For anyone wondering if the Christian faith is still relevant in a post-modern culture, for anyone thirsting for a genuine encounter with a God who is real, for anyone yearning for a renewed sense of passion in life...Blue Like Jazz is a fresh and original perspective on life, love, and redemption.
©2007 Donald Miller; (P)2007 Thomas Nelson Publishers
"Miller...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....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." (Publishers Weekly)
I have to laugh, here in this book is the solidification of my thoughts, views, and wonders. I am not alone. How do we follow a man and not a church? Here in this book are the definitions of my Faith in Christ and the Bible. Thank you Don! Of this praise I must detract one thing however....ABRIDGED!!????? Why oh why???
I've read the book and I really enjoyed listening to it. While I may not agree with everything he states, I think he makes some excellent points about what it really means to follow Jesus. I really recommend this for anyone who calls themselves a Christian, or for anyone who is interested in what it means to follow Jesus and is really turned off by the image that is often projected by those who claim to follow Him.
I knocked it down to 4 stars because it's abridged.
I have heard complains about Don reading his own book with mono tone, but I love his version much more than the one by a professional reader. Don is reading his experience as if he is sharing with a friend, and the way he reenacts his conversations with his friends and pastor is so lively !
I have been struggling with God for the past 5 years, and I finally opened up to God again after listing to Don's book, I share similar struggles with Don in some of his years. The world looks gloomy, and the church can be so cold; I also become one of those "Christian" who often say "God be with you" and "I will pray for you" while I don't think God was with nor do I even pray for myself, I became one of those Christian I used to hate before I was a Christian. This book brought me tears and laughters, a very honest, authentic and passionate book.
Mono Tone 10 thumbs up.
Whether or not you subscribe to a "Christian" religious view, Blue Like Jazz has piercing insight into humanity's struggle with God. It will challenge you to examine your own beliefs. It will compel you to reflect on your own spiritual walk. It will excite you to be genuine with Jesus. While his transparency will make you feel like he's confiding in you alone, his humor will make you laugh out loud. Do yourself a favor, savor one chapter at a time. Let his thoughts steep in your mind. You will not be disappointed with this book!
Hmm....loved parts of it....had to suffer through some of it, but it is a book a you will talk about with your friends.
For instance, I told my friends that Miller comes across as Forrest Gump would on NPR....simple, yet profoundly observant...dorky, but cool...childlike, yet wise...heck, even the title mentions *Jazz*...
Okay, I've tipped my hand here. Frankly, the sophisticated cuteness of his writing detracted from the authenticity of his message. And, he was awfully judgmental of other believers he deemed uncool...some who deserve to be called out and others who don't..."safe" targets all, though.
While I would recommend this book to some, I did fatigue a bit on the whole "life from campus" perspective written by a 30-ish urbanite who sleeps in bunk beds, has roommates, and farts around Portland all day after waking at noon thing.
With that said, some of his insights are the best descriptions of faith and conversion I've ever read. He gets it.
I just hope he realizes that faith and politics really don't mix....yes, even progressive politics can become a stumbling block.
I share many parallel observations with the author, Donald Miller. I enjoyed this book thoroughly. It has given a voice to my dissatisfaction with the status quo of evangelical Christianity. I still don't have all the answers I seek, but the book encourages me to continue the search for truth.
Narrative makes the world go round.
Miller is a honorable thoughtful man; however, the book didn't speak to me (in fact, I found it tedious and turned up my ipod speed)---But then, I am a middle aged catholic woman. It might work for a younger listener who isn't convinced he or she wants to embrace Christianity, or is having trouble staying in a Christian denomination, given church faultlines. Miller seems to be addressing a teen or just-out-of-teens audience while the publisher's blurb indicates a broader audience.
I downloaded this book because of its tags of emergent Christianity and progressive politics. I think it presents quite traditional Christianity (not quite McLaren's "generous orthodoxy"), and there is little faith-based social activism in his story (though it's mentioned nominally).
I didn't find anything unique in Miller's narrative, unlike for example, in Rob Bell or Shane Claiborne. Although Miller states that he is not "beating up on himself," his narration conveys to me a measure of self-hatred rather than conviction of God's love when he speaks about his personal actions or motivations of which he repents. This seems to be contrary to the jazz metaphor of the title (one loves something because one sees someone who loves it) Perhaps something is lost in the abridgement, or audiobook narration is not one of Miller's gifts.
I have read the book twice and listened to it once. This book is wonderful, in that it brings you something new, each time you read it or listen to it. I enjoyed listening to the author tell his story, but was disappointed that there was not a version that contained the whole book. It is a great book!
Refreshingly authentic. Engages all of life with almost child-like wonder while deep truths lurk in the background. Surprisingly fearless exploration of freedom, meaning and compassion.
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