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Searching for God Knows What Paperback – October 13, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz, serves as campus ministry leader at Reed College. His writing voice is casual and somewhat eccentric, while his theories—largely derived from experience rather than extensive study—are at times brilliant, at times questionable and rarely supported by outside sources. The book covers a great deal of territory: Miller's walking away from God as a teenager and returning to his faith; the competitive nature of human relationships, painfully demonstrated through junior high memories; the meaning of morality and religion; the essence of true Christianity. But Miller's main theme is dissatisfaction with the way Christianity is taught and practiced. He says the religion ought not to be presented as a formula, its tenets broken down into bullet points to fit modern Western thought patterns. At its heart, Miller argues, Christianity is relationship. Interested people should be presented with biblical stories rather than steps to salvation. Miller also believes that many Christians behave correctly but their actions lack meaning: "The tough thing about Christian spirituality is, you have to mean things. You can't just go through the motions or act religious for the wrong reasons... this thing is a thing of the heart." However, Miller offers only faint suggestions to replace the formulaic or systematic approach to faith that he denounces.
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About the Author

Donald Miller is the author of several books, including the bestsellers Blue Like Jazz and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. He helps people live a better story at and helps leaders grow their businesses at He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Betsy, and their chocolate lab, Lucy.



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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Later Printing edition (October 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400280419
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785263715
  • ASIN: 0785263713
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (227 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #413,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Donald Miller is a student of story. He's the author of New York Times Best Sellers: "Blue Like Jazz," "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years," and "Scary Close." He co-wrote the major motion picture "Blue Like Jazz" which debuted at the SXSW Film Festival and was listed as one of the top four movies to get you through freshman year by USA Today. He has served on The Presidential Task Force for Fatherhood and Healthy Families, a joint effort between government and the private sector to rewrite the story of fatherlessness in America. Currently, he helps people live a better story at and helps leaders grow their businesses at Donald lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Betsy, and their chocolate lab, Lucy.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

211 of 217 people found the following review helpful By Gabriel Guzman on July 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up on a whim while visiting <a href="[...]">Powells Books</a> in Portland, OR. It was just sitting there on the shelf, and pretty much summed up what I was thinking to myself at the time: I know I'm looking for something, but God knows what that might be. I picked it up, put it back down, continued browsing, and then saw it again on my way out the door, and decided to buy it.

I don't know why it never dawned on me that it was a Christian book written by a Christian writer (It's not like the word GOD is in the title), which may have been a blessing, since in general I feel that most of that genre is stuffed with preachy type self help books trying to save you, or get you to come to Church. Once I started reading it and figured out that it WAS a Christian book, I had to pause and convince myself to keep reading, though I felt sure I would run into some of that convert or go to hell rhetoric, so popular among hard core Christians. To my amazement and delight there wasn't any of that in this book at all.

It is, quite simply, a young man ( I assume, there is no picture), well versed in scripture, and theology, talking about why the human race is where it is, and why we are never satisfied with what we have. Not only that, but he never makes you feel guilty about anything. He stresses the relational nature of the stories in the Bible, as opposed to the formulaic nature of the people who generally interpret the Bible for their own means.

The main point that Mr. Miller tries to pound into your head, is that people have become estranged from God (the fall in the garden) and that they no longer have the awesome glory of God within themselves.
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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful By sidneymu on November 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
I just recently read his last book, Blue Like Jazz, and loved it. This one seems to have a little more of a serious tone. He opened up quite a bit and had a little less of the light hearted story telling of Blue Like Jazz. At time he inspired me and at other times he annoyed me...sort of like someone would if you knew them really well. I have come to really appreciate that his opinions are well thought out and not condescending like many other authors that write these types of books. He sort of reminds me of Philip Yancey at times, another thoughtful Christian author that I really like. It was funny to see that he writes about being a fan of his too and quotes him in one chapter. The chapter on morality was fantastic and really changed the way I'm thinking about morality, politics, Chrisitanity, and the culture war everyone is talking about.

One of the main things I walked away from this book thinking was that while it was still important to be aware of political issues and vote, as a Christian I should be way more focused on relationships to Christ and others than political causes. As Miller points out, despite a highly charged political environment in his time Jesus didn't join a political party or run for office to change things, but deeply engaged those around him in a loving and forgiving way. Same with Paul and the disciples. I though this was a brilliant point, but then I go to Miller's web site,, to find him pimping a bunch of activist organizations that in his words 'seems to be participating, at least to some degree, in the concerns of our God'. That's cool, but I think that's a pretty big stretch for some of the politically charged organizations he lists like Huh?
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Brian Bear on August 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
I saw this book on the shelf and grabbed it based on the title alone. The cover was pretty cool, though you know what they say about judging books that way. Anyway, the title was something I could relate to, so the book got my attention.

Miller takes the scenic route through some of the concerns of life and how that all relates to God. He particularly focuses on what humanity lost in the Fall through Adam and Eve and the importance of gaining our sense of worth and value from God. If not, we end up with the "lifeboat mentality", as he refers to it. It is the implications of this that he deals a lot with, and how Jesus responded to the same thing.

Unlike some reviewers, I found the book a ceaseless pleasure to read, and one that had a remarkable level of honesty about things. It was this candid look at life and Miller's own personality that really appealed to me. It also made the book that much easier to relate to, in the sense that it was clearly written by someone who is as messed up as I am, (or was).

Perhaps, for me personally, was Miller's "life is a fine wine" comment quoted from one of his friends. I really appreciated the insights into accepting reality as it is, and not having unrealistic expectations, (something I am prone to). While not everything is deep and profound in the book, much of it surely is.

This is a book that will suit people wondering just what they are looking for in Jesus Christ, I think. For those who know something is missing, but not really sure what, I think this would be a valuable read. While it may not supply the answers for the individual situation, it definitely clarified a lot of issues for me. Recommended to the hilt.
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