"I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve...I used to not like God because God didn't resolve. But that was before any of this happened." In Donald Miller's early years, he was vaguely familiar with a distant God. But when he came to know Jesus Christ, he pursued the Christian life with great zeal. Within a few years he had a successful ministry that ultimately left him feeling empty, burned out, and, once again, far away from God. In this intimate, soul-searching account, Miller describes his remarkable journey back to a culturally relevant, infinitely loving God.
- Everyone should read
This is one of the few books that I can say really changed my life because I read it. Don shares profound truths in such a simple way. His style of writing is mostly antedotia, which makes his writing very entertaining.
- Funny and Poignant
I really enjoyed this, although it did take me a while to get used to the narrator's voice and style of reading. This book made me laugh out loud quite a lot as I imagined the different scenarios the author found himself in, particularly when he had come out of living in the woods with the hippies!! It made me cringe at times as I recognised myself in the stories he retold about his religious exploits, good to hear though. I definitely would have preferred it if Don Miller himself had been reading, as I don't think the narrator was quite right for this book, but saying that I could listen to this again in a few years time and probably still enjoy it.
- This review first appeared on my...
This review first appeared on my blog at http://jacobscafe.blogspot.com/2010/04/inconsistent-like-jazz-christianaudio.html
Overall, I like jazz music. My college roommate was a music major and loved jazz. He played it, so I saw a lot of his concerts, and he took me to see big name jazz musicians. I didn't enjoy as much as he did. It sometimes just seemed odd. But overall, I like jazz a lot.
I had the same feelings to Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. I have heard many excellent things about it over the past few years, so when I saw the audiobook version for $5 at Family Christian Bookstores, I had to pick it up.
First of all, the narrator, Scott Brick, was very good. He was one of the better professional narrators from the christianaudio imprint. He sounded like the great narrators of many of the bestselling fictional books I've read. Like I've said before, though, I still prefer the author to read it for books like this, particularly when written in the first person.
The content overall was good. Miller does a nice job of presenting a realistic, authentic, experiential faith. He appropriately challenges assumptions American Christianity holds, and I deeply appreciate that. He emphasizes the importance of the journey of faith and not always having the clear-cut answers. As readers of this blog know, I emphasize these points frequently.
However, Miller interestingly got stuck in at times in some fundamentalist-like perspectives, particularly around Scripture. He mentioned friends of his by only saying their first names, but based on the context and other information, I could identify them as some people who have solidly fundamentalist streaks.
These people tend to appear to be hip and challenging the establishment (and they do in many ways), yet they approach Scripture in very literalistic and Calvinistic ways. This came through frequently in Miller's text, and it really distracted from the usefulness of his message.
From other reviews and posts on this blog, people will know I do not hold to a strict, literal interpretation of Scripture nor in strict Calvinistic interpretations. Just as Miller challenges many cultural assumptions of the church, these are cultural assumptions that must be challenged. Yet he holds them up as universally accepted ultimate Truth.
At the same time, many people who hold these values are often not willing to consider challenging their other assumptions. So if Miller earn credibility this way to have people begin to challenge themselves, this could be a blessing in disguise.
Overall, I would recommend the book. Just don't ingest it whole without challenging the thoughts. We shouldn't do this with anything though, anyway...
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- Blue Like Jazz is basically the...
Blue Like Jazz is basically the testimony of Donald Miller. It is the story of his journey and spiritual growth. Miller explores a handful of different topics by recounting his personal experiences. For Miller, most of his life changing, impactful experiences of spiritual growth came in nontraditional ways. His growth did not result from a structured program or event in a church setting. Miller's growth often took place through interactions which were less calculated and felt more natural and authentic. Blue Like Jazz challenges the reader to find a deeper relationship with Christ and share his love with others in a way that stretches beyond what many of us may have grown up with through stereotypical structured experiences.