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Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality Paperback – Jul 15 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Original edition (July 15 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785263705
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785263708
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 1.9 x 20.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 395 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #48,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Miller (Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance) is a young writer, speaker and campus ministry leader. An earnest evangelical who nearly lost his faith, he went on a spiritual journey, found some progressive politics and most importantly, discovered Jesus' relevance for everyday life. This book, in its own elliptical way, tells the tale of that journey. But the narrative is episodic rather than linear, Miller's style evocative rather than rational and his analysis personally revealing rather than profoundly insightful. As such, it offers a postmodern riff on the classic evangelical presentation of the Gospel, complete with a concluding call to commitment. Written as a series of short essays on vaguely theological topics (faith, grace, belief, confession, church), and disguised theological topics (magic, romance, shifts, money), it is at times plodding or simplistic (how to go to church and not get angry? "pray... and go to the church God shows you"), and sometimes falls into merely self-indulgent musing. But more often Miller is enjoyably clever, and his story is telling and beautiful, even poignant. (The story of the reverse confession booth is worth the price of the book.) The title is meant to be evocative, and the subtitle-"Non-Religious" thoughts about "Christian Spirituality"-indicates Miller's distrust of the institutional church and his desire to appeal to those experimenting with other flavors of spirituality.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Donald Miller is the author of several books, including the bestsellers Blue Like Jazz and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. He helps leaders grow their businesses at www.storybrand.com. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Betsy, and their chocolate lab, Lucy.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've noticed that Christians today seem to fall into two broad groups: those who feel tied to the "Religious right" and those who really wish that people didn't associate Christianity with that group at all. This latter group seems particularly prone to cynicism, and seem to be the biggest fans and harshest critics of this book. If you love Pat Robertson, you should read this book, but you probably won't.
As a slightly cynical 20-something, this book was right on target for me. It challenged the comfortable groove that my spirituality sometimes hides out in, and forced me to learn from a less didactic and more experiential prose than most Christian books present. I dislike that this book has become, like "Wild at Heart," somewhat of a Christian fad, but only because I truly believe that if Christians got off their high horse or out of their blissful oblivion and truly grasped the refreshing bits of wisdom in this book, they would come away changed for the better.
To paraphrase something Miller talks about in the book, Should Christians be looking for friends (or books) that affirm their opinions... or pursuing the truth and transformation that comes from a dedicated walk with God? This book just might give you some new things to think about that will shake some dust off of your spiritual life.
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Format: Paperback
I must admit I found myself growing weary of the author's musings. Okay life is tough and some people are hard to get along with and things don't always work out smoothly. Not everyone writes about it. The book does read like Annie LaMott's Tender Mercies in that both authors are very observant, sensitve, vulnerable and articulate. They also feel free to make numerous derogatory remarks about conservatives and republicans. Seems like everyone is supposed to be tolerant and accepting of one another but those groups are open targets. That got a bit old.
The last few chapters were much better and I acutally found Miller's comments endearing. He truly loves Jesus and wants others to have a REAL life with Him. Those sections made me go back and read a few of the earlier chapters again in a new light.
I recommend the book to anyone wanting to get a glimpse into the mindset of many believers today. I think Miller would be a great guy to hang with over a dark lager and a free-wheeling conversation. On the other hand I'd hate to have to count on the guy for anything! Since he talks openly about his love life let me just say I dread my daughter might be attracted to a guy like this. By his own admission he is self-absorbed. The girl that marries this guy better be made of hearty emotional stock. She'll be carrying him with little help in return.
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Format: Paperback
1. This is a flow of consciousness type book which offers some very honest and personal insights from a talented writer.

2. A Christian point of view coming more from the left offers insight into both the strengths and shallowness that mirrors and demonstrates the strengths and shallowness of the right. There are many evangelicals who need to consider and question the far or even moderate right point of view that has dominated evangelicalism and this book is one of the better ones. It doesn't require agreement to benefit.

3. A genuinely enjoyable read with some "aha" moments along the way that the author sees in himself that many readers will relate to and grow from along the way.

I enjoyed it and particularly benefitted from the story of the Confession Booth. It's revealing to me that many who dislike and disparage this book apart from coming from some predictable camps, are those who lead with their intellect and lack in the areas of practical compassion and loving people as Christ loved them. That shouldn't be lost on anyone while reading these reviews in general.
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By A Customer on March 20 2004
Format: Paperback
Common themes that resonates in Miller's books to his readers are honesty and simplicity. I too can ceratinly appreciate Miller's honesty in approaching Christianity. The simplicity of his book also means accessibilty. Anyone can read it in a short time. This is a good thing. Kudos on the reminder about selflessnes, the need to die daily to Christ, the need of loving people and doing the christian walk authentically.
After reading this book, however, I also couldn't help but feel that many of Miller's grasp on doing the walk are watered down. Miller replaced Christianity for Christian spirituality as if any of these words were intended to be mutually exclusive. Being a christian means to be a follower of Jesus, to practise Christ's spirituality regardless of the reputation others have given it. Yes in our world of today, where christianity has run a bad rep, I can certainly understand Miller's intentions. But making change comes not in finding a way out of the church, not in distancing yourself from a so called name in order to attract liberals, but walking change from within, advocating the real message of Christ no matter what the world thinks. Christ's message as a matter of fact will always be antithetical to this world. Remember even Jesus ran a bad rep in this world. The world killed him even though he never did a thing bad, but love all people and try to show them the way. Miller paints a picture of Jesus that is all loving and embracing of all people, sinners and saints alike. Yes he was. But he did not paint the picture of Jesus who is also angry towards sin, the Jesus who beat and overturned tables, the Jesus who was a prick on the skins of sinners. Miller failed to expose the condition of sinners in the hands of an angry God.
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