Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Blue Like Jazz

I finished "Blue Like Jazz" by Donald Miller just moments ago. Now, I'm not much for book reviews... I haven't written one since highschool and don't have witty words to convey the over all message of the thing. But I can give a short opinion, for the sake of posting and sharing a little bit of my thoughts on the book.

Honestly, I wanted to see what all of the hype was about. I remember hearing about this book in 2005 but being a non-reader at the time I didn't care to pick it up. I thought it would be some sort of life changing oracle by the sound of the buzz floating around. But Donald Miller seems to me to be a normal guy who by some magic of language can put on paper the collective thoughts of people walking the journey of life in search for Jesus. He mentions God a bit but it seems to me that he is in search of a friend whose name was a mystery and his face was not known to him. - I cannot speak for the general public or even for my friends but it seems like Mr. Miller gives voice to the struggle to find Jesus and true spirituality, which is different than Christianity according to him.

He talks several times about the difference between Christianity and spirituality and that churches frustrate him because of their politics and false love. I found myself agreeing with his thoughts which is what makes me think that he gives this voice to those searching for the true Jesus who calls us to love one another no matter what.

I was also struck at the end of the book by his realization about loving himself. Love your neighbor as yourself was a profound thought to him in understanding that he wouldn't say the things to his neighbor that he says to himself. This thought got me to ponder how I treat myself. And of course I read this at a time when I feel especially vulnerable spiritually.

One other thing that I kept thinking about was the fact that his provocative statements about Christianity and spirituality are rather bold. I don't buy into some of the things he said, though I couldn't quote them now, but other things I found myself secretly agreeing with. I think that is because of the traditional manner of Christianity from my childhood that I didn't really buy into either but didn't have the guts to challenge and don't know if I do now. ~ At any rate, I find myself grateful that I have a minister for a friend who I can say confidently speaks boldly in truth whether I am listening to him on Sunday or in conversation over dinner between our families.

There's my two cents.


brenda said...

I think you have a more unique perspective being a member at Pump and all. The book probably is more difficult to swallow by a more traditional "church of christer". It has been a hile since I read it, but I have not forgotten some parts. Of course what I remember are the outrageous things!

Jessica Bolt said...

I'm bringing a new book for you tomorrow my reading friend (Have I told you how happy this makes me lately?)! Although be warned, there are things that are more outrageous in Irresistible Revolution than in Blue Like Jazz; there preposterous ideas and ridiculous suggestions: prepare yourself.

Cheryl Russell said...

I thought you said you couldn't convey the over all message of the thing. I thought this was a good and honest review! I also hope you will read the book Jessica is suggesting so that we can talk about it. I loved Irresisible Revolution, it was very convicting and challenging. Thanks for sharing Leah! We missed you guys yesterday. Be safe!