Blue like Jazz both informs and challenges its reader to identify flaws in their faith. This is done through strait forward analysis of Christian actions, including both flaws and strengths. Donald Miller eloquently describes Christianity through many personal stories. These stories help to logically inform the reader what it truly means to be a Christian, how there are fake believers, and addresses stereotypes placed on Christians. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who is a skeptical believer, or who wants advice with how to deal with situations that are extremely challenging to faith.
Miller allows the reader to come up with his or her own opinion on the topic he proposes. This is extremely powerful in that it forces the reader to think. Donald Miller's book Blue Like Jazz demonstrates the sincerity that is necessary in faith through personal stories and should be read by anyone who is searching for inspiration.
Donald Miller a young writer who earlier in his life was beginning to lose his faith. He went on a journey that shaped his faith. He discovered changing politics, met inspiring people, and most importantly found Jesus. Miller tells of his struggles that many Christians can relate to. Through his thought-provoking encounters and experiences, he squeezes in humor to help communicate difficult matters and reduce tension. Though the writing is written brilliantly, the topics that are touched upon are broad. Topics such as church, faith, grace, has so many ways that can be described, it's difficult to explain it just through experiences. Miller tries to find himself in God through his understanding of these terms, but hard to do so without bringing in some theological discussion. Miller often brings up his view on the church. His views of church are very real and almost critical. Some Christians feel misrepresented. Miller's perspective on some of his topics still seems unclear. It's as if he still can't conclude what Church really is. The book does a great job on emphasizing how faith relates to Jazz. This is the first Donald Miller book I have read. Though there are some downfalls, I love his boldness and his honest opinions on Christianity.
Blue Like Jazz: Non-Religious Thoughts on Christia
March 25, 2012
I don't know that I have ever read a book like Blue Like Jazz before. Author Donald Miller is a best-selling American author and public speaker based out of Portland, Oregon who focuses on Christian spirituality as "an explanation for beauty, meaning, and the human struggle." He is also the author of Searching for God Knows What and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.
Miller writes, "There is something beautiful about a billion stars held steady by a God who knows what He is doing. They hang there, the stars, like notes on a page of music, free-form verse, silent mysteries swirling in the blue like jazz. And as I lay there, it occurred to me that God is up there somewhere. Of course, I had always known He was, but this time I felt it, I realized it, the way a person realizes they are hungry or thirsty. The knowledge of God seeped out of my brain and into my heart. I imagined Him looking down on this earth, half angry because His beloved mankind had cheated on Him, had committed adultery, and yet hopelessly in love with her, drunk with love for her."
Blue Like Jazz is the coming of age story of the author as he struggles with his own ideas of religion and the new world he encounters away at Reed College. This isn't your parents "Inspirational Christian Reading" book either, this is a visceral piece full of honesty and truth. Blue Like Jazz is easily one of the best Christian experience books I have ever read. Donald Miller is an extremely talented writer. Blue Like Jazz will make you laugh out loud at the same time it will ask you tough questions.
I borrowed this book to check it out because I saw Donald Miller on Youtube and thought many of his thoughts were emergent/social justice "christianity" and after reading some of the book, I couldn't finish or desire to finish it because my thoughts were correct. I did skim through the chapters because this book is full of musings about different subjects. To Miller's credit, he is a decent writer and has an engaging style, but his book will not help or strengthen believer's to know God better or point them to scripture. This is a very new age feeling book, making God a mystical hip way of discovering yourself. Miller uses no scripture, yet mentions it in a off way; his experiences from God come more from the unsaved than the Christian fellowship or the church because he seems to have distaste for any traditional church. In fact, the only "believers" he bonds with are those that fit his mold and go along with his program. This is one of many dangerous progressive books that turn a sanctified walk with Christ into something frivilous and self-indulgant. Ask yourself after reading this book, does Miller's attitude and reflections truly resemble the Biblical model of sanctification? Just professing to know Christ and mentioning terms like sin and repentance mean nothing when the actions in this book don't reflect it. Apologizing for us Christians, helping others, and musing on the awesome nature of God seems deep and meaningful, but it means nothing when you have one foot in the world, clamorizing movies, music, and culture that Jesus died on the cross to redeem us from. If this is an example of being conformed into the image of Christ, I'll take the Bible any day, because Miller's life and inward observations really gives no glory to God, but himself. I would not recommend this book and I pray believers will have enough discernment not to pass this on as a teaching or discipling tool.