Randall Yelverton's Reviews > Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality

Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
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Jun 10, 2008

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Contrary to Miller's introduction, jazz music does resolve. A theme is introduced, the theme is played around with, unpacked, reimagined, and then resolved. (There are open-ended compositions, but jazz pieces often do resolve.) And the title and its repetition throughout the work bugged me to no end. Miller really latches on to this image and runs with it, but since the book is not about being sad or even about the color blue, it seems that he just fell in love with the simile and ran with it without good reason. It also seems a little faux-cool. Miller's writing throughout is trying too hard to be cool, but one of his theses, I think, was that a cool Christianity would win over converts. But cool can never be nailed down, is subject to the whims of fickle consumers, and is created by ad men. Cool is slight and ultimately meaningless. So Christianity can't and shouldn't try to be cool.

And why "non-religious thoughts" on "spirituality"? Ugh. Religion is not a defunct concept and spirituality is not preferable to Christianity. If these concepts are broken, then we should rehabilitate them not discard them. I understand that Miller is trying to appeal to the unchurched or those who have strayed from their faith, but he errs when he chooses the vague, unfocused spirituality over the focused, definable Christianity.

And yet, I would reservedly recommend this flawed book because I believe it will be of great use to many who have strayed from their faith and are not comfortable with what they assume to to be the Conservative, unforgiving church. I found the chapter's on selfishness and loneliness compelling. The book is flawed, but valuable and could be a useful means for (re)introducing the faith to those repelled by it.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Julie I thought the same thing when I read that part about jazz does not resolve! Ha! Weird. Thanks for the review. I agree!


Julie I thought the same thing when I read that part about jazz does not resolve! Ha! Weird. Thanks for the review. I agree!


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