He writes about sin. He writes about how Christianity doesn’t make any sense and yet he finds himself believing it, more so because it feels like something is making him believe it rather than him choosing to believe it himself. Which is a true statement because I never felt like I chose to believe that Jesus was the Son of God; it was like He put something in me that programmed me to believe it and all of a sudden I just believe that Jesus is real and alive and my Savior. And I can’t stop believing it.
It never really made sense to me how I could love sin so much and want to get drunk and have sex and be greedy and selfish and yet not be able to un-believe in Jesus. If I am doing and wanting everything opposite of what Jesus tells me to do and yet I cannot deny Him, it must be because my faith is not in my own control. My faith does not rest in my hands. If it did, my faith would waver every time I sinned, every time I desired evil, and it would fall apart. I guess that’s what it means to have your faith rest in Christ alone. That it has nothing to do with me or how good I am at putting my faith in Jesus Christ, it has only to do with the fact that He chose me and He gave me the faith that I would never have been able to muster up on my own.
He writes about random thoughts. About how the church fails sometimes. But not because the church fails but because we fail. Because I fail. Because I am the problem, not this or that or the government or the republicans or the democrats but me. He writes about his non-Christian friends from Reed College who are like my non-Christian friends in Berkeley and how they’re intellectual and rational and how they hate the idea of God but understand the idea of sin but don’t want to be Christian because of all the rigid narrow-minded hateful Christians they’ve met. And how he finds intellectual, atheist Reed students more passionate, more active, more engaging than any Christian he’s met. Like how sometimes I learn more about God and love God more having conversations with Berkeley atheists or in a lecture or talking to non-believers at a party. And if that makes me a bad Christian but makes me love Jesus more, then awesome.
He writes about how he can see from his own experiences that we were supposed to be good. We were supposed to be good. But how we’re not. How we have to be taught to be good. How we have to be told what not to do as children. How little kids have to be trained not to do the bad things that they’re so naturally inclined to do. And how that shows we’re flawed.
I want Donald Miller to be my best friend. I bet we would have great conversations.
Like about how he doesn’t want to deal with his brokenness, just like I don’t want to deal with my brokenness. He writes about how he just wanted to escape from the world because he couldn’t stop thinking about how self-absorbed he was, how selfish and broken he was. How he just didn’t want to deal with his depravity. Just like how I can’t stand living in this body of mine, this heart of mine, with this mind of mine. How I just don’t want to think about it, don’t want to deal with my sinfulness and my depravity. But then he goes on to say how much Jesus wants to communicate to us the idea of our brokenness. And I just know. It’s true. He does. He is teaching me how broken I am, and even though I don’t want to deal with it, it’s the only way to a true understanding of grace and the gospel.
I love this book and everyone should read it.