Faith vs. Intellect

One of my 2011 goals is to read one book each month. So far, so good.  For April, the book I chose is a re-read: "Blue Like Jazz" by Donald Miller. I love all of his books, but this was the first I read and I believe it's the first he wrote. It's been a long while since I read it, and, honestly, I can't remember much about it. I told you yesterday that I have a terrible memory (just ask Kels). The reason I am re-reading it is because they just finished filming a movie about it that comes out this fall, and I wanted to get a fresh read of the book before seeing it. Kelsey: Come on, let's be serious. You won't remember it by fall. But, the movie will refresh your memory! Oh...and can I re-read it after you? (Actually, I think we have another copy of it somewhere...right?) I read it on our Scandinavian trip in 2003, and all I remember is that there's something in there about penguin sex.

Anyway, this paragraph hit me pretty hard the other day, and I wanted to share it with you all:

My most recent faith struggle is not one of intellect. I don't really do that anymore. Sooner or later you just figure out there are some guys who don't believe in God and they can prove He doesn't exist, and some other guys who do believe in God and they can prove He does exist, and the argument stopped being about God a long time ago and now it's about who is smarter, and honestly I don't care. I don't believe I will ever walk away from God for intellectual reasons. Who knows anything anyway? If I walk away from Him, and please pray that I never do, I will walk away for social reasons, identity reasons, deep emotional reasons, the same reasons that any of us do anything.

I like this for a few different reasons:

  1. I feel the same way Donald Miller does. I don't think someone can talk me out of believing in God. That is in my heart, not my head.
  2. Most people are way smarter than me and way better at arguing a point. I would make a terrible lawyer, that's for sure. I don't always think that makes someone right, but rather that they are better at arguing. I struggled with this when I first believed in Jesus. I felt the need to be armed with all of the right intellectual arguments in order to fend off anyone who didn't believe what I believe.
  3. My decisions are usually based on emotion, not intellect. If I feel something is cool, I am drawn to it. That's American culture at it's finest. I have bought three different guitars in my lifetime. I still have one. It sits in the basement unplayed and neglected. I bought it because I wanted to be cool. I was holding onto the glimmer of hope that someday I would be a rock star. This is what happens when I chase "cool."

Kelsey: You are a rock star, sweets. I mean, we live in a rock star ranch...

If you haven't checked out any of Donald Miller's books and are looking for a good Christianity-meets-the-secular- world type of read, he is the best.

Have you ever bought something in hopes that it would make you cooler?