Popular Discontent: There’s Something Wrong With Everything


The internet shouted down Donald Miller the other day after he admitted he doesn’t regularly attend a church, and once more when he wrote a follow-up.

I absolutely love Donald Miller and I sincerely believe he loves Jesus.  There’s no but and this isn’t leading up to a negative critique — I really do think he’s great.  His books re-energized my faith during a particularly bad slump, and like Lewis or Keller, he will always be one of my biggest influences in my personal faith journey.

I attend church.  Donald doesn’t.  We can still be bros.

I agree with just about everything that Donald Miller wrote about church. How could I disagree? When we’re really honest about it, the state of the entertainment model of the evangelical church is downright horrifying. We’ve managed to package the eternal saving power of God into a 1-800-number enterprise. We’re mostly tickled one hour a week to compensate for the guilt of our secret second lives, which only enables us into the spiral.

But the thing is: I can find discontent in just about anything. It’s hard to disagree with most criticism because as soon as you find something wrong, it’ll be wrong for life.  Look hard enough and you will see flaws. A critic-filter will always taint how you enjoy a movie or a book or a friend or the church.  It’s inevitable that imperfection will rear its ugly head.

I was talking with my friend recently about Timothy Keller.  I love Keller’s work, but my friend was less impressed.  I asked why, and he said, “I think he’s great, it’s true he does good work for the city, he has solid theology … but just, you know, I don’t get him. Just something about him.”

I really couldn’t understand this.  Something about him?  Couldn’t we say that about anyone? Isn’t it enough that he does good work for the city and has solid theology?  What more could we ask for?

Not to demonize my friend here: But if you dig deep enough, you will always find a reason to dislike someone or something.  That’s easy.  And we can write off an entire group or culture or work because of it.  For most people, they will never be pleased no matter how good they have it.

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