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Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality

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This description may be from another edition of this product. 2 Book Set Bydonald Miller; Searching for God Knows What; Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality. ASIN: B000WR54AM

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Enjoyable for non-Christians too

I grew up liberal, athiest, and scornful of mainstream religion, especially Christianity. Growing up in San Francisco, I didn't meet many Christians, so I didn't have a lot of chances to meet people who lived their faith in a genuine and loving way. As an adult, I have tried to read books and get to know people who might help give me a more balanced view of Christianity, and in this Donald Miller has been a huge help. Miller is young and cool, and while he isn't as liberal as, say, Anne Lamott, he is not a fundamentalist either, and his take on life is refreshingly modern, straightforward, and open-minded. He is a person who really thinks about his religion and about what God really wants from him, and his essays offer a really powerful look at the good that Christianity can do in people's lives. He talks in one essay about how his natural inclination is to live alone, taking care of himself and not being bothered by other people's needs overly much. Then, at the urging of his pastor, he moves in with a group of other young men from the church, because they both feel that God wants human beings to live with other people, in a community or family. Miller talks honestly and deeply about the self-centeredness he finds in himself as he grows and changes by living with others. He said, "I discovered my mind is like a radio that picks up only one station, the one that plays me: K-DON, all Don, all the time." The changes he makes in his life and his thinking patterns are simple yet inspiring to read about, because the thoughts and actions he describes are things we all struggle with again and again in our lives. I really enjoyed Anne Lamott's Plan B, which I have heard that a lot of Christians didn't like, but I think Christians would be a lot more likely to enjoy this book because Don doesn't try to rock the political boat so much. He talks about God all the time, what God wants, what he feels God is urging him to do, but he writes so honestly and about such universal subjects that I was engaged and felt included in the discussion even as a non-Christian. This is one of the few books about Christianity that is going into my permanent collection. His Christianity is lived in an attractive and inclusive way, and his writing style was light and fun to read, yet depthy enough that I have already reread portions of it multiple times.

blue like what?

"Blue Like Jazz" questions the very notion of what it means to be a Christian. Donald Miller writes about faith with a variety of topics on coming to faith, why to have faith, how Christ can transform, what to do with that faith and how to live a life as a Christian. Other than the last chapter of the book where Miller writes that if Ani Difranco wasn't a lesbian he would marry her, what interested me most was how Miller's perspective on being a Christian did not really come from a sense of organized Christianity as an institution. While he was a Christian and went to church and was even a youth group leader Donald Miller knew that there was something lacking. He believed in his head and he knows that Jesus was God, but he didn't truly believe in his heart. He didn't truly believe with his life. The organization of the church was telling him one thing, but it wasn't quite right for him. There are several very interesting chapters dealing different aspects of faith that focus on Miller's time at Reed College. Reed is a college that people at his church and other believers declared was extremely immoral and that the college was voted "most likely to not believe in God". That much is true, but it was also a strong intellectual school. When Miller started attending, he met up with some Christians at the school who were essentially an "Underground" group of believers. They talked seriously of what it meant to believe and live for Christ and it was a transformative kind of living, more than just attending church on Sunday it was living as a follower on Monday and Tuesday and every other day. One of Miller's friends believed that feeding the homeless meant more than just giving some money to a homeless shelter, that it really meant to actually go out and feed the homeless, to give them food directly, to sit and talk and share a meal with them. To minister with more than just words and preaching, but by truly loving those whom society does not love. It's a sacrifice that takes a person well out of what they think their comfort zone is. It's a challenge. The aspect of Miller's time at Reed that I found most fascinating was during the college's weekend party, drunken orgy. It is some sort of festival that most would probably see as one of the more decedent displays anywhere in America. Accepted public nudity, drunkeness, lewdness and this is the norm for that weekend. What Miller and his friends decided to do was set up a Confession Booth in the campus's common area. They expected harassment and perhaps abuse, verbal and physical. Christians are not generally accepted at Reed. But this was a different and revolutionary Confession Booth. The Christians confessed to the Pagans. Donald writes about how they would confess how they were not truly feeding the poor, how he has anger issues and lashes out verbally when he feels threatened and that in general they and many others are not good representations of Christ. And change happened after this. Their acti

Thoughts upon BLJ after my 5th reading...

Blue Like Jazz isn't the Bible. It isn't another "self-help to make God love you more" Christian book like many on the shelves today. What it is, though, is amazingly honest. Don Miller doesn't write what people want to hear and he doesn't write what Christians even want to hear. He speaks frankly about his feelings about others, the Lord, and the world today with conviction and painful clarity. This book is the story of his journey not only to faith in Christ, but also a story of his journey to learning about community, compassion, and service. I have read this book 5 times and still tears creep into my eyes as he shows what the Lord has revealed to him in his journey thus far. I'm not a Democrat. I'm not from the North. I'm also not really that cool....But Don Miller doesn't demand the reader agree with him at all, he only tells us what he has learned and how to came to that point. I highly reccomend this book to people who are skeptics of Christians. It may not be everything you want to hear, but it WILL be honest and non-hypocritical. Give it try.

Finally Someone Real

So many books I read make me think the person writing the book thinks that they are perfect. They come out of a place that seems to say everything I say is write. This book breaks out of that mold. We see Donald is just a regular guy. One of my favorite parts was when he said he hadn't read the scripture in a while so he sat down to crack the bible open. He ended up checking his email and playing a few games. This guy is a real person and he doesn't lie about it. This book may seem radical to some, as you can tell by some of the negative reviews. I feel as if this book captures the heart of the new generation. College kids and high schoolers today are tired of people being fake and people telling us that we have to be perfect. This book fairly well sums up the views of younger generations whose hearts are tired of church and religion and are ready for Jesus and a relationship with Him. And to boot, this book is funny. That is always a plus, I laughed for the majority of the book. The times I wasn't laughing I was being moved to examine my life and dive into prayer.
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