Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Over on Steve McCoy's site, there's a discussion over the recent 9 Marks review of Blue Like Jazz. I read the review by Shane Walker and the subsequent response by the iMonk, Michael Spencer.

Here is my take since 1. I've met Donald Miller and 2. I've been through the spiritual desert of Christianity.

First of all, Shane Walker has his right to critique "Blue Like Jazz". Heck, anyone with access to an internet site or blog can write a critique. However, in Walker's review, he forgets the premise: Miller's faith journey and learning to be a relational Christian, not a superficial one. Miller covers his own faults (which most of us would be unwilling to do), redemption, and being a witness for Christ.

Walker examines BLJ through scholarly-Biblical eyes, while pointing out spikes of post modernism. Walker continues with his belief that Miller's Jesus is a happy-go-lucky guy, who hangs out with Miller, and drinks beer. Walker then contends, rightly, that Jesus is really the ultimate judge and wrath bearer.

Yet Walker entirely misses the scene of Miller, and fellow Christians, speaking to students at Reed College. While at Reed, Miller shows the face and voice of Jesus. He reaches them much differently than the Bible waving Southern Baptist, spewing threats of damnation (no, not all Southern Baptists do this). Miller explains forgiveness and redemption worthy of reaching the hard-hearted and hard-minded.

I could go into berating Walker on the use of alcohol, Biblical interpretation, or reaching the lost for Christ through love, grace, and mercy, but I won't. Walker needs to experience this for himself.

In closing, Walker needs to remember that there are people who would simply listen to God's Word and find salvation in Christ. However, there are also people who need to see the face and character of Christ in order to believe. I'm by no means an intellectual person, but I am one who is relational and shows the face of Christ to those I meet. Much like Donald Miller.


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