. They present their pain and their reaction, but then they go deeper. By taking you into their heart response and motivations, they also present to you their need of the gospel. They do a good job of pointing you to gospel promises they clung to in the midst of their suffering, and sometimes to the gospel promises they had forgotten.