Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Searching For God Knows What

The title of this post is also the name of a book that I am currently reading. Not being one who LOVES to read (though I do see the strong merit), I have "resolved" to read 52 books this year. That might seem like child's play to some of the Bunkhouse readers, but it is a large undertaking for this mere mortal.

My goal? Well, it's not just to thumb through pages blindly in 2010 and "say I conquered my reading list." Rather, I simply want to get to know God better. The books that I flip through are going to be reads that allow me to connect better with the Creator and challenge me to live and serve the way that I am supposed to.

Pet Peeve Alert: Take note Twilight Fans, Harry Potter Fans (that probably was redundant) and Bourne fans: I have seen people knock out a book in a few sittings that they were very passionate about. I have answered doors at church buildings where folks were knocking frantically to get in, only to inform me that they "left their book." Once they found their Breaking Dawn hardback copy, they bolted out the door (why was it at the church building in the first place?) and returned the next service to pick up their Bible that they left in "their pew"....obviously not missing it that much during the week.

I have also placed another challenge upon myself, and that is not to read any of these 52 books more than I read my Bible during a given week.

Enough of that rant.

This book, Searching For God Knows What, is a stellar read. It is 233 pages and was published in 2004, written by Donald Miller.

It's a fun read, pretty much continuing and sometimes rehashing Donald Miller's earlier name-making book Blue Like Jazz.

This "hip" book summarizes easily: The gospel is not a formula. It's a relationship. What God wants from us and promises to us cannot be defined in neat categories or lists of truths. The truth inherent in the gospel is necessarily embedded in the stories of the people who understand and experience the gospel (especially the first ones to do so).

Donald Miller is king of off-the-wall-yet-strangely-appropriate extended metaphors, and this book is packed with them.

The earth is an overfilled lifeboat with the inhabitants taking sides and waging wars of value assessment like people on Survivor trying not to get kicked off the island.

Original sin is like the fallout from Chernobyl.

Getting an outside perspective is like sitting down with an alien to watch an NBA game.

We're all in a big circus act trying to do something to win cheers from the crowd to prove our worth.

The moment when we we see that our religious system isn't enough anymore is like the moment when we see the department store Santa taking a leak in the men's restroom.

Great images. Great stories.

Miller does a fine job of conveying his messages without sounding like every other evangelical author on the book shelves. He takes many broad swipes at our Christian systems and theologies (which he lines up with, spiritually speaking), but he uses enough self-deprecation to get away with it.

Your life will be better for the read.

Just sayin'.


Cameron said...

I dig this whole article.

Reading, spirituality, Santa taking a leak.....love it.

Bunkhouse reading list: now I really like the sound of that.

myletterstoemily said...

great review of one of my favorite authors!