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Searching for God Knows What

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2006

    Millers expressed viewpoints

    Searching for God knows what, is a book giving new points of view on life and the religion. Written by Donald Miller, he talks about his starting point in Christianity and how he viewed the religion. This book like his past work has given a down to earth point of view on his thoughts about religion. He gives detailed examples of his experiences through his walk of faith. Making the reader feel as though what they are reading is insightful but yet he is not telling them what to do. This book gives a different point of view on Christianity compare to the way modern times have portrayed the belief. Miller focuses on his life stories and relates them to Christianity, in this book, he takes a thought of his and turns the viewpoint around on his own thought creating a different result. In this book it seems to take stories from the bible and make them relevant to today¿s society but still have it mean the same thing as when they were written. Through life experiences that he has had or stories that have been told to him he makes a bible story seem different. Not different as in a deeper meaning, but rather for example, a bible story today is taken a made a 123 advise talk. Miller takes a look at a story to find a different viewpoint of the story to the extent of it just being a story. These different view points presented seem to get the reader to view everything in a different manner. I like how Miller uses stories that have been taught sense childhood and stories Shake Spear has written and compares the two having similarities. On the other hand he seems to add a lot of excessive talk about a story before he actually gets to it. This at times makes the book feel lagging in interest. This book makes a person think about subjects, stories, and life experiences in completely different ways. If a person desires to get out of a dull moment in there life then this book is for them. If there is adventure in ones life, this book is still great for a sit down light literature. Millers work in Searching for God Knows What is a great for the beginner in a relationship with god or for those in the most deepest relationship with him. The book gives great new perspectives on the bible, religion, and life that can be practiced in everyday life. Miller has also written Blue Like Jazz, a great book talking about more stories about his life and also stories that he has heard all being compared to Christianity. My personal preference on Millers work is a great read for any person and I highly recommend all his works. For a rating of 1 to 10 Miller gets a 9 for this Book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2009

    Searching ... and FINDING

    I thought Blue Like Jazz was an exceptional book, turns out it was a stepping stone to Searching for God Knows What. This is truly one of the most thought-provoking, inspiring books I've ever read. I belive Donald Miller will be regarded as one of this generation's greatest philosophers and, through his raw honesty and insight, one of its greatest evangelists. I am not who I was before reading this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2008

    Back to Basics

    Once again, Donald Miller delivers a sensational collection of essays full of heart and soul. This time, he not only reflects on what it means to truly be a Christian, but how to wholeheartedly embrace Jesus Himself. Miller sets out on a quest to tear down the walls of uninspired living, used by all sorts of Christians, by explaining that simply wearing the title of ¿Christian¿ is itself becoming an excuse¿and a sin¿for lackadaisical lifestyle standards. Not showing a particularly partisan side, Miller takes political agendas, war rhetoric, and cultural fear head on, knowing that having a relationship with Jesus is a real challenge and takes real effort. It is only by embracing this challenge sincerely, with enthusiasm, that one can truly come to know the Son of God. If you enjoyed this book, you might also take a liking to Miller's earlier hit 'Blue Like Jazz,' where he reinforces the values of the Christian way of life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2013

    Donald Miller loves Jesus and expresses this so well in his writ

    Donald Miller loves Jesus and expresses this so well in his writings!

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  • Posted June 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer


    Donald Miller is a master storyteller. He uses his skill to guide us through concepts like reading the bible as one whole story and admitting we don't have all the answers. The book is full of humor and candor rarly found in "christian" writing. You would do well to downoad it and give it a read.

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  • Posted February 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Cannot Recommend

    I'd like to begin by saying that I really WANTED to like this book. I really did. Unfortunately that was not the case. I can usually read a book in one sitting. It is rare that it takes longer than a couple of days for me to finish even a mediocre book. This one took months for me to complete. Every time I picked it up, I just could not force myself to read more than a chapter (if that).

    I didn't get his humor. The parts of the book where he tried to be funny didn't strike me as even mildly amusing - and I have a great sense of humor. :) I found it bizarre that he mentions attending a writing conference, yet didn't know the difference between fiction and non-fiction. What?!?!

    I could not, in good conscience, recommend this book to anyone. It was almost painful to read.

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  • Posted January 10, 2011


    I recommend this book to anyone who takes their faith seriously. A new Christian will find inspiration and guidance in their new walk and a seasoned Christian will find themselves asking new and provocative questions about their faith!

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  • Posted November 18, 2010

    A Different Read

    This book encourages you to examine your life and what it really means to be a Christian. He talks about how christianity should be a relationship and not a formula.

    A lot of people I follow on Twitter have read a couple of books by Donald Miller and have loved them. There was so much expectation when I ordered this book. I could not wait to read it when it arrived. I love reading Donald Miller's blog posts from time to time and there were high expectations. I was very disappointed. I had to force myself to read every page of this book. It was a fight until the end. I just could not "get" this book. I think if I was to listen to it and not read it, I might be able to understand it better. I have never read a book that was written the way Donald Miller writes. I am sure if I could get past the fact that it is very different, I might be able to enjoy it. I wish I could say I loved it. I really do, but I cannot honestly say I did. If a friend asked if I'd recommend it, I would probably suggest checking it out of the library before buying the book.

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  • Posted July 21, 2010

    Searching For God Knows What by Donald Miller

    Searching for God Knows What, by Donald Miller, is a book focused on removing the formulas and the codes that society has put upon God and His word, and instead talks about how to read and listen and follow not using complex formulas, but doing so simply. Miller dives into the first books of Genesis, talking about how the Fall effected us, and questioning what it was really like to live in the times of Adam and Eve, before the Fall.

    This book has taken me a while to read, and it has made me think about Adam, Eve, and Creation in a totally different light. By taking away complex formulas that we often think we must use to crack the so called "code" of what the Bible is telling us, this book has helped me to read the Word for what it is... instruction from God. It has put into perspective that Bible stories are not only stories, but real events that happened to real people, whom we have descended from.

    Reading Miller's book always brings up new questions, and makes the reader truly think about who God is, and what His purpose is. It is a book that I would recommend to any reader. It is also a book that is easily read more than once, and keeps you coming back after the third read.

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  • Posted June 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    "Searching for God Knows What" may just leave you with more questions.

    I read "Searching for God Knows What"* shortly after it came out originally in 2004. I had finished "Blue Like Jazz" on the recommendation of a friend and was hungry for more of Don Miller's quirky insights that seemed to piece together the jumbled messages of Christianity for me in a comprehensible way. While I enjoyed reading his perspective, I was reading through the filter of my newly formed ideas of what it meant to be a Christian. The expanded edition of "Searching for God Knows What" allowed me to grasp his ideas and precepts a little more deeply than in my first reading. However, my take away was the same: God is who He says He is. The gospel is based on relationship not performance. To live an effective life as a Christian, we cannot hang around exclusively with other Christians; it's too insular. That being said, it is not just a book for people who follow Christ. It also offers a jumping off point to real discussion about faith or the lack thereof.

    I usually delve into a good book the way I enjoy a good steak- a piece at a time, savoring each bite and not rushing the experience. This pace allowed me to read a chapter and then digest it's meaning and roll around in my head what Miller communicated and contrast it with my understanding. It is not a quick read, but that's it's beauty. The ideas that are shared require the reader to really engage deeply with the words on the page. The writing both challenged me with it's depth and made me smile at the self-effacing humor tucked in among chapters that wove together circus elephants, lifeboats and Santa's hygiene habits seamlessly.

    In the afterword, Don Miller addresses concerns that the reader may feel that he did not delve deeply enough into the "holiness of Christ" or that he is somehow against the idea of organized religion. On the contrary, I felt that he addressed the idea of the differences between faith and religion as well as the idea that belief can be both logical and beautiful at the same time. To quote the author, " Being a Christian is more like falling in love than understanding a series of ideas." You might end up with more questions than you began the book with, but that may just be the gift of this story.

    * this book was provided at no cost to me through Book Sneeze for review purposes only.

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  • Posted June 26, 2010

    Decent Read

    Searching For God Knows What is the first work that I've read by Donald Miller. I've seen some of his stuff before but never taken the time to sit down and read it all the way through. This book seeks to show that "relationship is God's way of leading us to redemption." Miller seeks to deal with an issue that in today's world many have just taken a formulaic view of God, and this is not good.

    I personally thought that this was a pretty good read. Miller does have a humor about him and can easily bring that out in his writing. Who doesn't want something that can make you chuckle every now and then? I will say that this book seemed to be a slow start for me. I appreciated the stories and all that were contained in the first few chapters, but it didn't seem to kick into gear until you almost got to the end. When it did kick in, Miller had some great things to say. One of my favorite quotes from the book was...

    "It would be most tragic for a person to know everything about God, but not God; to know all about the rules of spiritual marriage, but never walk the aisle."

    If you are looking for something that will entertain you and give you a few things to really think about and ponder, I would recommend checking out Searching For God Knows What.

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  • Posted June 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Searching For God Knows What

    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 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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  • Posted June 22, 2010

    Filet Mignon for the Soul

    If you're looking for the spiritual equivalent of a cheeseburger and fries, Searching for God Knows What is not the book for you. Donald Miller is not offering fast food here; this is a seven-course banquet for the heart and mind. There's no milkshake mentality in these pages; this is filet mignon for the soul.

    Miller tackles some deep issues in Searching, issues that affect everyone in our society at a core level. His imagery is offbeat - there are references to aliens, reality television, sports, lifeboats, the circus, and Romeo and Juliet, among other things - but his writing style is engaging and keeps you reading even when the philosophical and theological content hits uncomfortably close to home.

    At its core, Searching is about our need for relationship and validation, and how those needs drive everything we do. The book is insightful and potentially life changing for those who are willing to consume it. So, if you decide to tackle it, be prepared to take a few bites and chew on them a while. It takes time to digest fare as rich as this, but if you're up to the challenge, you will find yourself full and satisfied in the end.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I receive the books I review free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I am not required to write a positive review of any book. The opinions I express are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted June 15, 2010

    This book took me by surprise...

    Donald Miller wrote this book after his best-selling book Blue Like Jazz. It has been described as memoir of sorts surrounding the topic of the origin and meaning of redemption. The book that I read has been completely revised and redesigned. This is the first book by Miller that I have read. Although I have wanted to read one of his books since he lives in Portland. This was a fun aspect of reading the book and recognizing so many locations.

    I found the first chapter hysterical and it sets the stage for what Miller writes about for the remainder of the book. His exhortation is that the Church has trivialized the gospel message into a short series of ideas and formulas. Jesus is all about being relational and not about bullet points to adhere to and check off.

    If you have ever been told that you should give a book time to develop...I would say that you could apply that mind-set to this book. Miller is quite masterful in developing an idea in such a subtle way that you may feel lost as to where he is going and then are stunned by the profound weaving of an idea brought to life on the page. He does a wonderful job of providing a thread of metaphors that become a finished piece of fabric at book's end.

    I did not agree with everything that Donald Miller wrote about but I don't expect that he would be offended by that admission. I think he really wants the reader to be spurred to think a bit deeper. I really enjoyed his vulnerability, his glimpses of conversations with friends, mentors and people along the way. It made me wonder how often I have conversations that are just a rehashing of the same message. Am I bold enough to ask difficult questions and perhaps begin a debate? I feel like I was challenged to read my Bible in a different way especially after reading chapter 4 entitled Free Verse.

    I must say that liked this book. At times it made me laugh out loud and at other times it made me think. I was surprised that there were times that it brought tears to my eyes. Those tears were in the places where I was re-introduced to a Savior that at times can become ordinary when He is anything but ordinary.

    I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson as part of the Book Sneeze blog review program. It has been my pleasure to write an honest review of the book I received.

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  • Posted June 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Searching For God Knows What

    From Adam to Eve to potential visiting aliens, Don Miller explores the human dilemma in his typical humorous, thought-probing style. Humans are both complex and simple, entangled in a web of fallen selfhood. Our biggest search - or felt-need - is for significance.

    We spend our lives striving for identity and acceptance, subconsciously yielding to, as Miller puts it, a "jury of peers," seeking their endorsement. Like people in a lifeboat, we strive for survival in a hierarchy based on humanly perceived worth. We hope to make it but we always fall short. No amount of human approval fulfills us and replaces what we lost in the Garden-our relationship with God.

    Miller explains the futile void in our hearts and our desire for significance in his 5-point Genesis Theory. We are broken. Only Jesus can fix us. And He does this through relationship.

    This book answers a lot of questions and could really help people in marriage, or any other kind of relationship. My only criticism: I had to read some sentences twice because of an absence of punctuation which, while expressing Miller's unique voice, obscures the meaning. Still, this book's a great read for both seekers and mature Christians alike.

    Janey L. DeMeo M.A.
    Copyright © June 2010

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  • Posted June 9, 2010

    Searching for God Knows What by: Donald Miller

    Are you confused about what religion or Christianity is all about?

    Well, here is a good book to start out with. Donald Miller takes a new approach on teaching people about Christianity and how you can "reconnect with a faith worth believing."

    He brings it back to the basics. Though I may not agree on all his beliefs, I think this is an excellent book to begin the journey back into the life of a believing Christian.

    You won't become bored by the reading but look at different angles of life and see how you can change to better yourself and those around you. I believe this author has a gift to captivate an audience and keep them focused until the very last page.

    I highly recommend this book.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted June 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Searching for God Knows What

    Okay, confession time. When I picked up Don Miller's Searching for God Knows What I was fully prepared to yawn. While I appreciated his first book, Blue Like Jazz, most of what I've read from him since then has struck me as a forced attempt to be so outside the mainstream of Christendom as to be irrelevant; the path many authors travel from edgy to extraneous.

    While I do not agree with everything Miller writes in Searching, I did appreciate his attempt at out-of-the-box thinking about Jesus, Christianity, and the church in order to help swing us back to a biblical in-the-box thinking about the same.

    Miller writes, "At the same time, however, we are at a disadvantage because the Jesus that exists in our minds is hardly the real Jesus. The Jesus on CNN, the Jesus in our books and in our movies, the Jesus that is a collection of evangelical personalities, is often a Jesus of the suburbs, a Jesus who wants you to be a better yuppie, a Jesus who is extremely political and supports a specific party, a Jesus who declared a kind of culture war in the name of our children, a Jesus who worked through the founding fathers to begin America, a Jesus who dresses very well, speaks perfect English, has three points that fulfill any number of promises and wants you and me to be, above all, comfortable. Is this the real Jesus?"

    This quote alone deserves some serious think time from everyone who considers themselves a follower of Jesus.

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  • Posted May 26, 2010

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    Absorbing but Confusing

    I've been interested in Donald Miller since his book "Blue Like Jazz" first stimulated a lot of hype. My first adventure reading his material came with "Searching for God Knows What," however, and I was pleasantly surprised. While the book title doesn't match up with the content, and while Miller gets a bit far into politics with his reasoning (taking a more liberal view), he gives more reason to think than to fight. I'm not quite sure how yet, but I'm certain this book has changed me in some way, maybe even for life.

    Miller's book talks about the survival instinct all humans have, causing them to take on a right vs. wrong perspective that would get the "lesser person" thrown off the lifeboat. According to Miller, Jesus saw all people as equal and loved all people, which we should see and do, as well. Too much of Christianity focuses on declaring war and making Christians look good and better, which Miller says does not match up with what Christ modeled.

    Miller's thoughts on the subjects of selfishness, spiritual war, and the hole inside all men are intriguing and provoking. I couldn't put his book down because it never allowed me to stop thinking. Miller didn't give me much to act on, in the end, however. What he writes is true, but Miller doesn't give any way to reconcile it with still being able to stand up for what you believe in. Therefore, I'm left more confused than inspired. I suppose that can be a good thing, because it keeps me thinking.

    "Searching for God Knows What" has other faults. It lacks Biblical support and tends to take the form of personal essays, giving it a more subjective feel. Much of the content is repetitive. That does not take away from the thought-provoking nature of the book, however. It certainly got me thinking about my motives and my deep need that only God can fill, something that I've been struggling with (confidence, self-appreciation, selfishness, etc) for a long time. "Searching for God Knows What" is a must read for any Christian.

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  • Posted May 24, 2010

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    Searching for God Knows What expanded edition is the first book I have ever read by Donald Miller and it will not be my last. The book is very thought provoking. Now I did not think so at first because the first chapter was really different from most books. I had know idea where and what this book was about just from the first chapter but I was determine to find out. I kept on reading it and I am glad I did. The material in this book will get you thinking and see things from a different perspective. I really like how an idea was kept in play from chapter to chapter. This connection led to a deeper understanding of these ideas.

    This book is an easy read. Do not be too quick to put down this book after the first chapter. Books like these help a person from getting in a mind set that they have all the answers or there way is always right. There appears to be an online game to play with prizes in the book so that should be an added bonus for any reader.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their

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  • Posted May 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Insightful and provocative

    Donald Miller is not content to follow the masses in regards to the Christian faith. He wants to help repair the broken views of our religion and bring believers back to a meaningful relationship with our true love, Jesus. Searching for God Knows What conveys the importance of this life-changing relationship while trying to expose what Christianity isn't.
    When I read Miller's Blue Like Jazz, I devoured each page, excited to unexpectedly read thoughts so similar to mine. Searching for God Knows What did not disappoint me, as I found it equally interesting to read and just as difficult to put down. Miller presents old, but under-appreciated, views in a fresh way. I enjoy how he doesn't deviate from Biblical truths, but points out how far off the original path we Christians can sometimes wander, especially in this country. My favorite chapters were 10, 12, and 14. These focus on how the gospel message has been reduced to a formula, why the focus of our faith should be on our relationship with Jesus and not following a moral code, and how the gospel can be better communicated as a passionate love story, a la "Romeo and Juliet."
    I will definitely recommend this book to others.
    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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