Who's Got Your Back?
Bo's Café is a book written in a growing genre of reality fiction that seeks to illustrate and demonstrate what in the past has often been presented as doctrinal teaching. Windblown Media is a recently established publishing venture that was formed to publish The Shack after it had been rejected by about 14 religious and 14 secular publishers. Since that time, "The Shack" has gone on to be nothing less than a phenomenon that has taken on a viral life of its own through word-of-mouth based upon the impact it has had upon the lives of those reading it.
Bo's Café is not "The Shack", nor is it intended to be. Where The Shack is a parable that provides a message about the nature of God and how misunderstanding that nature can lead to many of the elements of organized and institutionalized religion that turns so many people of and away from this misrepresented God, Bo's Café carries on with a related but distinctly different theme. Bo's Café demonstrates through a realistic fictional account how a real Grace community works to bring about healing and restoration in the life and marriage of it's primary character. What's is distinct about it, is while the book is not to any measure I can observe "anti-church"; the organized church plays a very minimal role in what takes place within the account. This is not about programs, meetings, hierarchical dispensations from on high or anything else that might typically come to mind with how followers of Jesus show love and support to one another. This is about real community where people are invited by other imperfect people to drop the masks, be real, be honest and what is more, trust that within the context of safe and genuine relationship, that baring ones soul and allowing others to see the "crap" in our lives will result in us being loved and accepted more, not shunned and rejected.
The authors of Bo's Café have collaborated before in the past in a more didactic manner, teaching how grace communities can be formed. They can happen within the context of an organized church, but the focus here is decidedly different. Where organized religion, at least as it is manifested in the west and in particular in the evangelical tradition, typically seeks to "teach" its way through any problem with linear steps (eg 10 Steps to Solve Any Problem in Life You'll Ever Face) and where teaching doesn't work, then a counselor, elder or Pastor, then steps in with authority to assist "fixing" a person with the assumption clear that they themselves have already arrived, Bo's Café models a community of Grace where on some issues some friends may be ahead on one path and able to help, but the grace flows in both directions as those loved, accepted and helped without judgment in one area may just return the favor in another area.
Many things in life are better "caught" than "taught". Bo's Café pitches up a winner that tells an entertaining, compelling and realistic tale that is not difficult at all to see played out in many contexts of our own lives, and shows how genuine love and grace can be experienced. Everyone should be fortunate enough to find an Andy, a Christine, a Carlos or a Steven in their lives. Better yet, everyone should be fortunate enough to be one.
Bo's Café stands on it own. It provides a compelling and at times a very emotionally touching tale of love and grace and does it without clichés, arrogance, judgment or falling into the all to common rut of "niceness" to which Christian Fiction often falls prey. Make no mistake, this is fiction, but more importantly, Bo's Café is a sorely needed and timely truth that will open many eyes to what they've been longing for, but just couldn't adequately describe.
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Dogmatism is the comfortable intellectual framework of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is more decadent than the worst sexual sin. ~ Dan Allender