I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Donald Miller

Today is the first week in our Top Ten Series featuring my favorite authors. The writers on my top ten list may or may not be great writers. Great writing is subjective anyway. The authors I’ll talk about in this series are people who have taught, challenged, inspired, or entertained me.

Feel free to comment about each author I spotlight, or about your own favorite authors. Just be sure to tell us why you enjoy the author you are commenting about.

#10: Donald Miller

I’ve only read two of Donald Miller’s four books, but they were good enough to make him my tenth favorite author (as of this moment). I read Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality over the summer and I was really moved by it. The one thing you’ll hear people say repeatedly about Miller is that they are drawn by his honesty. I am too. He’s not afraid to tell you how he feels about politics (pretty far left), or the church (sometimes he’s too hard on it for my taste), or his own struggle to understand God. I wrote more about this book in June and July. Click here or here if you are interested in reading those posts.

Most recently, I read To Own a Dragon: Reflections of Growing Up Without a Father by Miller. I wrote about it here and here. True to form, Miller is quite relatable in this book about his own experience of growing up without a father. Here is brief glimpse from the book that really hit home with me:

“For me a father is nothing more than a character in a fairy tale. And I know fathers are not like dragons in that fathers actually exist, but I don’t remember feeling that a father existed for me...I don’t say this out of self-pity, because in a way I don’t miss having a father any more than I miss having a dragon. But in another way, I find myself wondering if I missed out on something important.”

How good is that?

Miller has his critics though. Just check out the comments on Amazon.com about Blue Like Jazz. Frankly, I agree with much of what they say. I disagree with most of his theology (or sometimes, lack thereof). And at times, I get the feeling that he doesn’t think that absolute answers actually exist, so consequently, we shouldn’t even be attempting to understand doctrine. If I’m reading him correctly, then I couldn’t disagree more.

So why is he one of my favorite writers? Because his honesty and his desire to live out his faith in the trenches challenges and inspires me. And any author who can do that can count on me purchasing and reading most of what he or she writes.


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