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Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

Blue Like Jazz (2003)

by Donald Miller

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5,7771101,227 (3.91)87
Donald Miller's fresh and original voice may change the way Christians view the "status quo" faith and build a bridge to seekers who believe that organized religion doesn't meet their spiritual needs. "I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. . . . I used to not like God because God didn't resolve. But that was before any of this happened." In Donald Miller's early years, he was vaguely familiar with a distant God. But when he came to know Jesus Christ, he pursued the Christian life with great zeal. Within a few years he had a successful ministry that ultimately left him feeling empty, burned out, and, once again, far away from God. In this intimate, soul-searching account, Miller describes his remarkable journey back to a culturally relevant, infinitely loving God.… (more)

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» See also 87 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
It took me awhile to get the flow at the beginning of the book. It's very different than other books, in that, I'm struck trying to find the point of the book. It just seemed like thoughts pieced together to form a book. Each chapter could have easily been a blog post.

With that being said, the "Christian" ideas brought up in this book challenged me greatly (in a good way). It was a very open and honest look at a man's life coming to truly know God. If this did one thing for me it was to show what it's like to be honest with God. Quite the idea, if you ask me.

Other than that, I think this was a fantastic book, once I got the flow. Wish more people would read it. ( )
  cgfaulknerog | May 28, 2020 |
I tried. I wanted to like Blue Like Jazz. I've heard great things about it. But I just found Donald Miller whiny and preachy. I was uninspired and didn't connect with Miller at all, even though I agree with him at points. And, to top it off, I felt like the writing was done by a blogger who needed some editing. Stories felt disconnected, Miller repeated himself, and I never knew where we were in Miller's life. Definitely a disappointing read. ( )
  bookishtexpat | May 21, 2020 |
This review was originally posted on my blog, Rachel Reading. If you like this and would like to see more like this, please check it out!

The first time I was handed this book was by a friend who used to identify as a Christian, but doesn't any longer. He was going through his library, giving away a ton of books, and being one of his few friends who still follows Jesus. However, when I opened it up, I immediately saw notes from him and his wife as they had read the book. His wife is one of my really great bookish friends, so I was surprised. I'd never seen her write in a book.

In the end, I deemed the notes seemed too personal for me to really dive into, so I slowly slid the book back onto his bookshelf, with the intent to read it someday. This book found its way back into my life when I was perusing the Goodwill Books and I decided it was time to give it a try. It was 50% off day after all.

I am so thrilled that I got my own copy so I was able to experience the brilliance of this book. This book is essentially a loosely collected group of essays where Miller reflects on his life, and how Jesus plays a role into it. It didn't feel heavy handed, it felt real, about Miller's real struggles in life, and how it felt to be working through his faith at the same time.

One of my favorite things about this book is the fact that I feel like it isn't heavy handed. I feel like I could hand this to my mom, who isn't a follower of Jesus, and she could get a better grasp on what I believe and how I think. For me, Miller's representation of Christianity was really refreshing and really hit home. I struggle with the idea of "religion" which invokes rules and regulations, when Jesus came he came to abolish rules and just live by love. To fight for the oppressed, to act and live out of love. I'm so thankful for getting my hands on this book, and I will hold it dear. ( )
1 vote rachelreading | Apr 20, 2020 |
You get a strange mix of feelings when you arrive late to the party — over ten years late, to be exact — on a book like Blue Like Jazz.

On the whole, I’m glad I finally got around to reading this one.

When Blue Like Jazz first came out, I was barely a teenager. Miller was writing to a generation just a little bit ahead of mine, who were tired with a fading 1950’s cultural Christianity and eager to reconcile their beliefs with a postmodern world.

On this point, I think Miller was incredibly successful. He writes about the real struggles a Christian has with living in our present age while juggling the American cultural baggage many grew up with.

In so many ways, Blue Like Jazz is permission to lean in to doubts and questions and permission to push back against “the way it’s always been.” In that sense, even ten years later, Blue Like Jazz a breath of fresh air.

All that being said, I waffled back and forth about whether this was a 3-star or 4-star book for me.

Read the rest of my review at bigdipperbooks.com! ( )
  melissa_faith | Mar 16, 2019 |
This one is the greatest Christian publication in the last 10 years. Miller is a 30/40ish (young) writer in Portland, and this book is a series of short vignettes about the Christian faith, in an incredibly insightful way. He got a lot of bad press from fundamentalists, but he also described the faith of a generation of folks who couldn't stomach the stuffy structures of their parents. Warning, descriptions of penguin sex :-) - Also, I've never laughed out loud more when reading anything int the Christian spirituality genre.
( )
  patl | Feb 18, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
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I once listened to an Indian on television say that God was in the wind and the water, and I wondered at how beautiful that was because it meant you could swim in Him or have Him brush your face in a breeze.
"It was as if we were broken, I thought, as if we were never supposed to feel these sticky emotions. It was as if we were cracked, couldn't love right, couldn't feel good things for very long without screwing it all up. We were like gasoline engines running on diesel."
"The genius of the American system is not freedom; the genius of the American system is checks and balances. Nobody gets all the power. Everybody is watching everybody else. It is as if the founding fathers knew, intrinsically, that the soul of man, unwatched, is perverse."
"I can't get there. I can't just say it without meaning it. I can't do it. It would be like, say, trying to fall in love with somebody, or trying to convince yourself that your favorite food is pancakes. You don't decided those things, they just happen to you. If God is real, He needs to happen to me."
"I will love you like God, because of God, mighted by the power of God. I will stop expecting your love, demanding your love, trading for your love, gaming for your love. I will simply love. I am giving myself to you, and tomorrow I will do it again. I suppose the clock itself will wear thin its time before I am ended at this altar of dying and dying again.
God risked Himself on me. I will risk myself on you. And together we will learn to love, and perhaps then, and only then, understand the gravity that drew Him, unto us."
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