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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality » User review

Personable Memoir

  • Jun 27, 2010

Blue Like Jazz is a collection of essays written in the style of a memoir. The greatest part of Donald Miller’s semiautobiographical novel is that one feels as though he is a confiding friend. Blue Like Jazz is one of the most honest and open works I have read on the topic of Christianity. This book will appeal mostly to younger members of the Church, but is by no means an exclusive work. However, this is not a work that is meant to logically prove the existence of God, but is one man’s personal thoughts and experiences. In the end, Miller spends more time pondering than proving.
This, combined with the fact that Miller is relatively open to things that evangelical Christians would consider “of the world”, is likely to frustrate more conservative readers. Because the book is popular in the Christian world, it is bound to come under both criticism and compliment. Miller is unapologetically confiding, revealing things such as his past weed smoking experience without specifically passing judgment on the act. It could be said that Miller is often ambiguous as to where to draw the line between cultural relevance and moral compromise.
It can be surmised from the book that Miller is looking for a way not only to introduce non-Christians to a “cool” Christianity, but also to challenge the way in which the Christian Church lives in faith in a postmodern world. Though Donald Miller may present thoughts that are more liberal and relativistic than the traditional Church’s, Blue Like Jazz still holds at least some truth. It should be noted that the Christian Church is in decline, as evidenced by the fact that more churches are dying than being started. Miller’s thoughts are important in the present climate of the US, if not for their total validity, at least for the questions they raise. 
For the mere readability of this book I would recommend it, as it was one of the first Christian books that I have read that I did not want to put down (and I have read many). Additionally, concepts of faith in the modern world are raised that should be considered by everyone today.

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More Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious T... reviews
review by . July 06, 2010
When I picked up this book, I didn't know what to expect.  As I began to read, I felt connected to the reader.  His experiences with religion were very truthful and often funny. There were at times in the beginning where I wasn't quite sure what Donald's religious faith was.  As I continued to read, I realized he was totally devoted to Jesus Christ and did not necessary follow a "religion." It was refreshing.      As I continued to read Don's …
review by . June 28, 2010
Donald Miller writes:   "I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes.       After that I liked jazz music.       Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way."   …
review by . June 29, 2010
Donald Miller does an excellent job in this book of communicating Christianity as a relevant, recognizable, and practical faith that, when viewed in such a manner, can have real change and impact in lives.  Miller strikes me primarily in this book as extremely honest.  He consistently admits to the hard aspects of Christianity that are not easy to understand or to obey.  This book is written in very accessible language for today's generation, and thus is a very informative and …
Quick Tip by . July 01, 2010
Read the book before the movie comes out!
Quick Tip by . June 30, 2010
my pastor let me borrow this book
Quick Tip by . June 25, 2010
Wonderful and thoughtful. Definitely gets you thinking about everything you were brought up to believe.
Quick Tip by . June 23, 2010
really good book. recommended
Quick Tip by . May 21, 2010
Really good read! I read it in about a day. Raises some good point and deep questions.
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About this book


Miller (Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance) is a young writer, speaker and campus ministry leader. An earnest evangelical who nearly lost his faith, he went on a spiritual journey, found some progressive politics and most importantly, discovered Jesus' relevance for everyday life. This book, in its own elliptical way, tells the tale of that journey. But the narrative is episodic rather than linear, Miller's style evocative rather than rational and his analysis personally revealing rather than profoundly insightful. As such, it offers a postmodern riff on the classic evangelical presentation of the Gospel, complete with a concluding call to commitment. Written as a series of short essays on vaguely theological topics (faith, grace, belief, confession, church), and disguised theological topics (magic, romance, shifts, money), it is at times plodding or simplistic (how to go to church and not get angry? "pray... and go to the church God shows you"), and sometimes falls into merely self-indulgent musing. But more often Miller is enjoyably clever, and his story is telling and beautiful, even poignant. (The story of the reverse confession booth is worth the price of the book.) The title is meant to be evocative, and the subtitle-"Non-Religious" thoughts about "Christian Spirituality"-indicates Miller's distrust of the institutional church and his desire to appeal to those experimenting with other flavors of spirituality.
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ISBN-10: 0785263705
ISBN-13: 978-0785263708
Author: Donald Miller
Genre: Religion & Spirituality
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
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