Culture

Review: Searching For God Knows What

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January 11th, 2010

 

By Shayna Skalicky Searching for God Knows What is the third book from author Donald Miller.  Blue Like Jazz, Miller's most famous work, captivated readers who appreciate Miller's honesty and transparency about faith.  Miller continues the search for faith and belief through wonderful stories and characters, where Blue Like Jazz left off.

The book begins at a hotel in Memphis where Donald Miller plans to attend a ‘how-to’ seminar about learning to write fictional books.  He finds out quickly that the seminar is actually on writing non-fiction books–“how to take literature captive for the glory of God”. 

The seminar leader explains the “recipes” for writing such books and the success that will come if one follows the formula.  Humor ensues as Miller realizes that he doesn’t want to write “self-help/devotional” books, nor wants a formula for writing. He just wants to write a fiction piece on a South American nun who falls in love with an evil dictator.

Whether or not the Memphis story is actually true, it sets a great tone for what is to follow in the rest of the book. With humor and gentleness, he explores his own journey through faith; through belief and unbelief, and back to belief again – in Christ, in Santa, in himself. He allows us to glimpse into his life and friendships, helping us to understand that above all, it is God’s mercy and love that guide us to belief, not silly formulas.

What I like most about Miller’s style of writing is his honesty. He doesn’t pretend to be a know-it-all like some authors do in writing about faith. He writes with a gut-level honesty in all of his books to which most people can relate. His use of humor is also appropriate and never outdone. There have been many nights I’ve been up late reading, stifling a laugh while reading. While his stories are funny, they are also beautiful as he points us to Christ and His love and mercy.   Humor, faith, and transparency in Searching for God Knows What. 

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