Out of the Blues, Dealing with the Blues of Depression and Loneliness, by Wayne Mack (Bemidji, Minnesota: Focus Publishing, 2006), 143 pp., paper $10.00
Wayne Mack is well known in the biblical counseling world for his solid, practical and thorough insights into the personal problems that Christians face. Out of the Blues is no exception as Mack tackles one of the most common of human difficulties – depression – and provides clear biblical counsel.
The author makes distinction among mild, moderate and severe forms of depression (utter hopelessness) (pp. 4-31). He then focuses primarily on severe depression. Mack offers many causes for depression but zeros in on the big three: refusing to deal with sin and guilt (pp. 37-41), mishandling a difficult event (pp. 41-49), and having unbiblical standards (pp. 50-56). He offers solutions for these three causes, first through biblical principles (pp. 61-78), then through biblical examples (pp. 81-94). The author also provides an excellent chapter on loneliness (pp. 95-110), followed by handling practical issues and questions (pp. 111-128) as well as helps and resources for counselors (pp. 129-143).
This is a valuable little book on depression. Mack avoids the common psychological errors and provides instead clear scriptural teaching dealing with those who face depression. I recommend this book highly, however its best use would be found by working through it with a counselor or biblically grounded Christian friend.
Reviewed by Gary E. Gilley, Pastor teacher, Southern View Chapel