Having really enjoyed Blue Like Jazz, I decided to move on to Donald Miller's next book and was simply blown away.
Let me start by saying that I reallyHaving really enjoyed Blue Like Jazz, I decided to move on to Donald Miller's next book and was simply blown away.
Let me start by saying that I really like the way Miller writes because it almost seems like its his continuous thought process, straight from the heart, and put down on paper. Sometimes he jumps around from one thought to another seemingly without a connection, which might make some people think he is taking a bit of a meandering road to lead up to his point. But given that my thought process works in a very similar way, I like it quite a bit.
Miller also is great at explaining the evolution of his thoughts, in most cases using references to conversations or happenings in his life, and sometimes using creative metaphors. I think this really shows how our faith and beliefs can also evolve over time as we investigate the subject matter more, or have conversations or interactions that move our ideas over the course of time. Given that we will never know exactly what God's true teachings and directions are until we meet Him in Heaven, I think Christians should always challenge what they believe and why in the relentless pursuit of following Him. This is evident in Miller's book, and it's quite refreshing to see the honesty with which he writes about it.
There were a couple of discussions in the book that really put the ideas in a new light for me. First, his discussion behind how both God felt after the Fall, as well as Adam and Eve. I don't want to spoil anything from the book, so I will just leave it at that. I truly have never given as much thought about God's feelings after this event, and it was humbling to say the least.
Second, was the concept of how men have reacted in the absence of God. Again, without trying to give anything away from the book, it's generally the idea that man does certain things and acts in certain ways because we have that void in our lives that will not be filled until we are reunited with God.
Both these discussions really brought me closer to God in that I started trying to see things from His perspective. They even sparked other ideas for me about the very nature of God and just how much He loves His people - all of them. Needless to say, I highly recommend giving this one a read....more
I can't say I agree with every argument he makes, but I do enjoy how he frames up his points. In some cases, he is a littleI truly enjoyed this book.
I can't say I agree with every argument he makes, but I do enjoy how he frames up his points. In some cases, he is a little too simplistic, whittling the discussion down into say only two things you can believe, a very black and white type of choice, so to speak, leaving little room for any grey area. But I chalk this up as his means of getting you to see his point of view, not in a myopic sort of way, but just as a means of explaining something in a way you may not have thought of before.
All in, this is a really fine read. He doesn't make a complete case for the existence of God, per se, but what he does do is give you reasons to go find out more for yourself what you truly believe. It's such an important question that each of us must answer for ourselves, and I believe this book really hits on the importance of finding truth. I think it's a great way to keep people in the conversation, which is critical....more
This is one of my new favorite books. It reminded me that there is nothing any of us can do to make God love us any less OR any more. He loves us likeThis is one of my new favorite books. It reminded me that there is nothing any of us can do to make God love us any less OR any more. He loves us like the father of the prodigal son, who when he sees his long lost son, he runs to him, embraces and kisses him and is elated he has returned. He doesn't wait for the reason as to why he's come back, he simply calls to the rest of the household and tells them to prepare the celebratory feast.
I cannot fathom how much God loves me. The minute I think I am starting to get it, I'm surprised by something that makes me realize it is even bigger than I can grasp. This is the kind of love we are to share with others, especially those marginalized by our society. People see Gods love through us, and Manning captured this idea beautifully in this book....more
Great book for anyone thinking about adoption or starting any kind of ministry to orphans. Truly a wonderful representation of God's love for us and hGreat book for anyone thinking about adoption or starting any kind of ministry to orphans. Truly a wonderful representation of God's love for us and how ordinary people are doing His work to care for them....more
The challenge within this book can be best summarized by one quote from it: "We weren't created so we could simply amass wealth and influence. We wereThe challenge within this book can be best summarized by one quote from it: "We weren't created so we could simply amass wealth and influence. We were created for something more. To live for something bigger than ourselves."...more
In 2011, I started on the path back to God after being effectively out of church for the better part of two decades. I still went to church occasionalIn 2011, I started on the path back to God after being effectively out of church for the better part of two decades. I still went to church occasionally, but I wasn't a regular attender and no longer a devoted follower of Jesus. I began attending church every week with my family, and began reading books about faith, and looking for podcasts to listen to on the commute to work and in the office. I came across Coffee Cup Apologetics from Michael Spencer and really enjoyed them. I even checked out his blog at InternetMonk.com and that is when I found out that he had passed away the year before. What a tragedy, because the man had wonderful insight about living out your faith in today's world.
I finally got around to reading this book and really enjoyed it. You could tell that Michael's point-of-view was definitely one he had come to via the journey of his life, and I really appreciated that given my own meandering path back to grasping my faith with both hands.
As Christians today we need to decide how we are going to use the Bible and Jesus' teachings, either as a blunt instrument to hit people with, or a salve to sooth the hurts in others caused from living in a broken world. Many people who have either been victims of the blunt instrument approach, or who frankly didn't know how to put on the facade that everything is right in the world could benefit from reading this book.
My favorite quote in the book is as follows: "My humanity, my sin, it's all me. And I need Jesus to love me like I really am: brokenness, wounds, sin, addictions, lies, death, fear...all of it. Take all of it, Lord Jesus. If I don't present this broken, messed-up person to Jesus, my faith is dishonest, and my understanding of faith will become a way of continuing the ruse and pretense of being good." We have to come to God as we are, and we need fellow Christians to help us along the way, and not beat us into a state of being numb and walking away from church. Wounded soldiers on the battlefield do not cover up their wounds, they ask for treatment. Christians sometimes can act as if others should just grin and bear it and fight through it on their own, and that is to the detriment of us all....more