Dear Donald Miller

You don’t know me, but I’ve been a fan of your book Blue Like Jazz since I read it a few years ago. It draws from a worldview perspective I do not share, but taken on its own terms, it’s a work of art. I mean that.

I don’t have the exact quote, but Emerson said somewhere that great writers hold up a mirror to the world around them and say, “Here you are.” Blue Like Jazz holds up this mirror for the Gen X segment of 1980s and 90s evangelicalism—my own peer group. We grew up with one foot in the world of seeker-sensitive worship services and another foot in the world of MTV, shopping malls, and sitcom laugh tracks. We eventually discovered how much the first world borrowed from the second to keep us coming back. This realization in turn led us to be skeptical toward the whole Christian program, as if Jesus were just one more product. Many of us therefore left the faith, while those of us who remained insisted on something more real, more authentic, from our Christian spirituality. Often, this search led us outside the boundaries of conventional churches.


All that to say, reading your book was like walking up to a painting that captures the spirit of the age, only this painting captured my own. Thank you.

From that shared starting point, my life and spirituality traveled down a road—a way out of the inauthenticity—that’s very different from yours. And here is where I have wanted to strike up a conversation with you ever since reading the book. Yes, that means pushing back a bit, but perhaps you can do the same with me.

Your recent blog post, “I Don’t Worship God by Singing. I Connect With Him Elsewhere.,” reminded me of all this background. In addition to saying you “don’t connect with God by singing,” you also say “I don’t learn much about God hearing a sermon” since “a traditional lecture is not for everybody.” And you admit that you don’t attend church often since “church is all around us.”

The worldview and spirituality here resembles what I found in Blue Like Jazz. But now we’re not talking about a piece of art. We’re talking about how a Christian chooses to live. And, as I said, the path I’ve taken from those early days of angst and displacement, neither at home in the world nor in the American evangelical church, has turned in a very different direction. Instead of moving away from the traditional forms of institutional Christianity, I’ve moved toward them. My way out was deeper in.

I’m now an elder in a church with hour-long sermons, several long prayers, lots of singing, membership classes and interviews and meetings. We talk about repentance, practice church discipline, and use phrases like “submitting to the elders.” In fact, Don, it gets worse. I’ve written about these things. I’ve advocated for them. I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid and then filled a tray of Dixie cups to hand out.

No, we must not mistake these structures for authentic Christian living and love. But I do believe they are both the food that gives life to the body, as well as the skeleton that holds the organs and muscles in place. And I believe they are biblical, by which I mean prescriptive for all Christians in all times and places, albeit with circumstantial adjustments.

Spiritual life comes by hearing, seeing, and submitting, typically in that order. We hear God’s Word preached, sung, prayed, and counseled. We see it lived out in the lives of fellow Christians and leaders. And we submit ourselves to the Word and these fellow sinners, with all their faults and eccentricities, in a local congregation. As my own pastor has put it, we admit that we are not the world expert on ourselves, but need one another and his Word in order to see ourselves clearly and to follow Christ. Life in the midst of Word-centered, accountability-giving fellowship, he has said, is like throwing paint on the invisible man. Wow! I didn’t know I looked like that.

Pick just one word out of the Bible—say, patience. I will not know how wonderfully patient God is, and how impatient I am, until I close my mouth and listen to a fellow believer open the Bible and say, “God is patient.” And then ask, “How patient were you this week with your wife and kids?” And finally tell me, “Consider God’s patience for you in Christ!”

Even then, this word patient will remain a little abstract. So on Sunday morning I look across the pew at Tom, who I know is being treated unfairly at work. But there he is, belting out at the top of his lungs, “When through fiery trials, thy pathway shall lie, my grace all sufficient, shall be thy supply.” The next day I ask Tom how he’s doing, and he tells me how he’s praying for his colleagues and inviting them to dinner. That’s what Jesus’ patience looks like: Tom waiting on the Lord—forgiving, praying, and singing with joy.

I need Tom, and I need every other member. I need the honorable parts of the body and the dishonorable parts. I can’t say to the hand or foot, “I don’t need you.” I need all of them, the weak and strong, the winsome and irksome. And we all need the Word—in sermon, song, and prayer—guiding us. So we gather weekly to listen. Then we scatter to look, love, and help each other live.

I’m glad you connect with God in your work, as you wrote. Your comment reminded me to be more prayerful in my work. But shouldn’t connecting with God in work be the “output”? Don’t we need the “input” of Word-centered fellowship, so that we truly “connect” with him and not subtly spiritualized regurgitations of the world’s influence on us?

Speaking of connection, the main thing that struck me about your article were the words connect and intimacy. They occur over and over, and seem to be the measure and goal of your spirituality. And how life-giving both are!

But if we’re brainstorming on a whiteboard, we need to jot down a few more words to get the full biblical picture, words like submission, obedience, love, and worship. Jesus says that anyone who loves him will obey his teaching (John 14:23). He says that claiming to love God but failing to love our brothers makes us liars (1 John 4:20). He says the world will know we are Christians if we lay down our lives for other Christians just like Jesus laid down his life for us (John 13:34-45).

And here’s where the rubber meets the road: I don’t know how we can say we love and belong to the church without loving and belonging to a church. Or saying we want to connect with God, but we won’t listen to God’s Word for only 45 minutes out of all the minutes in a week. Ultimately, it’s like claiming we’re righteous in Christ, but not bothering to “put on” that righteousness with how we live.

Let me say it again: Our love and unity with the church should manifest itself in a church. Our listening to God means listening to his Word—spoken and sung.

Bottom line, Don, I’ve always appreciated much about your diagnosis of the contemporary evangelical church. But I don’t understand your prescription. Since you’re obviously a thoughtful person, I hope you will receive my challenge as a sign of respect, which I mean it to be.

Best regards to you.


P.S. Just saw your reply to a number of critics, posted around the same time as my letter. Again, some diagnoses I agree with, like, churches over-programatize. But you keep saying no one’s church looks like the church in Acts?! Many churches I know do. People gather to hear the teaching of the apostles. And they scatter to enjoy fellowship and hospitality and care for one another’s needs. They baptize as a way of declaring who belongs to “their number.” And they exercise discipline when a professor lives falsely (okay, here I’m borrowing from the epistles, unless you count Peter’s responses to Ananias, Sephira, or Simon as discipline).

In other words, Don, the main thing I want to highlight in response to both of your posts is the difference between what you call “community” and what the Bible calls the “church.” Jesus actually gave authority to those local assemblies called churches (Matt. 16:13-20; 18:15-20). The assembly is not just a fellowship, but an accountability fellowship. It’s not just a group of believers at the park; it preaches the gospel and possesses the keys of the kingdom for binding and loosing through the ordinances. It declares who does and does not belong to the kingdom. It exercises oversight. And exercising such affirmation and oversight meaningfully means gathering regularly and getting involved in one another’s lives.

Your idea of community, to my ears, honestly, sounds more American and Romantic (as in the -ism of the 19th century) than biblical. All authority remains with the individual to pick and choose, come and go, owing some of the obligations of love, perhaps, but always on one’s own terms, happy to stay as long as the experience “completes me” and my sense of self.

Last thought, friend: I do think you’re overplaying the “people have different learning styles” card. You’ve read Hebrews. Talk about tough trudging, right? But it’s a sermon! And you know the original hearers didn’t have as much education as most Americans. But for some reason the Holy Spirit thought it was adequate for everyone.

Best to you.

  • Pingback: Dear Donald Miller | Do You Really Believe?()

  • Steve Martin


    It doesn’t happen (faith coming) at the mall. Or viewing a nice sunset.

    We need to go where sinners gather. To hear the Word (faith comes by hearing – and not just one time)..and we need to receive the sacraments.

    And if you don’t want to sing a hymn now and then, then don’t. But at least be there…and listen, for a change.

  • Bethany Jenkins
  • Adam

    This guy is a popular and talented writer with obvious influence. He’s a ‘lifecoach’ for people and he basically says that one doesn’t have to go to church if it doesn’t work with their learning styles.
    Wow, I really don’t have any respect for him.

    Just as much as I wouldn’t respect anyone who said that they don’t have to obey any other of God’s commands if it doesn’t work with ‘their learning style’.

    It is unfortunate that he is popular and has influence that it necessitates a response. This guy is far from being ignorant about what the Bible says about these things. He chooses not to obey them. It was a nice and kind and true response to this very dangerous teaching.

    • SN

      God does not “command” us to go to a building we call a church and sit in a “congregation” and sing and pray and listen to a sermon…if you want to, awesome, it is definitely a great idea and i recommend people do it. but…do you really think the majority of our “churches” are what they were experiencing in the NT? I sure don’t…

  • Nancy Green

    Read “Blue Like Jazz” at around the time I started reading stuff like “Prodigal God” (Keller), “Because He Loves Me” (Elyse Fitzpatrick), “Jesus Plus Nothing” (Tchividjian), and reading Gospel Coalition blogs. Blue Like Jazz rang so true because the American church that I was exposed to was so much like the “church” decried by Miller. It made me hungry to know Christ better, to understand the Gospel and get it INSIDE of me so that I would more and more resemble the Bride of Christ and less and less look like the horrible example of “church” that Miller talked about. So Miller’s book was a huge help to me, as far as that went. It showed me what the logical conclusion of the modern seeker-friendly, me-centered church is. Likewise, it gave me a passion for the Gospel and to see the glory of God in the face of Christ that can only come from diving deep into the Gospel.

    • Adam

      I’m glad that you were helped by Blue like jazz. But it is interesting that Miller himself didn’t arrive at the same place you did. All his arguments for not going to church in his blog post are ‘me-centered’. It is a great irony…don’t you think?

      • Mary


  • John F

    I was going to use the format of an open letter to Mr Leeman to say I think the format of open letters is over-used, but I thought the irony would be too much. However, I did agree mostly with Mr Leeman’s content.

  • TEQ

    It occurs to me that what Mr. Miller has said about his spirituality is pretty much the same as the seeker-friendly, consumer oriented evangelicalism of the 80s and 90s. If sermons aren’t for you, maybe rap or drama or miming are. Whatever appeals to you stays, and whatever doesn’t goes. This time it’s just covered with the veneer of “authenticity.”

    • Ryan

      That being said, I think it is important to remember that the sermon-centric approach is not Biblically prescribed nor is it set in stone, and it is, perhaps, worth tinkering it. As our brothers and sisters in the high church like to remind us, we spend fifty minutes talking about the Word of God and fifty seconds actually reading from it. A rather unfair assessment, in some ways, but I see what they’re getting at, and I can’t refute their main point (some of my Roman Catholic friends like to smirk and say “What do you mean, we don’t take a high view of the Bible? You’re the ones who refuse to touch the thing unless it pertains directly to the homily!”).

      While church, as I said below, is not about catering to people’s needs, and we shouldn’t go around reinventing the wheel just because a few people don’t like it, at the same time, I think we do need to be constantly evaluating what we’re doing and determining whether it’s working or not. We oughtn’t pander to those who dislike things the way they are, but at the same time we need to avoid pandering to those who are happy with the status quo.

      I suppose what I’m saying is that I agree with you, but that at the same time we shouldn’t go too far in the other direction. After all, at the end of the day, isn’t “not appealing to us” fundamentally the reason why we (i.e. low church evangelicalism as a whole) quit liturgical services? Then if the way services are conducted today doesn’t appeal to a large amount of people, what incentive do we have to stick with it?

      Another question along those lines: With the immense prevalence of podcasts and streaming sermons today, does that make a service built around the homily a little redundant? Should we be going for a more balanced approach?

  • Ryan

    An excellent post.

    I sympathize very deeply with Don Miller. I do. I’m a very pronounced visual learner – I get all my nourishment from reading, and for me, going five minutes in a sermon without tuning out is a herculean feat (ironic, since I’m a preacher myself). I can’t remember the last time I benefited from hearing a sermon. Similarly, I can’t think of a single worship song I enjoy. Worship music just isn’t my thing – or hymns, for that matter. I enjoy a lot of jazz and a fair bit of classical, and I find that for me, the music played in churches just doesn’t really scratch those itches (well, except for some of the hymns done in the RCC).

    But here’s the thing. If the Sunday morning service was about meeting our needs, no one would go.

    We would stay home, so that we could sleep in. Have a nice, lazy breakfast, then throw on an album by our favourite worship artist. Once that’s over, we might pull up our laptop and stream a sermon by our absolute favourite preacher, while reading the Bible in our preferred translation. After that, we may call up one or two of our brothers and sisters in Christ who really inspire and encourage us, and see if they want to go to lunch.

    But that’s not what church is about. Church is not about getting what we want. Church is about coming together as a community of believers, disparate in preferences but united in purpose. Church is about coming together as one body to praise the name of God through music, Scripture, prayer, and sacraments – and yes, that usually means hearing the songs that you aren’t into, listening to sermons that don’t excite you, and spending time with people you don’t like.

    What disturbs me a little is that people inevitably ask me “How can you lead worship if you don’t enjoy worship music?” The answer, of course, is simple – I don’t like the music, but I love worshiping. I think it’s revelatory of a deep-seated idolatry in our churches. When we sit there on a Sunday morning, and instead of saying “I want to meet with God and hear how He will speak to me as an individual and us as a community” we say “Ugh, you know what, John Piper does a way better treatment of this passage” – when we stand before the God of the universe who created us, whose gazed has pierced to the very depths of our heart and has known the blackest sins which we won’t even admit to ourselves and yet loved us enough to die for us anyway, and we say to Him “Listen God, you’re awesome and all, but I just couldn’t praise you this morning because the music just wasn’t really my thing, you know? Too loud/soft/slow/fast/contemporary/traditional/shallow/wordy/etc.” To me, when these attitudes are appearing, that tells me that we are not going to church to worship God, but ourselves.

    Another thing that annoys me is the tendency people have to say “Oh, well that sermon didn’t really speak to my life in particular, therefore it was a bad sermon,” because it shows we see God’s communication through the Word as a purely individualistic process, but I think I’ve ranted enough for now ;)

    • Mindi

      Lots of great points. Thanks for the exhortation not to swim with tide of the world.

    • Mitch

      Solid. I really appreciate your thoughts, Ryan. They’re gonna stick with me.

    • C Hamilton

      Ryan- Love your post…esp. the section starting with “If Sunday morning service was about meeting our needs, no one would go.” I’m printing this to read again on Sunday to encourage me!

  • Michelle Sceroler

    I happen to agree with Donald Miller on this one for a myriad of reasons. But to “read into” his first blog seems to be a trend. How do you know Donald Miller is not loving God and others simply because he chooses not to commit to a Sunday morning service? Couldn’t the very same be said of those who do attend? “They worship me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” We seem to get hung up over the externals when Scripture repeatedly reminds us that God alone knows the heart. Each is entitled to his or her opinion, but we must respect them still. Christ himself was unconventional, so maybe we should pray more for eyes to see where His Spirit may be moving. It may just in fact shock us that He can work both within the walls of a church and outside.

    • Frank Turk


      We know because of all the reasons Jonathan listed in this blog post.

  • Nathan W.

    Was it Augustine who said, “He cannot have God as his Father who does not have the church as his mother”?

  • Gregory M. Scandrett

    I find myself more in agreement with Donald then you but what i love most about both well written, thoughtful and insightful essays is the tone. both are gracious, both are kind and both do not speak disparagingly about disagreers. Kudos to you both. See, the “church” can honestly and deeply discuss differences. that seems to me to be the Body of Christ.

    Thanks to you both.

    • Truth Unites… and Divides

      “I find myself more in agreement with Donald then you but what i love most about both well written, thoughtful and insightful essays is the tone.”

      Oh yes! Tone > Truth.

      Judge the truth by judging the tone.

      If you like the tone, then it’s the truth!

      • Ryan

        No one is judging the truth by its tone. People are instead saying that debating with a gracious tone is preferable to mudslinging. You know, it is possible to speak the truth without indulging in one’s bestial urges.

        • Truth Unites… and Divides

          “People are instead saying that debating with a gracious tone is preferable to mudslinging. You know, it is possible to speak the truth without indulging in one’s bestial urges.”

          Did Jesus indulge in mudslinging and his bestial urges? Jesus called some folks hypocrites, fools, blind people, blind guides, serpents, brood of vipers, whitewashed tombs, lawless, of their father the devil, and liars.

          • Ryan

            “Jesus called some folks hypocrites, fools, blind people, blind guides, serpents, brood of vipers, whitewashed tombs, lawless, of their father the devil, and liars.”

            Yes He did. And the next time you’re an omniscient deity incarnated as a human, you can do the same. However, so long as you continue to be one of us mere mortals who do not have full or often even partial knowledge of other people’s hearts, and since you are unable to assert your position with the same authority Christ had, it is generally wise to offer people the benefit of the doubt.

            • Truth Unites… and Divides

              Ryan: “And the next time you’re an omniscient deity incarnated as a human, you can do the same.”

              Harsh words with a mean tone. Ergo, untrue and unloving.

          • julie

            You’ve read into the comment something that isn’t there. It’s very obvious that he isn’t saying tone is more important than truth, just that it is nice to see civil and respectful disagreement. If you think harsh and rude discussion is better than that is one thing, but it’s not cool to criticize people for something they didn’t say.

          • Ryan

            “Harsh words with a mean tone. Ergo, untrue and unloving.”

            Right. Okay, here’s the thing. You’re trying to refute an argument no one is making. You realize that, right? No one here has suggested that something is more true or less true based on the tone it is delivered with.

            If you object to the spirit of the article and wish that the authour had spoken more harshly against Donald Miller, then say that. But don’t pretend that people here are accepting the article as true because it was said in a loving tone.

            • Truth Unites… and Divides

              Regardless of tone, Jonathan Leeman’s rebuttal to Donald Miller is true.

              Leeman’s position: Right. Miller’s position: Wrong.

              Christ loved and died for His Bride, the Church.

              If you want to disdain Christ’s bride, and don’t want to accept correction on that disdain, that’s on you.

            • Brady

              You have a skewed understanding of “the church”. If your position is that “the church” means a building or the people who occupy it, you’ve missed it. “The Church” is the body of Christ, whether they attend a Sunday morning service that meets in a Cathedral or a coffee shop group that studies scripture on tuesday nights, or has dinner together often and shares each other’s burdens and prays together. If you are in Christ you are part of THE CHURCH. To state that Leeman is right and Miller is wrong, you’d have to make a greater argument than what you’ve done.

            • Truth unites… And divides

              “To state that Leeman is right and Miller is wrong, you’d have to make a greater argument than what you’ve done.”

              I simply have to evaluate the arguments of both.

              Here’s a loving rebuttal to Donald Miller:


    • Chad Hall

      Well said, Greg.

  • Joshua Waulk

    I have toyed with the ideas of men like Miller and co. I have found them at times to be very intriguing and even inspiring. But, in the end, I choose to work on change within the church, rather than without (and, we do need Spirit-filled change). Matt Smethurst tweeted a little quote from Augustine the other day that just smacked me right in the mouth…”Yes, the church is a whore; but that whore is the bride of Christ and she is your mother and you have no right to abandon her.” That pretty much sums it up, right there. ;-)

    • Ryan

      “that whore is the bride of Christ and she is your mother and you have no right to abandon her”

      Um, yeah. About that. That’s, uh, that’s kind of an awkward statement for us as Protestants to deal with.

    • Clayton

      That quote is bogus – can’t be attributed to St. Augustine.

  • katie

    this is a conversation that should be had in person. not on the internet. our struggle is against sin & satan, not our fellow christians. like C.S. Lewis said in “mere christianity”…

    “I hope no reader will suppose that “mere” Christianity is here put forward as an alternative to the
    creeds of the existing communions—as if a man could adopt it in preference to Congregationalism or Greek Orthodoxy or anything else. It is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms. If I can bring anyone into that hall I shall have done what I attempted. But it is in the rooms, not in the hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals. The hall is a place to wait in, a place from which to try the various doors, not a place to live in. For that purpose the worst of the rooms (whichever that may be) is, I think, preferable.

    It is true that some people may find they have to wait in the hall for a considerable time, while others feel certain almost at once which door they must knock at. I do not know why there is this difference, but I am sure God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait. When you do get into your room you will find that the long wait has done you some kind of good which you would not have had otherwise. But you must regard it as waiting, not as camping. You must keep on praying for light: and, of course, even in the hall, you must begin trying to obey the rules which are common to the whole house. And above all you must be asking which door is the true one; not which pleases you best by its paint and paneling.

    In plain language, the question should never be: “Do I like that kind of service?” but “Are these
    doctrines true: Is holiness here? Does my conscience move me towards this? Is my reluctance to
    knock at this door due to my pride, or my mere taste, or my personal dislike of this particular door-

    When you have reached your own room, be kind to those who have chosen different doors and to
    those who are still in the hall. If they are wrong they need your prayers all the more; and if they are
    your enemies, then you are under orders to pray for them. That is one of the rules common to the
    whole house.”

    be kind.

  • Brad

    The contrarian spirit among young Christians is so thick today. There is a difference between thinking critically and just being critical. Questioning the motives and behaviors of certain eras of church history shouldn’t result in questioning the legitimacy of Christ’s Church as a whole. When many young Christians reason “did God really say” we should ask ourselves why we are really asking the question and revisit Genesis 3. Authority issues and pride masquerade as intellect and freedom. The biggest challenge of our time is discerning truth from a lie. It’s not a new problem but the blogosphere is giving it fresh legs.

  • Christine Ivy

    I’m going to bless you with a nice short comment. :)

    This is a beautiful treatment of the bride of Christ. Thank you.

  • Tina Bustamante

    What a great response letter. Thank you.

  • Peter

    Great article Jonathan! – Your Julian apple pie friend

  • Jane in TX

    “My way out was deeper in.” Perfect.

  • Wayne

    “But you keep saying no one’s church looks like the church in Acts?!”

    If that’s his expectation, then he deserves to no longer receive one’s attention.

  • Clayton

    I can relate to some of Don’s sentiments. I almost always feel out of place in evangelical worship services, especially of the contemporary variety. I do not connect to God in the emotional way that others appear to.

    • Nate B

      I agree. I connect to evangelical sermons, but the worship services seem to have a level of unclear expectation of what is trying to be done. Especially with the vagueness that is often found in contemporary Christian songs. I prefer the old stuff because it is deeper.

      • Ryan

        “Especially with the vagueness that is often found in contemporary Christian songs.”

        I would argue that this is mostly the result of people attempting to market their songs to as wide an audience as possible. I think ecumenicism is an incredibly valuable pursuit, and that to have songs that every Christian can join in singing together is a powerful tool for building up the Kingdom. Nonetheless, theologically-specific songs have their place, too, and there is great value to be found in going deep as well as wide.

        Unfortunately, going deep doesn’t sell as many records.

        • Nate B

          I wish going deep sold more records.

          I’ve been a Christian for 10 years and I seem to enjoy the songs that have less ecstasy and more depth. I just think it is funny how we often require our pastors to have a logical appeal in their sermons and be exacting in their theology, but many songs seem somewhat watered down and unclear. Or maybe it is the idea that many worship experiences seem to try to create what you might feel at a concert EVERY Sunday—-when this is unrealistic.

          John Mark MacMillian’s “The Medicine” was one album that was lyrically deep and seemed to pave new ground in music but it did not sell as much, because it did not fit into the contemporary Christian marketing scheme. My fear now is that Christian music will have a 3 year lag in terms of style.

  • Christy Dorr

    Blue Like Jazz was the catalyst that put me on a deeper journey of examining by reasons for being a church member and seeking a deeper, Word-based walk with Jesus. After reading it, the first thing I did was read the New Testament straight through without stopping, just to see what Jesus really said and did- how he responded. In this journey, I became very critical of what others were doing or not doing within the church, based on what the New Testament said, and filtered through an attitude I carried with me from Don’s book. I left the local church for 2 1/2 years. In many ways, I grew closer to the Lord and “found myself” during those months, but I also nearly starved to death for the glorious, God-designed things that only a church family can share- What I learned most in walking away was that I couldn’t walk away. I learned that the problems weren’t what other people were doing or not doing within my local church, but heart issues with me- pride, a critical spirit, just to name two. The day I walked back into a local church, actually looking for one I might call home, God did something huge. As I sat in the pew, listening to a simple message preached straight from the Word, God washed over me with it. For months, I would just sit and cry, letting the words being spoken soak in like a salve. I’m thankful for Don’s book. Had I not read it, I don’t know where I would be- possible still trying to do church through my pride and criticism, unfulfilled and thirsty, seeking the pleasures of the world. I love your letter to Don- I love Don. I’m very thankful for both of your journeys and that you share them with us.

  • Clarice

    Thanks for this, Jonathan. I really appreciated your gracious response.

    Here’s what gets my goat the most about Don’s perspective on church: There are people who have actually been burned by the church in legitimately horrible ways. Judged, slandered, ostracized, wrongly accused, molested, etc. Those people have some injury that would drive them out of the church, and I can’t say I necessarily blame them. From what I’ve read of Don, he doesn’t seem to have a complaint against the church in that way. Was he spiritually abused or injured legitimately? Or does he just “not like” church?

    My concern is that people who have been spiritually abused use Don’s arguments to justify their exit from the church of Jesus Christ when it’s those people who need the church the most. It’s a hospital, the true church is. I wish injured Christians didn’t base their church attendance (or lack) on their horrific experience in a white washed tomb. Not all churches are like that. But thanks to Don Miller, injured Christians don’t think they need to find a true body of believers (that worships, preaches the Word, and administers the sacraments–as clearly outlined in scripture to do!) to find healing for their broken spirits. Dunno if that makes sense or contributes to the discussion but…it’s heavy on my heart.

  • Josh Perkins

    Great points and submitted respectfully and humbly with love.

  • Nate B

    I would like to read more about the “whys” behind worship music in the church today. Often times I clearly understand the purpose behind a 35 minute sermon focused on one text. A sermon that is reasoned and clearly explains how to put the teachings of Matthew or James into practice. In some ways it seems self-explanatory. It’s like eating lunch for me, I need it every week.

    On the other hand I’ve never heard a sermon or teaching or analysis on the purpose of what you are supposed to be doing while you are singing. We have multiple books on apologetics and how to be sanctified in Christ, but I often feel like it is up for interpretation what is to be going on in our minds during a worship service. Yes, we should sing. But what should be going on in our minds while we are singing?

    Miller says: “I’ve a confession. I don’t connect with God by singing to Him. Not at all.” I can understand what he says here. I certainly try to sing, and pray the lyrics rather than singing them. But I continue to come to church because sermons are clear logic to my mind. But I hope that what Miller says here makes us wonder why we do what we do during worship, rather than just singing three songs, because we’ve always sung three songs. Or stand up just because that’s what is the ritual.

    • matt J

      Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3 command us to sing, and the emphasis is that it is a matter of fellowship. But the problem with Miller’s point and in response to your post, it is that modern Christian music has confused the imperative. Before the texts say anything about singing to God, they command us to speak to each other. Modern church music has confused us and thus made it irrelevant so long as it supposes that church music is a private worship experience with God. Church music is intended to be done toward one another as a means of building up the church. When we sing to one another in Psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, we are teaching and admonishing one another. We are group “preaching” truth to one another. This is why it is needed in the assembly. It is theologically, practically, and emotionally instructive to the entire body. This is why I believe the whole worship team/band experience completely misses the point of the NT command to sing in the assembly. And why if that is the experience that one has, why they could care less about singing in worship. My opinion as to why ministers don’t write books or publications on the topic is that to deal with the text exegetically, it most often will incriminate their own church practices. There are many churches, however, that do practice this kind of correct congregational singing and it is indeed a building up experience.

  • cindy way

    Good for you don!! I , too, have found I meet Jesus in a deeper and more meaningful way in service to others and in time spent in nature. I left church for a few years and wrote a blog entitled church in the woods. I felt guilty about that for a long time. I never felt the communtiy I longed for in women’s Bible studies and small groups. I do, however, feel like sermons urge me on and sometimes the worship stikes a note in me as well. So I go to church–sometimes. I think non-believers need to undestand that when exploring Christ– “church is optional”. Christ-following does not necessarily include the institutionalized church. Likewise church goers need to realize that church going doesn’t necessarily mean Christ-following either.

  • Mindi

    Dear Jonathan,

    Considering how much influence Don Miller has in the Christian community, I thought that his coming out about not attending church regularly was scary. It really only takes one generation of that kind of thinking to destroy the American church more completely than any scandal ever could. I appreciated your thoughtful and respectful response.

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  • Dave Noelle

    I think folks are absolutely saturated in modernist evangelical definitions… “Church” is a religious hierarchal institution that meets in a building for a couple hours Sunday morning. “Fellowship” is a bunch of plastic church people pretending they’ve got it all together for a while in the public gathering. “Serving the Body” is helping put on the religious event that helps attract other nameless faceless people to the event so they give money to the institution so that the institution can put on bigger, fancier, glossier plastic events for more nameless faceless “tithers.”

    Now of course most folks might not see things quite the same way. But for millions, and I repeat that – millions- of post-evangelicals that is precisely how they view institutional “church”! Now be free to disagree, but know that it only deepens those convictions and screams of a hidden agenda and control issues. If the institutional “church” is indeed everything it says it is, the reason Jesus died and all – so we can start a religion with worship services Sunday morning – then why be defensive?

    • Sam

      I will humbly and respectfully that comments like these are why millenial Christians are getting such a bad rep. This kind of talking does not advance the conversation at all, but simply repeats years of postmodern, self-referential gobbeldigook. It reminds me strongly of C.S. Lewis’s strictures on modernistic theology and how it tries to “see through everything.”

      “You can’t go on “seeing through” things forever…it is good that the window in the kitchen is transparent, because the garden beyond it is opaque. How about if you could see through the garden as well?…It does no good trying to “see through” first principles. A fully transparent world is the same as an invisible world. To “see through” everything is the same as not to see”

      • Ryan

        “This kind of talking does not advance the conversation at all, but simply repeats years of postmodern, self-referential gobbeldigook.”

        With respect, I’m not convinced that this kind of talking advances the conversation, either.

        It’s also worth pointing out that postmodern theology arose largely as a reaction against the modernist project Lewis was railing against. Now, if you were to suggest that aspects of postmodern theology, in particular what we see among many post-evangelicals, are in fact looping around and becoming heavily modernist again, I think that there’s something there worth exploring.

        • Sam

          It’s more than something: It’s plain as day. One need only review the personal journey of Brian McLaren and Tony Jones. Both of these men started writing “questions” and just trying to “get people thinking.” Very non commital in theological points, always presenting in dialoague rather than didactics. But that’s not how they are now. Jones is openly hostile towards complementarians, considers the orthodox teaching on hell as heresy, and has called for his supporters to withdraw from churches that disagree with him.

          “Wisdom is proved right by her deeds”

          • Ryan

            I don’t disagree with you, but I also wouldn’t consider Brian McLaren or Tony Jones to be particularly representative of postmodern theology.

            It’s also worth noting that Tony Jones’ call for egalitarians to schism from their complementarian brethren was widely panned by the egalitarian movement. In fact, from what I’ve seen, Tony Jones’ most vocal critics come from within his own movement. He seems to be, in many ways, the Ken Ham of Progressive Christianity.

  • stephanie

    Anything that looks anything like the believing community described in the book of Acts would be and is labeled a ‘cult’ today. It’s a totally different way and body than the 44,000 dismembered, disfigured, and divided body we see today. Who can honestly believe that a religion divided 44,000+ times and continuing to divide will stand, much less bring back Messiah. Apparently, there’s 2 new denominations formed every day. Were the Father and Son divided? Did they argue? What was Messiah’s last prayer? His dying wish, if you will? That they’d be one as the He and His Father are one.. Like Messiah said, you can’t pour old wine into new wineskin, likewise you cannot pour new wine into an old wineskin. Jesus represented new wine and the Jewish establishment represented to old wine skin. He busted that old thing, and so did His disciples. new wine- the Holy Spirit, the new wineskin- 1st century disciples. but those churches/communities fell away and Jesus put out their light because most of them didn’t overcome. they were commanded by Jesus himself thru John (Rev. 2) to overcome certain things, and you can read in James (written after Revelation) what was happening as most of them were not overcoming to keep their light, the Holy Spirit. i believe that Christianity and Judaism are old wineskins. They don’t hold new wine very well, and some of us, MAYBE including Donald Miller represent new wine. And, it might be the reason why you all are ‘busting at the seams’ right now. lol.. it’s sad really..

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  • Deb W

    Jonathan, Thank you for writing this! I have found that this train of false thinking and teaching has become all to prevalent and quite popular lately. I think single people are the most susceptible to it, but it’s certainly not limited to single people.

    In fact, I can remember Harold Camping on his Family Radio program convincing scores of people – young and old, married and otherwise – to come away from the institutional Church and to worship Christ on their own (thru his radio program, of course). So, this sort of thing is not necessarily new. What I think is new though is how widespread it has become, even among self-professed Calvinists.

    Anyone who is sincerely interested in hearing the case for Church membership and attendance would likely benefit from Joel Beeke’s presentation which was given at the Calvin500 anniversary conference a few years ago:
    in PDF format:

    Audio recording:

  • David

    Good article.

    As many of the comments here have said, spiritual growth can only happen through a daily reading of Scripture with an eye to obedience, and with the help of the Holy Spirit. Add prayer, and that is how you grow as a Christian. Fellowship with other believers is obedience to God, and He has designed it that way.

    Also, at some point in our spiritual growth, we are expected to pass what we’ve learned along to someone else .. i.e. “discipling” another believer. If we view sermons on Sunday morning as something not just for our own edification, but with an anticipation that this is something we can pass on, we will begin to look at sermons/teaching in a different way.

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  • Larry

    I appreciate the article and particularly Jonathan’s reasoned and accurate response to Donald Miller. However (and it seems, there is always an however), I find the use of “drunk the Kool-Aid and filled the dixie cups” to be inappropriate. This referral to a particularly disgusting perversion of Christianity should not be part of our vernacular. As a reference to the horrors that take place in our world – yes by all means use it. But not in the context used in this article.

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  • Dave Noelle

    The “one size fits all” sort of theology and methodology on display from some folks here is precisely the topic of Donald Miller’s blogs. I mean folks, is modernist American Evangelicalism,(and then we can go further to our subsequent sub-divisions within this global minority – say Calvanists or Armenians or Pentacostals, and then we can go even further to Baptists or my particular independent Baptist church which follows the teachings of so and so)- do we really believe that this method/theology is passed down as a direct proclamation from Christ Himself? Jesus died so we can have church services and divide up over petty theology that He never even touched on, let alone extrapolated in detail with all it’s spin-off presumptions!!!? Really?

    This is the “If your not just like me your an enemy of God (a god ultimately made in my image of course). You must think and act and connect with God the exact way my system proclaims.” Isn’t that precisely what the Pharisees claimed and precisely the polar opposite of what Jesus taught? Didn’t Jesus usually find Himself to be the target of riots or murder when he tried speaking to the religious in the temple? Didn’t he prefer teaching in story and with metaphor, often outside? “Consider the lilies, it’s like an olive tree, it’s like a vineyard, it’s like the lady who lost her coin, it’s like a shepherd…” When did Jesus extrapolate complex systematic theological absolutes as THE method of knowing Him!? When did Jesus (or anyone in the NT) demand that we form institutions whose primary focus, 80-90% of money and time, is spent on putting on a 2h show Sunday morning that we think will attract people who will join us in show making, agree with our theological constructs, and thus avoid “hell” because they are “just like me.” This is among the lowest levels of consciousness and spiritual maturity! It is soundly torn apart from front to back of our scriptural canon, yet it seems many still don’t can’t pick up the mirror and see reality.

    Where does the bible we practically worship in Evangelical churches (though we totally ignore many of it’s greater themes I believe) ever condemn someone for finding God in real ways, in nature, in relationships, through serving others? How can people who sit in pews once a week but may not even know the first real thing about others there (let alone “go to church” and be authentic the way they are the rest of their life when they aren’t “in church”), and judge a man who has helped millions encounter God with his writing, who does amazing things for the world’s most impoverished and poor, who lives very simply and humbly despite some “fame” and “wealth”, (quite the opposite of many high profile ‘christian’ celebrity pastor’s and authors), and above all, a fellow who is raw and honest about his faith even when he knows the religious hypocrites will come out in force with the judgment and blaming they are so good at piously dishing out. Really? That’s what it means to be a “christian”? It’s fine to attend a church service and be a total hypocrite and schmuck, but your ok cause you mouth the right rhetoric and attend the event, with a financial contribution to the institution of course. But a man who forgoes that game but actually LIVES the gospel in simplicity, real raw and loving relationships, who sees the “church” as people who are like real family helping bring the kingdom of heaven to earth as Jesus prayed and taught, who encounters God in a real way through many of the ways Jesus did – like nature. That man is “out” because he doesn’t go to the show once a week? Has it really come down to that? I mean even our Catholic brother’s and sister’s would find that to be disturbingly hypocritical and religious. But they are “wrong” and “going to hell” too I’m sure, because they aren’t “Just like me”!…

    • John K

      1. Confused about how you critique “one size fits all” theology, then almost in the next breath seemingly refer to the diversity in the church (Calvinist, Arminian, Pentecostal, Baptist, etc.). Not sure what you’re trying to say there.

      2. “If (you’re) not just like me (you’re) an enemy of God. Isn’t that precisely what the Pharisees claimed and precisely the polar opposite of what Jesus taught?”
      Jesus said “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Jesus wasn’t criticizing the Pharisees for their exclusivity; he was saying they were wrong in other ways.

      3. “2 hr show.” Plenty of church services I’ve been to are anything but a show. If you’re just defining church service as “show”, then you’re engaging in hasty generalization.

      4. ” Didn’t he prefer teaching in story and with metaphor, often outside? “Consider the lilies, it’s like an olive tree, it’s like a vineyard, it’s like the lady who lost her coin, it’s like a shepherd…”

      Sometimes he did, but he explained things more plainly to his disciples, as I’m sure you remember: “Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.” (Matt. 13: 10-11); “He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.” Mark 4:34. Of course sometimes he spoke more plainly (Sermon on the Mount, addressing the Pharisees in Matt. 23, etc.). And Paul, who he called personally, explained things in a bit more theological way.

      5. “Where does the bible we practically worship in Evangelical churches (though we totally ignore many of it’s greater themes I believe) ever condemn someone for finding God in real ways, in nature, in relationships, through serving others?”

      Where do we find in the Bible this being held up as an either/or situation? Where do we find the Bible saying that meeting together corporately for worship is wrong, but having individual time instead and doing things completely informally is required? Plenty of instances I see of people meeting together in the Bible and of course there is the Hebrews 10 passage (do not forsake), Acts 20 (meeting together to break bread).

      6. “I mean even our Catholic brother’s and sister’s would find that to be disturbingly hypocritical and religious.”

      I thing bringing Catholics into it actually weakens your argument quite a bit. There are a lot of Catholics who consider Mass absolutely necessary and something that can’t be done privately, and would be confused at how someone could be part of God’s people without attending Mass, not to mention things like confession and other things which would require ordained priests.

      Bottom line: are there problems in the church? Yes. If Donald Miller is such that he has no use for meeting together corporately or listening to the word preached in churches today, then he should form his own fellowship and do his own preaching. Or he should fight battles within the church for what is biblical and right (if that is what he was doing, he can go back to doing that or do what I already mentioned). Also, corporate worship and being involved in a local church body is not an either/or with personal spirituality; it is a both/and.

    • Hannah

      I totally get where you’re coming from. Church has been made into a program where everyone has to fit into the same mold. We adapt school for our kids who have special needs or different learning styles or when we learn about better ways to teach things, but why can’t we do this for church? There are DEFINITELY differently learning styles and gifts in the church – would it be so bad to accomodate those? I like what Donald proposed in having different learning “tracks” in church, for people who enjoy nature, art, music, etc.
      I see this situation a lot like a majority silencing the minority situation. The way we do church probably works for most people and those people can’t figure out why the minority few don’t like it so the response is to bully/shame them into toeing the line. God forbid we change our style or format *at all ever* right? It’s also , I think, an issue with extroverts vs. introverts. I’d be willing to bet that the majority of people who have left the church are introverts. The majority of humanity are extroverts, and so most of the world is designed for and by extroverts. The church is the same. As an introvert, I don’t like singing in a group, and I don’t find meaningful relationship/community with people I see once or twice a week via small talk over coffee or Bible study. I’m also not a very emotional person, adn a lot of church is designed to elicit an emotional response, a method which won’t reach me at all. I have spend a lifetime in church and have gone to several different churches over the years, and none of my most meaningful relationships have come from the church. The church is not formatted in a way where an introvert is likely to form meaningful relationships or community. But people keep telling me “one of the most important parts of church is community!!” But it never has been for me. And the way they continue to insist on structuring it, it never will be for me. Or for most introverts.
      What Donald’s blog post shows is how much “how we do church” (the institutional program of it) is just a sacred cow in Christianity and the idea of changing it obviously terrifies people. But what is so wrong with adapting and making it work for everyone? No, we’d rather just complain about how many people continue to leave church, yet do things the exact same way as before despite this.
      It’s ridiculous.

      • Truth Unites… and Divides

        Hannah: “Church has been made into a program where everyone has to fit into the same mold.”

        No, it hasn’t.

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  • Hannah

    This is one of the most civil and fair responses to Donald Miller’s post that I’ve seen.
    What I don’t understand is a lot of the pushback. Are people really saying that going to a Sunday morning service in a brick-and-mortar building where other Christians meet to (specifically) sing songs and listen to a sermon is necessary to be a Christian and not doing this or varying from this program in said weekly meeting is going to what… mean you’re not a Christian or going to hell or what? Cause that’s the goofiest thing I’ve ever heard. I understand from the Bible that Christians are to meet together regularly to encourage one another, worship God, to participate in baptism and the eucharist, and to grow in our faith and use this as a jumping off point to go out into the world and be the body of christ in the world. But where is it Biblical that we have to follow a particular program that includes specifically singing, a sermon, and that it has to be in a physical building on Sunday morning? I can see Sunday morning being kinda Biblical in example, but not in command. Church has been done differently by different people in different time periods and different locations – why is some particular “Protestant USA Church” version the right one? I agree with Donald’s post on all points, mostly because it mirrors my own experience with church. Church shouldn’t be a prison that forces us to fit into some mold, but for us to be in freedom whoever God created us to be. The institutional church didn’t let me be who i was created to be because it had no avenue for me to exercise my gifts (helping the poor and oppressed, art, and teaching) and they kept marginalizing me because i was single and female. It was always “well, you could help in the nursery…” Leaving the institutional church paradigm allowed me to be more freely who God created me to be and not try to fit some program some human told me to try to fit. I know God and myself a lot better now that church isn’t getting in the way.

    • Clarice

      “The institutional church didn’t let me be who i was created to be because it had no avenue for me to exercise my gifts (helping the poor and oppressed, art, and teaching) and they kept marginalizing me because i was single and female. It was always “well, you could help in the nursery…” Leaving the institutional church paradigm allowed me to be more freely who God created me to be and not try to fit some program some human told me to try to fit. I know God and myself a lot better now that church isn’t getting in the way.”

      Hannah, have you considered that the problem was not the “the institutional church” but the specific church body that you were attempting to invest in? It would be a logical fallacy to say that ALL churches are this way simply because the one you experienced was…What you described is not the real church, it’s a perversion of the good thing it was meant to be. Many churches are NOT like the one you experienced–marginalizing women, not using your gifts, etc.

      • Hannah Lewis

        I’m aware that not all churches are like that, but saying what I described was not the real church but a perversion of the church is a “no true scotsman” fallacy. I’ve been to church most of my life and several different ones. I know there are churches that have emphases on different things or accept women more, etc, but they still all filter it through the sunday morning sing-and-lecture program, which I can’t stand. And fundamentally, they’re all structured the same in my experience. The truth is, this is my general experience with church and saying “well, that’s not the true church” doesn’t dismiss the truth of that experience. I personally don’t feel like any institutional church is “the real church” because I feel like the fundamental structure of it is wrong and the focus of them are wrong, but that doesn’t mean Jesus isn’t a part of them or can’t use them. I just think there’s a better way of being the church and maybe we’re still working out what that is. Many other people have shared my experience too because they’ve written about it and joined the growing ranks of Christians who have left the institutional church. So if what we’re experiencing is “not the true church” then I agree with you – because the church as it exists in the US is a poor example of what the church *can* be, in my opinion. The true church wouldn’t feel like a place you didn’t belong if you’re a believer. Which I did, and so do many other Christians. And thus I don’ t understand people’s reluctance to change how we “do church, to try new things and adapt, if so many people are experiencing problems with the way it is now.

      • Hannah Lewis

        Besides, the definition of the “true church” differs with every person one speaks to. I’ve met loads of people who think the “true church” *does* essentially marginalize women, and anything else is “heresy”. So I have no reason to believe/trust any person’s definition of what “true church” is. I just try to use what I know from Jesus’ teachings to come up with the best definition I can and then use that to gauge what I see/experience in other churches I am a part of. But that definition is continually growing and being informed by my experiences and growing knowledge of Christ.

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    Jonathan Leeman: “The assembly is not just a fellowship, but an accountability fellowship. It’s not just a group of believers at the park; it preaches the gospel and possesses the keys of the kingdom for binding and loosing through the ordinances. It declares who does and does not belong to the kingdom.

    Just curious. Has Capital Hills Baptist Church ever declared someone, a specific, named individual as not belonging to the Kingdom of God? (If by “kingdom,” you mean Kingdom of God.)

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  • charles cascio

    My concern is for our generation who can’t distinguish truth from lies when I person sounds really sincere. Donald is very sincerely rejecting the biblical view of church. The church that began with Adam Eve and righteous able and will continue to be built until the last day.

    Honestly I wish him well. I hope he finds clarity. but even though he says he doesn’t mean to talk people away from church thats exactly what he is doing- in a very “sincere” and “humble” way. I think its misleading to say the least.

    I also feel for him when it comes to the pain of finding a solid church. But we all know church is perfect. My advice for him would be: go find the nearest orthodox presbyterian church and join it lol The Orthodox Presbyterian Church is not perfect and the only true church. I serve at a church very different from the OPC. But attending solid reformed or OPC churches really puts perspective on all the lights, cameras, noise, and unbiblical practices you see in the modern “non-denominational evangellyfish churchianity” lead by your average hipster paster-ceo preacher.

    It really skins your carnality and pride to sing from a psalter. Pslams only. Hymns only. This not the answer for everyone, but it puts perspective on the me centered Christianity we are all so used to. And guess what. As a side note-The fact that we (including myself) tend to outright reject ‘Pslams only worship’ isn’t all that good- the Psalms are SCRIPTURE!

    Now the problem is if Donald would reject my proposal and say something like- “that type of church isn’t for me. They’re too wooden and traditional and aren’t like the Acts 2 church I read about in the New Testament.”

    That would be a huge problem. That would mean Donald refuses to be a part of the bride and put himself under authority of other men. How can we say we have had it with modern evangelicalism if we object to being a part of an OPC or similar reformed church?

    The bible never makes a distinction between a lone ranger christian and a church member. You just can’t do it. Whenever people are saved their instantly part of the historical church. Jesus Christ didn’t die to make solitary Christians. He died to purify His church which is made up of individuals like me and you praise God. Think back to Abraham and the establishment of Israel. God’s plan isn’t to go back to patriarchal family worship. We have matured far past that as the people of God.

    The lack of a biblical worldview leads to these types of issues among influential men who should know better. men who take an authoritative stance on our culture and even Christianity, yet deny the very foundation of their faith. Men who say they’re just giving their opinion but are really speaking authoritatively. My heart goes out to him if he is truly disillusioned by the church. but he is only making the problem worse. Jesus didn’t die to make seeker-friendly baptist non denom churches in america. If your disillusioned- think outside the box. Really dig deep into God’s Word. A biblical word view can see past the silliness and find a real solution.

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  • Justin

    “The assembly is not just a fellowship, but an accountability fellowship. It’s not just a group of believers at the park; it preaches the gospel and possesses the keys of the kingdom for binding and loosing through the ordinances. It declares who does and does not belong to the kingdom.”

    Who gives and gets this authority? How did your church get authority? I’m protestant by the way. I just think we lose this argument.

    I can see that you might think I’m trying to derail the thread. I’m not. But evangelicals jumping on people over authority issues is a real problem logically.

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  • Mike

    It is indeed easy to take potshots at what Donald Miller wrote. There are holes in his thinking. But it is non-sequitur thinking to jump from “Miller is wrong to substitute work and nature for church” to “and so mature Christians must go to traditional brick and mortar churches with hour-long sermons.” There is in-between ground of church choices here worth considering. For example the house church model is gaining steam.

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  • Matt

    I love this quote –

    Your idea of community, to my ears, honestly, sounds more American and Romantic (as in the -ism of the 19th century) than biblical. All authority remains with the individual to pick and choose, come and go, owing some of the obligations of love, perhaps, but always on one’s own terms, happy to stay as long as the experience “completes me” and my sense of self.

    Miller’s comments are rife with Me-ism or what one might call Western Smorgasbordism.

    Thank you for your thoughtful response.

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  • Maryanne

    “I do think you’re overplaying the “people have different learning styles” card”

    No he’s not. I struggled with the same issues. I’m so visual it’s almost debilitating at times. I had to quit high school and self teach at home due to sensory issues. I may have Aspergers to some degree, and I think my son does also. After reading the responses to his post I’m not sure I ever want to step foot in a church again. I have a very rich inner life and I find church to be such an isolating and deadening experience.

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  • Terry

    Did you really intend to use the Kool-aid reference as a metaphor? Or was this an attempt at humor?
    Either way, I suspect you lost some of your audience and diminished your credibility.
    – Terry