Donald Miller on Redemption and GraceThursday, February 18, 2010
"...by accepting God's love for us, we fall in love with Him, and only then do we have the fuel to obey" (Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz, p. 86).
Heading up to Atlanta tonight with my #2 son, Eli. We're hooking up with my #1 son, Harrison, and his schoolmates at the Georgia Aquarium. On the way up, I listened to an audio book my teammate, Alan Ballard, gave to me to listen to. I recall the critical knot in my stomach I had felt when it was published. "That Donald Miller! What an Emergent who's treading on the thine ice of forsaking the gospel." I was full of bull---- then...now I'm just full of crap. (Hey! It ain't called "progressive sanctification" for nothin'!).
For some reason there was an openness to it in my heart. Don't know why, and couldn't tell you. Well, maybe I could. I think it's because of the recent series I've been thinking about and preparing to write more on in the "Idyllic Christianity" series...an all-out attack on the oldest enemy to the gospel in my life...and yours. Legalism. Maybe my studying and thinking about this has created a gaping hole in my heart to hear truth where I shunned it before.
Anyway, I'm sure my Reformed friends will tell me their reasons why I'm reading it now in the comment section below...eventually. Regardless of their opinions, or my former opinion for that matter, I was truly moved while listening to this precious brother who grew up without a dad, wander on the journey God laid out for him in discovering God as his real father. Miller's grasp on the gospel as a result of that journey is something I'm just now coming into myself...which is what this blog has always been about...a journey in the gospel of Jesus.
Eli loved it...especially the end of chapter 6 on "Redemption" flowing into chapter 7 on "Grace: The Beggar's Kingdom." He asked me when we pulled into the in-laws house for the night, "Hey dad, can we listen to more of that tomorrow while we head to the Aquarium?" Pretty cool. He's only eleven. And he gets it.
So here's the next miscellany that comes from my latest imbibing on things gospel-centered. Oh man! How I can relate to his description of trying to "live like like a Navy SEAL for Jesus" (p. 79)! I could have been in his little club...and been the head SEAL.
So from this brief reading, I trust many of you will be able to either relate to it...or be molded by it. Or maybe both. So here's the starting point I'd suggest for this post from the free Google book edition of Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller.