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Blue Like Jazz (2003)

by Donald Miller

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,9021071,275 (3.9)88
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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Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
This book was initially recommended to me in High School. I read it then, considered it a good read that provoked several thoughts & thought I agreed with some of it while disagreeing with other parts. Overall, I could see why a lot of people liked it, but never felt my life should be based on it. It was simply a good read, but not worthy of being placed on my "Re-read Annually" list.

I read it a second time as I began college. I just finished re-reading it now as I am in the middle of Grad school. This time was...

Finish reading this review on my blog: http://jmnz.us/OySMwK ( )
  cjmnz8 | Dec 12, 2020 |
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 |
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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For David Gentiles
First words
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.
Quotations
"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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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.

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