In Walking in Love, Why and How? Suzanne Miller encourages readers to forget the rules of religion and achieve perfection by loving others.
In this brief work, the former Episcopalian minister suggests we can overcome the negative limitations of human nature and achieve our full potential by loving “all human beings…without distinction.” She encourages readers to abandon “rule-based religion” to embrace “connected religion,” where they “focus on the authority of personal experience and not just read scripture.”
Miller shares personal experiences – such as Christmas morning with a Pakistani family in an airport – to show that love produces joy within us. When we can “love all human beings the same way God does,” she posits, “…we are perfected in the gospel sense.” She believes her ideas are adaptable to modern problems, including climate change and the “increase in malevolent power of individuals.” Although she bases her writing on the Bible, Miller eschews reinforcing her concepts with Scripture so readers can “focus on the authority of personal experience.”
The author’s desire to help readers walk in love toward others is a pure goal, but many Christians will find this non-theological approach disconcerting. One of Christianity’s main tenets is that the Bible defines what personal experiences we should strive for, not the other way around, with our experiences confirming the Bible’s validity. Further, she advises readers to use joy as a gauge for their level of righteousness. This is a dangerously broad idea considering people glean joy from diverse experiences, not all of which would be considered righteous in a biblical sense.
Miller also makes extreme statements, promoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as the “modern-day manifestation of a black Jesus,” and the fictional Luke Skywalker as proof that we, too, can achieve perfection through love.
Ultimately, it’s hard to pinpoint an audience for this book. Christians seem to be the target readers, but, paradoxically, they are the most likely to be alienated by Miller’s non-Scriptural arguments.
Also available in hardcover.