Monday, June 20, 2011

Searching for God

"In my opinion, there are two essential problems with believing God is somebody He isn't. The first problem is that it wrecks your life, and the second is that it makes God look like an idiot."

My first experience with author Donald Miller was my recent reading of his well-known book Blue Like Jazz. After really enjoying that work and feeling, somehow, like I was a part of the conversation, I was thristy for more. I then tackled, Searching for God Knows What, the book Miller wrote immediately after Jazz. Although the style and tone and the voice are very similar, so that in a way it feels like a continuation of the same discussion, it feels a bit more intimate. While this book also focuses on relationships, it is more the relationship between the author and you, as opposed to that between the author and his cadre of friends and acquaintances.

The seed for "Searching" all started with Miller attending a seminar on how to write a self-help "Christian" book that will appeal to a large audience. He is told that to sell books, you have to talk about some known problem with people and break down a path to the solution in three easy steps. Always formulaic. Always those steps. It was then that Miller realized that this is the same approach that many folks take when trying to unpack the Bible. He realized that this approach is flawed. It does not lead to relationship with God and Jesus. "Now that I no longer see it as a self-help book, the Bible has infinitely more merit."

"Perhaps the reason Scripture includes so much poetry in and outside the narrative, so many parables and stories, so many visions and emotional letters, is because it is attempting to describe a relational break man tragically experienced with God."

"It only makes sense that if God was communicating a relational message to humanity He would use the multilayered methodology of truth and art, because nobody engages another human being through lists and formulas."

I viewed this book in quotes such as these. Small snippets that spoke to me, like the individual, but intertwined essays that made up this work. Again, Miller really spoke to me personally through the journey of these pages.