I don't want to give this one up! A book that is easy to read, but challenged all many of my thoughts about Christianity. He pulls out all the religious nonsense to breakdown who God really is. An honest and truthful book that brought me joy!
I was a little hesitant to read this one based on its subtitle (Nonreligious thoughts on Christian Spirituality) but I am glad I did! It was such a frank commentary on "doing life". His insights on selfishness and self-centeredness really hit home and I found myself pondering several of his comments days later.
Highly recommend this one and am looking forward to reading more of his work.
Blue Like Jazz offers thoughts on what it means to be a Christian without the traditional "do this/don't do that" Christian message. For those who are disillusioned with "church", or for those who are seeking a meaningful relationship with Christ, Donald Miller offers hope and encouragement.
In a nutshell: the author discusses his flavor Christian spirituality, one developed through a curiously lived life. I think his individuality makes for a playful read, but his theology is shaky and often elitist. If you ARE Christian, I think the book might inspire you to personalize your own faith and seek a fellowship which feels like home. If you are not Christian, this book might give insight into a more youthful and actually-love-thy-neighbor Christian religiosity. Although, it might also highlight the sometimes narrow-minded and half-assed tried-and-found-wanting dismissal of other faiths that some Christians use to justify the ultimate correctness of theirs. :) All in all, I recommend the book as a quick read, and would encourage the reader to be entertained but skeptical.
It's been awhile since I read a book about religion so this one was a good one to tackle. The author talks about Christianity in a basic, loving way. It should not, he feels be tied to politics, racial and gender issues, nor to lifestyle. It is his belief that Christianity should allow one to accept all people regardless of social class, gender, race, religion or other classifications. In the latter portion of the book, Miller emphasizes that one needs to love God and oneself to be a Christian but perhaps most important one must love Jesus. The author details his own experiences with Christianity but does not claim to be an expert.
There is no effort to sell his own beliefs, just share them. It's a fascinating approach because I believe that religion should be an entity of its own beyond all this. The author dwells on love of all mankind, helping others whether the need is due to poverty or isolation, and witnessing in this manner. The author apologizes for the atrocities performed under the guise of Christianity." Many reviewers have chosen to use quotes from the book to explain their impressions about this read. I'm taking one from the GR book description: "Blue Like Jazz is a fresh and original perspective on life, love, and redemption." I liked that.
This author has some stories that are worthy of note: the hostage-rescuer story and the story of the confession booth come to mind. He aspires to a show acceptance of understanding the spiritual journeys of others, but his concept of Buddhism is more than childish ignorance, it shows a lack of true curiosity about a major spiritual group. He seems to suggest an acceptance of followers of Islam, but does not pursue or explain this idea. It is his view of Buddhism that reveals his shallow vision of true spirituality. Perhaps if he truly understood Buddhism, and embraced it, he could get over his shame over being a Christian and not need to apologize for the atrocities committed by those who called themselves Christian. His subtitle is misleading. Just because he is not a typical conservative radical does not make him nonreligious. This book was given to me by my sister a long time ago, and I decided to read it before I listed it on PBS. I finished reading it, and I don't always finish every book I start, so it was worth reading, but it's not one I would keep in my library.
This book has some good nuggets of information in it. I think it depends on the reader though. I could see how the author was trying to get people to think more openly about accepting everyone into a church and not maintaining the snobby church atmosphere. However, sometimes he came across as condoning or giving an excuse for young people's spiritual immaturity and other flaws.
This is the first book I have read by Donald Miller, and I was literally blown away! He has such a humorous, down-to-earth style of writing, that you feel like he is sitting in your livingroom chatting and having a cup of coffee with you. He shares honest, open impressions of various "settings" of the Christian life, and when you least expect it, you find yourself evaluating your own beliefs and practices, and what it says about the authenticity of your faith and does your life agree with what you say you believe... ?
This is my favorite book of ALL TIME. It's a wonderful, honest book about Christianity without glossing it or sugar coating anything. It just discusses and ponders the subject, but doesn't shove anything in your face. It's great for believers and non-believers alike.
What a great book! This book really taps in to what is missing, what people can't wrap their minds around, that they are not only loved, but liked by Jesus. That he likes us. Just as we are...but as the saying goes, he won't leave us that way!!
Denise M. reviewed Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality on
I LOVE this book. Donald Miller gets back to the real Christ and why he became human on earth. If someone asked me my faith, I'd say "Here, read this. He put it all into words for me." Authentic, true to scripture, real. A solid voice of Christianity for today. A book, memoir, with appeal for Christians and non-Christians alike.
If you think honoring God means lacing your book with raw language, making it clear that you think your fellow Christians are anti-intellectual and deserve your contempt while atheists are far more intellectual; if you think that you should be the spokesman who asks nonbelievers for forgiveness on behalf of all other Christians then this book is for you.
If you need to believe that you can conform to popular culture rather than view yourself as one "set apart" (Psalm 4:3) Then you will probably join all the other (presumably very young) professing Christians that call this the "best book they've ever read in their whole life!!!!"
I loved this book. I would never have read it if my sister hadn't recommended it because the subtitle "Nonreligious thoughts on Christian Spirituality" would automatically send red flags to the super-fundamentalist in me! If there were such a thing as "evangelical church (political) correctness" this book would be the farthest thing from it! It is a beautiful, genuine testimony to one man's journey of faith - he tells it like it is, his doubts, his unbelief and his qualms about the whole church and Christianity and Christians. It is wonderful and refreshing and I found myself laughing out loud only to turn a page and cry over his descriptions of God and His love for us.
If you need a breath of fresh air in your walk with Jesus, a conviction from the Holy Spirit about what God's purpose for your life is, or just a reminder that God's love is truly mysterious and miraculous, read this book. I read it (with my kids at home) in a couple days. I couldn't seem to put it down and it is an easy enchanting read.