Layne Wallace is a pastor, writer, husband, and father.
Currently the senior pastor at Rosemary Baptist Church, Layne holds an MDiv from Campbell University, a DMin from Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary, and a PhD in systematic theology from B. H. Carroll Theological Institute. The author of Karl Barth’s Concept of Nothingness: A Critical Examination, he has also been published in the Biblical Recorder, Baptist News Global, and the Truett Pulpit. When he’s not preaching or writing, Layne may be found teaching, speaking at conferences, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with his wife and daughters.
Tell me a little about Loving God in the Darkness. What motivated you to write about such a topic and what was your hope for your how new book might impact readers?
I seldom spoke about how the losses I experienced from 2009-2013 affected me outside a very small group. In fact, it was only when I started to write about it that some of my closest friends and family members found out what was going on inside of me. As I thought about that, it became clear to me that many people had unresolved grief just as I did. I wrote Loving God in the Darkness in order to describe what happened to me and give hope to others who had experienced it for themselves.
Can you talk a little about the structure of your book? Why did you put it together the way you did, specifically as you focus on individual family members?
The first part of the book is designed to narrate why I felt such darkness. I believed that those who are in dark places in their lives needed to know that I did not speak of darkness in a superficial way. I know the darkness. The darkness for me though was not just the series of events described in the book. The darkness was the sense of God’s absence during the crises. That darkness was searing. I wanted the reader to know I have stared into the darkness, and I wanted them to know there is hope.
The members of my family who are in the book show up as part of the story, and as part of my healing. When a person is surrounded by darkness, they often forget many of the gifts they have. Forgetting gifts leads to lack of gratitude, and gratitude is a step toward healing. The Wallace clan has always been a raucous, imperfect bunch. They are, however, good. I’m thankful for them. Remembering them and what they brought into my life helped to remember many of the gifts God had given me.