On the superficial level, Blue Like Jazz lacks the artistic freshness that it seeks. It reads like a fourth grade "what I did last summer" essay. Intentionally. For 240 pages.
As for the content, there is much more to be concerned about. The book is a memoir of how Donald Miller came to like God and think Jesus was nice and a solution to us destroying the world with our selfishness. It seeks to be the voice of Christ for the post-modern generation, describing faith through experience rather than revealed truth.
His thesis is "Christianity" has lost the heart of Christ and needs a whole new approach, which he calls "Christian Spirituality". What he really critiques could be better referred to as American Civil Religion. The political conservative engine that spews self-righteous hate from mouths like Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck. The Church is right to distance itself from that. However, Donald distances himself from the Faith that the world doesn't see as "cool".
In fact, "coolness" in the eyes of the world seems to be what the author views as most important for the success of the gospel. Even when he mocks this pop-culture pursuit of cool, he cannot shake the voice because he feels it is necessary for effectively reaching his audience.
Though the book doesn't have the themes of anti-Bible and anti-church that are common to the Emergent movement, it has an equally deadly poison. Worldliness. The speech is irreverent of God. Sin is trivialized, romanticized, and at some points even encouraged. Doubting, far from being rebuked as Jesus did, is upheld as the mark of genuineness and the perpetual state of the believer.
While Miller does teach sin as the problem and Christ as the solution, and has a good focus on the ugly heart sins that so much Christian teaching ignores, he dives into the kind of acceptance of immorality that 1 John warns about so clearly as false teaching. Which is tragic because the inconsistencies in Miller's retelling of his thought journey lead me to believe that this is a voice he has adopted, thinking it necessary for effective outreach, rather than the true state of his thinking.
Jesus reached out to sinners, showed them compassion, and called them to repentance and holiness. He did not engage in drunken revelry and adopt the crass lifestyle of those he came to save....Continua
I have to say this book is amazing. If you want to get know about christian spiritaulity the way what is not complicated, not pushy - that book is for you. Deep questions are answered easily - just like - by the way ... Realy amazing book.
wow! this is such an incredibly deep book...don't read it if you feel uncomfortable with people insulting unfulfilling modern "christianity." but really really good.
I have finished another great book to tell you about.
This is not only true, but funny!
Blue like Jazz by Donald Miller
Nonreligious thoughts on Christian Spirituality.
Let me tell my daughter has this great friend. He is a great guy. He has dread locks and wears tattered clothing on purpose. He wears skinny tight jeans. I harshly
judged him when I SAW him, NOT met him, but SAW him. Isn't that funny as my daughter has crazy hair colors? So how does this tie into this book review, Let me explain
This author, Donald Miller opens the door to his thoughts on living the 'Christian' life. I agree with the author that Christianity is NOTHING but a religion. To be a Disciple
and follower of Christ is something completely different. It was so easy for me when I was in a legalistic(law driven church) to FEEL righteous. As a GOOD Christian we
dress a certain way, boys don't have long hair and if you are REALLY spiritural Women don't have short hair. Should a man look like a man, yes, should a woman look like
a woman, YES. BUT other than being modest in our appearances, God doesn't address how a woman or man should dress or wear their hair. Somewhere along the lines
humans, stepped in and decided what is godly. So we as Followers of Jesus have stepped back and judged others and EACH other regarding our appearances, whether we drink or
smoke or not, whether or not we are wearing the 'proper' Christian attire. We have taken ourselves to often OUT of the WORLD completely. While I won't go so far as to say
that my closest friends are non followers of Christ, but they are USUALLY the nicest and funnest (is that a proper word, Jody?) to be around. Donald Miller spends a month
in the woods with 'hippies' educated hippies. Right before he goes to teach at a Christian Camp. Where he was told to shave and cut his hair and dress right. In so
many of our 'Christian' circles we act like the Pharisees and Sadducees, but not OUR JESUS. I am challenged. God walked among us. I wonder if God walked among
us today if we would even welcome HIM into HIS Church. This is a book that is Well worth the read. Well worth taking to heart. I have shared this for many years with my daughter
but have failed to live it. I praise GOD that she is calling me on it. I finished this book yesterday. Darci and I went to the mall, she was thinking about applying at Hot Topic because
alot of places won't allow her to do her hair the way she wants. (I find it funny. Because as women we dye our hair brown,red or black, or blonde, yet we see a kid with
neon red or pink or blue and we automatically assume they are rebels. Like Church kids NEVER rebel) Needless to say, we happened to be passing by Hot Topic and lo and behold
a strange looking young woman came walking out of the store with her long haired boyfriend and I immediately said to my daughter, well I don't want you to look like those freaks. Yes, that
Is what I said. Nice, huh. The same day God convicts me of being to much like a Pharisee I still act like one. I saw them and judged them harshly while building myself up. WOW.
I have to say this book goes along with the book of Matthew. I failed. I praise God that my daughter has listened to me so God could use her to pull me up short in my sin. God created
us(ALL people) in HIS image. So WHO am I to say to the CrEATor that HIS creation is a FREAK? I will also tell you what a hypocrite I have been. I had GREEn hair in the '80's. For a bit of time.
I have been challenged because God says HIS followers will bear fruit....GOOD fruit. I know many 'Christians' that adamantly claim to be Christians, but are mean, gossipy, cheats, liars, adulterers,
fornicators and yet they have the audacity to judge someone who has tattoos and rides a Harley for Jesus. I am broken hearted on this. I desire my thoughts and actions to be GODS. I realize how
fearful of man we are. We fear that others will think bad of us or will reject us. I know, me to. But....SO WHAT. As TRUE FOLLOWERS of Christ we are CHOSEN by THE CREATOR.
We can be bold and NOT be ashamed of the gospel. Even in our darkest hour. I realize my book reviews are more of a personal testimony, I just want to share what God has laid on
my heart in reading a book that challenges me to walk with HIM in a greater way.
One thing I loved about what he wrote in the book in Chapter 18 (The chapters aren't that long) He shares about a seminar that he went to. They were asked to think about metaphors.
Asked them to think about what metaphors would be used in regards to cancer. 'we battle cancer', 'we fight cancer,' so because we use WAR metaphors in regards to cancer, we fear it.
Even though the majority of people survive Cancer. Then they were asked to think about metaphors in relationships. For example We value people, we invest in people, people are priceless, Relationships could
be bankrupt. Here is the Epiphany (his word and epiphany not mine) Christian culture thinks of love a as a commodity. We use it like money. If you are a 'proper' Christian, you are accepted, if you fall
outside the norm or seem Radical (me;)) you tend to be ostracized. WOW.
He challenges us to really, NO REALLY LOVE our enemies. You know the 'democrats, fornicators, adulterers, homosexuals, gossips, liars, cheats, murderes, thiefs, etc.' I can think of a few people that I have not loved as I
should becaues they had a different viewpoint than mine. Even if they have a different belief than God's I am still required to love them and do good to them.
As you can tell this book has hit home some big convictions and changes in my life. I pray that you will take the time to read this blessed morsel.
Barbarian for Christ or shall I say Pink like Poprocks!, Katrina Warf...Continua