Donald Miller

Hi…this is Bob Bevington. Joe Coffey and I wrote Red Like Blood together. We basically split each chapter in half, taking turns telling our very different stories as honestly as we can and still have it be printable.  We also take turns posting on our blog.

Anyway, Joe got to talk to you in that video on the home page. But I usually look like a lost puppy on camera so I’m putting  in my 2 cents here. This is my quick take on why we wrote the book.

Donald Miller wrote Blue Like Jazz and it became the first book my highly tattooed son-in-law read that was not mandatory for school. He loved it and begged me to read it. Insisted even. So I did. And like millions of others I became hooked.

In page after page the author peels away layer after onion layer with beautiful transparency and brutal honesty. I leaned in close to discover where he wanted to take me.

I admit it. I came to BLJ with an assumption about authentic Christianity. God puts His life-changing love on display in that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” In other words, I hoped to find Don Miller’s message resonating with the old hymn lyric, “When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride.”

When I got to the chapter titled “Redemption” I figured I find it there. But no.

Then I came to the chapter called “Grace.” Nope. Not there either.

Don’t get me wrong. I admire Donald Miller. I consider him a brother in Christ. If we sat down together at Starbuck’s I’m sure it would be enjoyable, time well spent. His book taught me (and millions) some great stuff:

1. Get very, very honest with yourself and everyone else. Check.

2. Get passionate about embracing the poor and fatherless. Check.

3. Creatively correct the errors of today’s Fundies. Check. Check.

I can get on board with all of the above. Who wouldn’t?

But none of these themes are the ultimate one. Why? Because I’ve piled up a load of sin. And because sin is still active in me. And until those dilemmas are addressed all I can do is put a Band-aid over my depravity by trying to do the right things.

We desperately need to be transformed. And here I’ve discovered something to share with the world. Gratitude for the Savior’s sacrifice is the beginning, middle, and end of that story.

Is authentic Christianity blue, like jazz? Or is it red, like blood? Read both books and then decide.

If you’re curious, here’s what readers have said: