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Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy Hardcover – February 10, 2015
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About the Author
Donald Miller is the author of several books, including the bestsellers Blue Like Jazz and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. He helps people live a better story at storylineblog.com and helps leaders grow their businesses at storybrand.com. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Betsy, and their chocolate lab, Lucy.
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Well, I finished.
Good for you Don. You sound like you are over your manipulative ways. Seems you are ready to finally settle down with the woman of your dreams. This is not the book I thought I signed up for. In fact, going to return it. Very kindly, one could say this is modern philosophy. Spill your guts on paper. Like Jackson Pollack became a legend of modern art by just splattering paint on canvas. This book is just about Don. It is storytelling. Its kind of, in a word, selfish. Not really transferrable, unless listening to someone else's stories helps give you a stronger guide for yourself. It is probably the liberal root in him that gives him the sense that he can have it all figured out and be absolutely right about everything. He leaves politics out of the storytelling though he puts in just enough to get his street cred with liberals. I question the number of 5-star reviews as perhaps being part of his self-promotion strategy in which case, Don is not really over the manipulation he strides so confidently above in this book.
One thing he said that really hit me, was "Grace only sticks to our imperfections. Those who can't accept their imperfections can't accept grace either." To me, it was pretty clear-cut and profound, but I'm not sure even Donald realized how close to his sharing of the gospel he came! Donald made a remark that should simply point us to the cross, and then to the saving grace of Jesus and why we extend that same grace to others.
Prior to this revelation, he was unable to receive love from his new fiance, Betsy, and his rejection of her attempts was proof of him wearing a mask that was shown for the purpose of keeping his true self safe. He couldn't be vulnerable. I can't say why, as that would be a breach of your reason to read the book. But what I can say is that there is a part of us all that can identify with wearing masks to stay safe in front of people we think have expectations for us. And instead of outward approval, we just need grace.
This book reads as a philosophical memoir, as Donald shares personal conversations, interactions and revelations. He admits to some insights coming from his faith and the Bible, but predominantly he comes to conclusions based on books he's read that describe theories from other men in the same emotional mature state.
It left me wanting to sit down with Donald myself. I would love to share that while I appreciated his growth stages, and I loved that he was finally able to take off the mask to be exposed for the man he really is, I want to share with him who Jesus really is. It seems like some of the roadblocks he was encountering could simply be changed by deepening his reading of the Word, and trusting in God instead of feeling like he has to have a plan for everything. Then again, maybe Donald hasn't had his light bulb a-ha moment yet. Maybe he's wading into the water with this book, which ends on his wedding day, and now, God will be tugging on his heart as he seeks to serve his wife in a godly manner. Maybe Donald will begin to seek God differently and realize that worldly wisdom, though helpful at times, will always leave us wanting something even deeper than counseling sessions and ninety-day business plans. Overall, I appreciate his honesty, simple insights, basic truths and his ability to be transparent in his journey.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers (http://booklookbloggers.com) book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 (http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html): “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
I had read several of his books and thought I had found an individual who had offered great insights into the process of crafting a God-inspired story for the reader's life. I own a company and started listing to his marketing podcasts and found some good marketing tips and had almost signed up for his $2,500.00 marketing workshop. Then I started reading this book. His previous books felt so authentic and real, and he repeatedly talks about valuing transparency and authenticity and then he writes this dribble? This is the most phony book I have ever picked up. He seems to think he is some relationship guru and has learned to "love better" with a few months of marriage under his belt. In fact, at the end of his book you can go to his website and you can take an online course ($69.00) to learn to love your spouse better or even parent better. (The website looks more like his wedding photo album, than a legit online course.) What does he know about either one? Donald Miller seems oblivious that real people face real problems. Don, you don't know what you don't know about marriage or parenting, take it from someone who has done both for the past decade. You are not a hero for sitting in the woods with your thoughts and now that I see Donald Miller for who he truly is, I know that his long bike ride chronicled in a previous book really isn't such a great story either -- seriously it is all about Don. Donald Miller has lost his way because he now thinks that the great life story is about HIMSELF-- his own enlightenment, his own beautiful life. Nothing is further than the truth. A big life, and a great story is when you lay it all on the line for others when there is a good chance that it doesn't work out well for you. Don, have you ever heard this one, you must lose your life in order to truly find life? There is a Good Book about it. This is sad for me because I really liked his work and if Donald Miller wants to write a book about true intimacy, I'll give it a read. I know there is a lot more that he doesn't want to talk about because it will ruin the Donald Miller brand he is working to build. Next time he wants to impress his new wife, he should buy her a vacation home. I would encourage all these great friend that Donald Miller has to take him to the woodshed and tell him to drop the act. It isn't becoming on him.