Read This Book

I first met George Damoff when I took his class, “Man and the Environment” at East Texas Baptist University in the year 2000.  Although it was a science course, I remember Mr. Damoff having more of an impact on my theology, so deeply was he committed to the authority of Scripture and the supremacy of God. 

I subsequently came to find out that his wife, Jeanne, shares those same commitments.  And at some point I also learned about a tragedy that the Damoff family had endured a few years earlier when their oldest son, Jacob, nearly lost his life in a drowning accident.  The Damoffs are still on a long road toward recovery with Jacob, but the progress he has made to this point goes far beyond what most of the experts predicted, and the impact that Jacob’s story has had on the community of Marshall, Texas, has been amazing.

Now that impact is spreading.  Jeanne is a gifted writer, and she has published Jacob’s story in a book entitled Parting the Waters: Finding Beauty in Brokenness (Enumclaw, WA: WinePress, 2008).  It is available through Amazon.  Buy it.  Read it.  Today.  (Well, you probably can’t read it today, but you can buy it).

What I love most about this book is its God-exalting theology.  It shines through on every page.  Jeanne doesn’t try to “get God off the hook” for Jacob’s accident, the way so many misguided theologians do today any time a tragedy happens.  She exhibits a deep trust in a God who is completely sovereign and who permits suffering in the lives of his children for a purpose.  We do not, and cannot, know the full extent of that purpose in Jacob’s suffering.  God has not revealed that to us.  But he has revealed the truth about himself, the truth that he has not relinquished one ounce of control over the world he made.  And in that truth we rest, even when we do not understand. 

This book kicks God-belittling theologies like Open Theism in the teeth, simply by ignoring them.  Nowhere does Jeanne indicate that a redefinition of God’s sovereignty appeared on her radar screen as a theologically satisfying explanation for the sufferings her family was enduring.  And to my mind, as one who has endured a similar experience in my own family, there is no deeper or greater comfort than knowing that every tragedy we encounter has been foreordained by God for his glory and our good.

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5 Responses to “Read This Book”

  1. Jeanne Damoff Says:

    Thanks for this passionate endorsement, Aaron. I’m deeply honored.

    Love, Jeanne

    P.S. Hey, if they make a movie of the book, do you think they’d let me dress all Matrix-y in black leather and do that teeth-kicking thing in slow motion? 😉

  2. fenderpooh Says:

    That would be awesome. Who would play “Open Theism”?

  3. fenderpooh Says:

    Not that it is very significant, but I think the class I took from Mr. Damoff (now Dr. Damoff) was not “Man and the Environment” but “Life Science” or something along those lines. I took “Man and the Environment a couple of years later from another professor.

  4. Marc Whitman Says:

    Aaron, thanks for the post. Because of your endorsement and praise, I will probably check out Jeanne’s book (especially if it goes Matrix in the Hollywood version).

    MW

  5. fenderpooh Says:

    Marc, I think that this book will speak directly to the situation you are enduring in your own family right now. I truly believe it will nourish your soul. If you know the same God that Jeanne knows (and it seems clear to me that you do), then I have no doubt that you will see his glory in Jacob’s story.

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