Dear Donald Miller,
After the success of my last open letter, I've decided to write 52 open letters in 2011, one for each week of the year -- and your recent contribution to CNN's 11 faith-based predictions for 2011 seems like a fantastic conversation-starter.
I'm sure your remarks are edited for space at CNN, but here's what they printed:
As religious tensions grow over the coming presidential election and domestic cultural issues involving perceived legislation of morality, the media will find more zealous Christians reacting to the issues of the day whose extreme positions will further divide the evangelical church into radical positions, and turn away seekers looking for a peaceful resolution to the churning in their own souls. In other words, the devil will play a trick on the church, and the church will, like sheep, lose their focus on the grace and love of Christ and wander astray. Those who seek peace, then, will turn to liberal ideologies.To make sure I don't go too far afield, Don, I want to make sure I understand what you're saying here, so I added numeric annotations to your comments for the sake of reference.
Here's how I would paraphrase your letter, by the annotation marks:
 Religious tensions are growing. That's a broad enough statement, but given the rest of your comment, I think you are headed in the right direction. What you mean by this given your other statements is bold and prophetic.
 One reason is presidential elections, the other is the perception that morality needs to be legislated. As a premise, this one deserves a minute of thought -- because it's odd that you bring this up. Yes, I get it: Prop 8 was a right-wing attempt to codify a premise of law, as are the consitutional amendments in various states to establish marriage as the state-regulated union of one man and one woman. But that premise is the one we operated under for centuries here in the West, and the reason that this is an issue now is that someone wanted to change it for what they perceived to be moral reasons. So this statement by you was the first inclination I had that you were onto something rather radical here -- the fact that you recognize that there's an attempt to re-write morality by re-writing the law. It's a great insight and I credit you for it.
 The media seeks out "zealous Christians" -- "zealous" meaning "ardently active, devoted and diligent", certainly not "conservative in religious creed and serious about reading the world through the Bible's lens". By "zealous Christians" I take you to mean "people who are living the love of Jesus, not judgment."
 By "extreme" here, I think you mean "radical", as in  -- they are seeking radical Christian solutions to the problems we see in our nation from a sociopolitical standpoint.
 As all radicals do, this activity will divide the church. For example, Brian McLaren and his radical activity has divided the church; Rob Bell has divided the church with his radical hispterism; Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones have been trying to divide the church.
 And the divisions are radical divisions -- ones which even go to the place of ignoring and overturning historical and traditional places where the differences between "Christian" and "non-Christian" are drawn.
 This activity actually turns away seekers -- and of your points so far, this is the one from you that has surprised me the most. This is David F. Wells' point, which he has been on about for the last decade, and it's about time someone from the post-confessional church actually caught on to it. I applaud your broad-mindedness in embracing an analysis which comes from outside your usual circle of friends and thinker/workmen.
 This is the first place you threw me for a loop -- because it's so unlike what we've all come to expect from you. I'm going to work through what I came up with there. You're saying there are "seekers who are looking for a peaceful solution to the churning in their souls" (7-8-9 together). What I have to take this to mean is that you think that someone who is in spiritual unrest wants to find the place where what troubles them is resolved. This is a radical view of the problem, and again I salute you for it. What's more common in popular circles today is to say that if we tell people that they have no reason to worry, that the turmoil in their souls is either self-inflicted (they have a bad attitude, cf. Joel Osteen) or inflicted by oppression (they are victims, cf. Joyce Meyer or Doug Pagitt [who knew they were so similar?]), they will finally get peace because they have received a therapeutic treatment for their ailment. What I perceive you to say here is that they are seeking true peace.
 And it is a true peace which is not merely superimposed on them or added. It is a soul-deep solution which is not merely a matter of environment or hard work. This is a truly-radical solution you're talking about, and it's about time someone said it.
 After the theological arc you drew in 7-8-9, the next most radical thing you said in this short piece is summed up in two words: "The Devil". Here you are assigning the work of a person called "The Devil" to the radicals who are dividing the church, and I wonder -- did you call them before you let CNN run with this? That's tough talk -- John MacArthur could not have said it better, but the tone police will come for you for saying such a thing. I'm sure you're fine with it, but that you'd say it without vetting privately so that your targets can nuance such a thing into something they can accept from you will get you some flack.
Telling the world that people like McLaren, Pagitt, Jones and Bell are doing the work of "The Devil" might also sound a little dated -- a little fundamentalistic or revivalist, which is something I never expected from you. But I like it -- it's retro spirituality. It goes all the way back to Jesus rebuking Peter for telling "the Christ" that dying and rising from the dead is a bad idea (cf. Mat 16:13-23). I applaud your insight here as it is bound to rankle the people you are saying it to. "The Devil" is doing something through these people. That will get media attention.
 So "The Devil" will play a trick on the church. While I'm enthusiastic about the retro feel of saying "The Devil" will do this or that, "The Devil will trick the church" reads a little like Dispensational fiction. Yes, I know Christ says this will happen, if it is possible, but here you're actually accusing people of following Satan and not just making a mistake but actually harming the church. It's bold language. I'm not sure I could have been that bold. If your next book is that bold, my friends at Gut Check Press want to have lunch with you the next time you're in the Lansing area to talk about a book deal.
 And the trick is this: the church will lose grace and love. Let me say it first: wow! That's a HUGE insight! When the church resorts to "love not judgment" (as you said so well in 3-4-5) but tries to legislate that morality (as in 1-2-3), the church loses grace and love. Here I blame CNN for cutting out the obvious fleshing out you would have had to do here to make this point, but since this is an open letter, I'm going to fill in for you, and I hope I capture everything you meant in that statement.
See: the church doesn't offer a truly-radical, soul-sustaining message (a-la 7-8-9) if it merely tells people "it's alright! it's alright! All right! She moves in Mysterious Ways!" That's not actually the Christian message. The Christian message, starting from its basis in the Old Testament, is that God's concern for mankind is that mankind does not want God, and does not think it needs God. So God offers a radical solution to wipe the slate clean of man's offenses in the death of Christ, and then give man the offer to repent and receive forgiveness so that he may truly and finally be at peace with God.
So without this message, the Church loses the exclusively-Christian offer of the Gospel, and it loses the ability to give people true peace. As you say, the church loses Grace and Love. It's a nightmare, and I'm glad you said it so well in a forum like CNN gave you.
 The best part is the last part of your prediction: those who then seek peace will not be able to find it in Christianity -- because they will not be able to find Christianity. Christianity will have lost Grace and Peace, and then people will look elsewhere for it -- and sadly, they won't find it anywhere else. They'll have to settle for the so-called "love of Jesus without judgment", or else they will go follow the Dalai Llama or Oprah's latest guru or fall into atheism so that they can just dispel the idea that there is anything better than what they have and can make themselves.
It was a brilliant comment, and I applaud you for it. As I said to Derek Webb last week, if more actual Christians spoke to CNN, they'd be improved for it. Thanks for your faithful witness, and for your renewed view of the Gospel. I was worried that, after your last 3-4 books, you had given up on the faith and were looking for something unreal and unfulfilling. I'm pleased to say I was wrong, and I ask your forgiveness for doubting you.
Unless I have misunderstood ...