Searching for God Knows What - Donald Miller

This is Miller's newest book, and while he still tells a lot of stories in this book, it's more of an attempt at apologetics, though a bit unlike most apologetics books you may have read. He relies less on logic and more on relationship and culture to make his points. His big point is that Christianity is all about knowing God, falling in love, and has very little (or nothing at all) to do with formulaic religion and morality for morality's sake.

One of his illustrations is the lifeboat analogy, from the "Values Clarification" lesson in school: "If there were a lifeboat adrift at sea, and in the lifeboat were a male lawyer, a female doctor, a crippled child, a stay-at-home mom, and a garbageman, and one person had to be thrown overboard to save the others, which person would we choose?" Miller takes this idea and uses it to explain the human condition: that, in a sense, we are all striving to keep our place in the lifeboat, comparing ourselves to others and trying to make sure we're not in last place. But the gospel is Jesus saying, hey, you don't need the boat at all.

Miller is critical of the way that the church has often turned to formulas to explain the gospel, saying that Jesus has become almost optional. Some of his analogies work better than others, but overall you get a picture of a guy who's really passionate about his relationship with Jesus and wants to tell you about it, not some easy twelve-step plan to redemption and financial success. He also has a chapter outlining his theory of Romeo & Juliet as a picture of Christian conversion, a topic I've heard him speak on before but hadn't seen in print.

I'm not sure if this book will appeal to as wide an audience as his earlier Blue Like Jazz because it's more specific, more convicting. But at the same time he remains relational, pointing the finger at himself as much as at anyone else. For anyone who's given up on Christianity because of the Christians, this book is worth a look.

Fed to jonathan's brain | July 20, 2005 | Comments (0)


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