Blue Like Jazz

Discussion in 'Books / Publications Forum' started by Jimmy C, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. Jimmy C

    Jimmy C
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    Have any of you read this book. I received it as a Christmas present and could not put it down. I gave it to my brother who is basically an agnostic/intellectual - he is reading it and is making him consider some things about Christianity that he had not previously considered.

    Word of warning - the author is very liberal politically, is opposed to fundamentalism in the church - but is conservative (from what I read) regarding salvation.
     
  2. Baptist Believer

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    I finally got around to reading it and was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the book. It is very provocative and is grist for thought and action.
     
  3. glenn316

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    I have read the book, and I can honestly say this is a great book to give to a non Christian. It is absolutely, and completely free of Christian jargon. An amazing accomplishment in and of itself.
     
  4. Humblesmith

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    What is it about?
     
  5. Lagardo

    Lagardo
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    To quote the subtitle:
    "non-religious thoughts on Christian Spirituality"

    Basically, its a varied collection of Donald Millers thoughts as he and those around him grapple with having a real relationship with Christ as opposed to a religion. It deals a great deal with his experreinces in Portland at Reed College.

    The title makes a comparison to Jazz music...which is primarily for the performer. A musician loves jazz when he's playing it; completely lost in the music...A person can love Christ when they are completely in the relationship...not just observing through religion...at least that's how I came to understand it...I could be wrong.
     
  6. PeterM

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    I wouldn't call him a liberal. If you identify people who care about being responsible with the environment and the poor as liberal then I guess I am liberal in your book.

    It seems that the author and the fellowship he is apart of has good priorities and is reaching their community and the world in a way that is closer to the 1st century model than what we do in our "traditional" church models.
     
  7. Marcia

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    I think the author of this book is considered part of the Emergent Church.

    I did not read this book but heard from someone who did that in one part of the book, the story is told that at the college some Christians set up a "Confession booth" during a raucous weekend (when there is a lot of drinking, wild parties, etc.) to confess the "sins of the church" to students. What do you think of that?
     
  8. Lagardo

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    I think it was a great idea, but keep in mind they are on a campus where students are predisposed to a certain negative judgment about Christianity. The confession was a great way to share Christ.
     
  9. Marcia

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    But Lagardo, did they share Christ? I truly would like to know.

    Here's a bit from an article (that seems to be fairly netural) on Miller at
    http://www.wweek.com/story.php?story=5974&page=3
    So what about the last part?
     
  10. Lagardo

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    As I recall, yes, they did. The idea was that students might expect that the Christians were demanding their confessions but instead heard about the compassion of Christ. As I recall the biggest "sin" confessed was the sin of not telling them about Jesus earlier.

    As for the last part, I really don't remember that and I don't have my copy handy, but I seem to remember Miller claiming a "crush" on a lot of people. I would assume hyperbole.

    Its a different perspective. I did not agree with everything in the book, but I appreciated it as a different perspective.
     
    #10 Lagardo, Jan 14, 2007
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  11. Marcia

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    Thanks for your answer, Lagardo.

    I am leery of the Emergent Church because many of the leaders take a dim view of Scripture and some sound like inclusivists. I am not saying Miller is in this crowd, but I'm wary of them as a whole. I do realize some of them make some valid points, but I am not sure where it's all going.
     
  12. Lagardo

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    They seem to vary as much as any other group, I suppose. Erwin McManus is considered "Emergent Church" and I've always thought he held a pretty high view of scripture.

    I do recall that Blue Like Jazz has a chapter about Miller going to hear an author he admired only to be dissapointed because the supposed Christian author comes across as an apologist for Islam.
     
  13. Lagardo

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    I wanted to give you a more solid answer, so I looked it up. As for the confession portion of the book, he does confess that Jesus said to feed the poor and he hasn't, and that Jesus said to love others, and he hasn't been good at that, but he also says that he has not conveyed the true message of Jesus. When the person hearing the confession asks what that is, it says:

    I also want to point out, having re-read that chapter, that Miller is very open about his own doubts and fears even in this first encounter but later writes:


    As for Ani Difranco, that is in chapter 19 (p. 223-224) where he seems to be more in love with the Charlie Rose show. He never says "crush" but does say,

    I think this is hyperbole, directed at 1) his appreciation of her songwriting, and 2) his love of the Charlie Rose show. But more importantly, this is his chapter on Love, which building from an earlier chapter on rommance, explores his own mixed up idea of what and who he loves and concludes with this:

    Hope this helps.
     
    #13 Lagardo, Jan 19, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2007

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