The following is a post by Randall Breland in response to this interview with Donald MIller, author of Blue Like Jazz:
On the positive side, I appreciate Miller being candid about his choice of party and the reasons why.
However, I worry that his reasoning, at least as far as choosing the DNC as his platform, is not wholistic. He chooses the issues that will sound good. He skillfully weaves through the issues of gay marriage and homosexuality without really taking a position. He seems more concerned to cast his position in global terms. He does not say it, but is assumed, that he feels he can ignore taking a stance on homosexuality and abortion because he has a global perspective. I have the same problem with Miller as I do with Obama on this point: how can you claim to be working good globally if you can’t fight for what is obviously the good and righteous standard of our God in the USA. I know liberals don’t like us centering the issue around abortion and gay rights, but these are tell-tale signs of ones overall, global worldview. Miller’s desire is not to separate those who glorify God from those who do not (which is by way of the Gospel, obviously); his desire is to lump all people together into an inter-faith spirituality that defines itself by supporting crises on the international scene. Honestly, I don’t have a problem with that. I’m glad he, and Obama, are thinking globally. Yet, our first concern as Americans should be our own country and our own people, both of which are godless and morally corrupt.
Miller refuses to speak of evangelicalism in any terms that may divide him from any other human being. He appeals to to this ‘there-should-be-good-in-this-world’ sense of common spirituality. He fails to mention, whether he knows it or not, that this is the image of God within us. I am not saying that “we have goodness in us” that needs to be flamed; but, I am affirming that all can recognize, know, and choose good, even if that is marred with evil, selfish intent. This is what Miller appeals to, and, its very appealing.
Miller, if he were a proper evangelical, should take a stand for conservative moral issues. Do conservative economics and conservative foreign policy go hand in hand with conservative morals? Probably not. However, neither does liberal economics, liberal foreign policy, and liberal moralism go hand in hand. He assumes the democrats are consistent while the republicans are inconsistent. I say they are both inconsistent. Its disconcerting that he never puts our “global mindset” as Christians within the mindset of the Gospel. This is my biggest issue. He thinks we can go out there and make change, outside of the Gospel. This latter point I am assuming because he never casts it in terms of the Gospel. Matthew 6:33 is extremely applicable here. And truthfully, this is an over-realized eschatology on the part of Donald Miller. The kingdom never promises worldwide economic and social renewal in this age; only in the age to come. I would assume that Miller doesn’t want a cosmic upheaval of this evil age and an implementation of God’s reign in people’s heart. After all, someone would be outcast, and seek those who are “cast out” is Miller’s theology. God lovingly draws sinners. The Gospels tell us that Jesus sat and dined with tax collectors to such an extent that he was called a “glutton.” But, a biblical tension remains. God will vindicate himself against all unrighteousness and all his enemies. Miller is not concerned with vindication of God’s glory, he is concerned with glorifying Christianity as a movement. He is concerned with glorifying the people of the movement in the judgment of the world. He should be concerned with glorifying God in the judgment of Himself and the world.
What does Miller say? He’s a new kind of Christian whose seeking global good. Further, he says he’s not willing to even work at this since he can’t take a stand on major issues within his own country. It’s not a choice between America and the world, America is part of this world.
What does Miller not say? He does not say he’s pro-homosexuality and pro-abortion. Further, he does not say he’s anti-Gospel and skeptical of what the Bible has to say about our stance in culture.