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Blue Like Jazz Book Review

Blue Like Jazz Book Review

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Published by Luke Wilson
Essays from my first year. Title explains it all.
Essays from my first year. Title explains it all.

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Published by: Luke Wilson on Jun 03, 2007
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/01/2013

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Blue Like Jazz 
Book Review
 
Blue Like Jazz 
, Miller, D., (Nashville, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2003) Pbk,Vol 1, ISBN 0-7852-6370-5
‘Blue Like Jazz’ 
is branded as “non religious thoughts on Christian spirituality”and that does basically sum up what Donald Miller has set about to do. Hestarts off the book with talking about how he viewed God when he was a childand how distant he felt from knowing God properly. Over the continuingchapters, Miller takes the reader on a journey through his life process and hisdeveloping Christian spirituality. Each chapter focuses on one major aspect ata time and how the situations, circumstances and people have helped himshape his own worldviews and character.Donald Miller engages the post-modern culture head on with his book andbrings to light the answer to the question;
is “Christianity still relevant today?” 
with a nice resounding
‘yes’.
Miller goes through his life and experience withGod, talking and commenting on the way he came close to Him, and how hefound what was really missing from his life all along. He mentions often abouthow people all have a yearning desire inside them for something more in life,how something always feels missing in life. He also talks about how it “felt like[his] soul wanted to be forgiven”
1
– that he wanted God. As Miller goes onthrough the book he is presenting the Gospel message in a very subtle way.But because he tells it from his own perspective, rather than telling the reader they need salvation, it comes across as a more ‘real’ message because youcan see how God has impacted his life. In this society which is very post-modern, this book would probably speak to them better than what the Biblemight to non-Christians looking for God, because it’s all based on one manspersonal experiences, and in a post-modern culture personal experience canbe accepted as truth.Donald Miller writes his book in a very personal way, as though he is talking toa friend, which is what I liked about it. It’s a very easy read and flows nicely
1
Blue Like Jazz, page 35.
Luke WilsonPage 109/02/2008
 
because of that, but that can be misleading and make you overlook certainthings because Miller talks about some deep subjects in quite a light heartedway.Miller is very down to earth with what he talks about, making it easy to relateto. The issues he talks about are what every person struggles with in one wayor another – whether it is their journey to finding God or their struggles in lifeand faith. The thing I like is the way he shares his friends stories too; of howthey became a Christian. I like it because you get to see the many differentways God communicates and how He wants to know us all personally, andalso what the people go through at the time. In chapter nine, Donald Miller speaks of one of his faith crises and how he got through it. He talks of a timeafter High School graduation where he is leading a student Bible study groupat a church near Houston. Miller got the opportunity to teach all the time at theChurch and loved it. But the more praise and attention he got the more fakehe became with his faith. By fake he means that he ended up just being andsaying what he had to and not actually meaning it at all. Eventually, after aroad trip across America, he gets to the point where he just confesses to Godeverything and then how he felt at peace after that.Miller talks about faith and how confusing it really is, how it defies all logic andintellect a lot of the time with out making much sense. At one point in his book,Miller sums this up nicely when he talks about his friend Laura. She wanted tounderstand God in a rational way but couldn’t. She just couldn’t get her headaround belief in God properly or understand how people can believe any of it.The way Miller explains this is with the example of love. Love, he says, is atrue emotion, but not rational. The same thing with light: it can’t be provedscientifically, yet we believe it exists
2
.Miller explains his faith with penguin sex. How penguins have a intuitiveknowledge ‘built in’ to them of where to go, what to do, and when to return totheir eggs at the exact time of hatching even if it’s the first time that penguinhas laid eggs. He says that penguins just follow this ‘radar’ withoutunderstanding it and that’s like himself. He says;
2
Blue Like Jazz, pp.54
Luke WilsonPage 209/02/2008

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