Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Book Review - Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

For starters, I like the book. The book has a great conversational style that is an easy and interesting read. He is nothing if not genuine and real. I can't imagine with all he reveals about himself that he is hiding anything. For me it was a great introduction to a culture that I don't really understand. It will prove invaluable in the future when I meet people like Miller who have been hurt and burned by traditional organized religion (whatever that means). It also gives us hope that there are those out there that we might least expect who are truly seeking God and yet their experience with Him is expressed ways that many of us don't get.

While I liked the book I am left feeling a little torn. I also had some problems with the book.

While Miller says that Christian Spirituality is not political, the book is full of the authors political rants. Unfortunately, most of those rants end up being attacks on other churches and Christians. It seems as if he belittles just about everything and everybody relating to Christianity that does not fit in his comfort zone. The good part is that he owns up to it. That kind of thinking comes from people who are fairly self-centered. One of the consitnet themes in the book is Miller's continual recognition of his own "self-addiction."

The final thing that concerns me is that while he does a great job of pointing out problems in the church I am not sure I agree with his conclusions. I am not sure that a "cussing" pastor is something not be lauded. I also don't like the fact that he sets up pot smoking, oversexed hippies as our examples for Love. I am sure that we can learn a lot from people outside the community of faith but I sure there are many good examples of Love displayed within the faith community that are both moral and Holy Spirit led.

I really would like to meet Miller. I am thankful for what he taught me and I am interested in reading some of his other works.

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