Searching for God Knows What

by Donald Miller

Paperback, 2004




In Searching for God Knows What, best-selling author Donald Miller invites you to reconnect with a faith worth believing. With humor, intelligence, and his trademark writing style, he shows that  relationship is God's way of leading us to redemption. And our need for redemption drives us to relationship with God. "Being a Christian," Miller writes, "is more like falling in love than understanding a series of ideas." Maybe you are a Christian wondering what faith you signed up for. Or maybe you don't believe anything and are daring someone--anyone--to show you a genuine example of authentic faith. Somewhere beyond the self-help formulas, fancy marketing, and easy promises there is a life-changing experience with God waiting. Searching for God Knows What weaves together beautiful stories and fresh perspectives on the Bible to show one man's journey to find it. "Like a shaken snow globe, Donald Miller's newest collection of essays creates a swirl of ideas about the Christian life that eventually crystallize into a lovely landscape . . . [He] is one of the evangelical book market's most creative writers." --Christianity Today "If you have felt that Jesus is someone you respect and admire--but Christianity is something that repels you--Searching for God Knows What will give you hope that you still can follow Jesus and be part of a church without the trappings of organized religion." --Dan Kimball Author of The Emerging Church and Pastor of Vintage Faith Church, Santa Cruz, CA "For fans of Blue Like Jazz, I doubt you will be disappointed. Donald Miller writes with the wit and vulnerability that you expect. He perfectly illustrates important themes in a genuine and humorous manner . . . For those who would be reading Miller for the first time, this would be a great start." --Relevant  … (more)


Thomas Nelson Inc (2004), Edition: Later Printing, 246 pages

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½ (383 ratings; 3.9)

User reviews

LibraryThing member nesum
A very interesting look at Christianity, filtered through the life of Miller. I must say though, while I like Miller's style, the more I read of him, the more I am surprised at how shallow and basic his thinking on theological matters is. I think the theology is basically sound, but it is sound in
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the same way a pop Christian song is sound -- it's sound more because of how little theology is there rather than how well considered the points.

To illustrate the point, the quotes in the "praise" section in the beginning of the book include names like Brian MacLaren and Dan Kimball, who would not agree with me at all as to the definition of the Gospel. We are about as far opposed as possible in theology. So if neither I or Brian MacLaren can find a point of disagreement in this book (that supposes to explore the meaning of the Gospel), I have to conclude that the Gospel was not very thoroughly defined.

Many people would not care. They would say that Christianity is more about serving and living right. I am happy to say that Miller does not fall into that trap. Shallowly defined as it is, the Gospel is of primary interest of this book.

That's the way it should be. After all, Christians are no where defined as people who live better than other people. We are not "good people," or even often "better people." We are "forgiven people." The good news of the Gospel is not a call to live better lives, though that is often the result of the Gospel. The good news of the Gospel is that, even though we are sinners who deserve nothing less than death for our sins of greed, lust, hatred, and selfishness, Jesus came to earth to die that death we deserve. In repentance and faith we can be forgiven.

I wish that had been more defined in this book, because it's good news indeed.
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LibraryThing member bell7
What if the Christian church is so focused on theology that it's lost sight of what really makes one a Christian? Miller contends that the American church has reduced a complex relationship with Jesus Christ to a formulaic gospel of steps to becoming a Christian. In Searching for God Knows What, he
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seeks to emphasize the relational nature of the gospel and demonstrates how different a worldview this would be from mainstream American culture.

A friend of mine lent this to me months ago because it related to a conversation we were having at the time. Of course, I've since forgotten the original impetus, but it didn't really matter in the end. Miller's style is extremely conversational and not particularly well-written, with a few over-the-top analogies to make his points. At least once, he got his facts wrong, as when he says that King Herod had the children of Israel murdered (according to Matthew 2, he ordered that boys under the age of 2 in Bethlehem and the vicinity be killed, not the entirety of Israel). Despite these flaws, from time to time a sentence or a paragraph would make me stop in my reading tracks. He would manage to crystallize an idea or use an illustration that was truly thought-provoking. I didn't always agree with Miller, ultimately. He clearly does not "get" sports, for example, and his politics clash with mine. But I enjoyed the challenge to think about exactly what I believe about my relationship with God, and how this necessarily affects my relationship with others.
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LibraryThing member navets
I actually had started this book before I ever knew about “Blue Like Jazz” - but put it down before I ever really got “into” it.

This book, like “Blue Like Jazz”, kept me pretty interested - when I’ve been asked what it was about, I have trouble finding an answer though.. Again this
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book reminds me of sitting and talking to someone and someone typing out all of the ideas and conversations over a period of time - but only the conversation coming from one side of the coffee table - Don Miller’s side.

I’m still a little thrown back at Don’s attempt at making sure that every reader knows he likes to smoke a pipe and drink beer. It’s not AS prevelant in this book, but there nonetheless.

There is some amazing insight into who God is in this book to be sure. Some paragraphs needed to be read a few times for me to even attempt to grasp the ideas Miller was putting out there. I’ll say that the last chapter was pretty incredible - relating the Love of God to the love Romeo and Juliet had and showed in the Skakespeare play. Pretty interesting.
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LibraryThing member ScottBridwell
Okay...this book is more difficult to read...still a good book...but I haven't finished it.
LibraryThing member watchman146
Donald Miller explores what it means to relate to a deity. He honestly discusses truth, salvation morality.
LibraryThing member TeriLynneU
Reading Donald Miller always challenges me. I am forced to consider if I believe because it's convenient, because it's tradition, because it's easy, or because it's real to me. This book is no exception.
LibraryThing member dharper1
I like many of the ways that this author discusses Christianity. He takes a easy look at it, one that is less about rules and more about really wanting to be close to Jesus.
LibraryThing member khager
This is a revised, updated edition of the book. There's apparently also a lot you can do online (codes, anagrams, etc.) but I haven't done that--and probably won't; my brain doesn't seem to work that way.

This book's thesis is that we all need a relationship with God but that, because of what
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happened in the Garden of Eden, we don't have one. That causes us to look elsewhere for affirmation (friends, colleagues, etc.). I'm not sure I agree with the idea that we all can only function if we have someone telling us we're worthwhile, but I know everyone likes to be liked, so I'm willing to go with it.

Another main point is that everyone has their idea of who God is and who Jesus is, and that we're probably all wrong because we're trying to cast Him/Them in our terms and that, coincidentally, He/They completely agree with how we view the world.

One thing that did strike me was (and this gets back to the idea that we seek elsewhere for affirmation) that he said that religion-baiting is actually Satan's work. For an example, he mentioned that he grew up Baptist and was always pretty smug around his Methodist friends because they had it wrong. Now, though, "It all sounds you innocent until you realize whatever evil thing it was that caused me to believe Baptists are better than Methodists is the same evil thing that has Jews killing Palstinians rather than talking to them, and for that matter, Palestinians killing Jews rather than engaging in an important conversation about land and history and peace."

I do feel like a lot of the time, we define ourselves in terms of being better or worse than other people, and that bothers me.

I think I preferred Blue Like Jazz, though.
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LibraryThing member l_millsaps
We are all on a search for love - but as the song says, most of the time we are looking in all the wrong places. We seek affirmation from other people, from relationships both real and imagined; when in reality we should be looking only to God for the love we desperately need. In his book
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"Searching for God Knows What", Donald Miller tells us that we find this not through following the rituals of religion; instead, we learn about God's love through having an intimate relationship with Him. Miller suggests that perhaps Christianity is less about following a set of rules and regulations, and more about falling in love with Jesus. The really stunning thing about this love story is not that we should love Jesus...but that Jesus loves us and sacrificed everything for us, to bring communion back to our broken relationship with Him. When you really believe this, it will change not only the way you love God, but the way you love others as well - not as people who can give you the love you need, but as people you can love just for who they are.
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LibraryThing member Amzzz
A disappointment compared to Blue Like Jazz. Seemed to have no point whatsoever.
LibraryThing member KaitlynEyre
Ahhhh......such good unspoken truth proclaimed with boldness and bluntness! Refreshing and freeing!
LibraryThing member SueinCyprus
I found this book riveting. Donald Miller has a clear, chatty and almost simplistic style of writing that gets right to the heart of what many people are probably thinking. This book is partly biographical - although not as much as 'Blue like Jazz' - and partly theological and philsophical.

He uses
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examples such as Santa Claus, bearded ladies, spends a great deal of time thinking about Adam and Eve being naked, and also pulls to pieces the analogy of people in lifeboats deciding who is the most important.

These and other metaphors are used through the book, until he reaches the heart of what he's trying to say: that comparisons are pointless, and the world is shallow. That Christianity is not a religion of bullet points or formulae, but a living, loving relationship with Jesus Christ.

All in all, I thought it excellent and thought-provoking and will probably read it again in a few years. Highly recommended.
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LibraryThing member highlander6022
A good book overall, but not quite as good as Miller's other big seller, Blue Like Jazz. Still, an excellent read.
LibraryThing member katscribefever
Blue Like Jazz: Phenomenal. I can't put into words what reading this has meant to me. I am moved.
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