Friday, January 16, 2009

"A good book is hard to find."

Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

I'm always looking for books that give people insight into Christianity and how it works to be a Christian. Miller writes well and seems to have a sensible theology. While I was reading it I kept imagining the book was set in a time period far older then this decade and then kept getting surprised by very modern references. Blue Like Jazz combines Miller's own journey into faith with the essentials of a Christian worldview. (I saw some vague conceptual parallels with GK Chesterton's Orthodoxy and Heresies.) The biggest stylistic downside I think are the cartoons which seem a little amateurish, however having them in the book breaks up the text and makes the book more accessible. Also worth noting is how intensely personal some of the anecdotes are. Miller is definitely showing how he as an individual relates to Jesus, some may find this difficult to connect with if their background is radically different to Miller's.

[photo = Donald Miller]

6 comments:

Andrew Bowles said...

Speaking of writers, did you hear that Richard Neuhaus (from 'First Things') died recently? No more 'On the Public Square', I guess.

Donners said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Luke said...

[Let me post as Luke instead of Amy.]

It's a sad loss for the thinking world but he'll be enjoying the full glory of God now.

ish said...

A very helpful review. Would have liked an example or two and a small quote maybe.

ish said...

Amen to both comments re Neuhaus. I'll miss "On the Public Square" too.

Luke said...

Hi Dad,

Blue Like Jazz is difficult to summarise, let me try to illustrate this style with a quote.

"In his book Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton syas chess players go crazy, not poets. I think he is right. You'd go crazy trying to explain penguins. It's best just to watch them and be entertained. I don't think you can explain how Christian faith works either. It is a mystery. And I love this about Christian spirtuality. It cannot be explained, and yet it is beautiful and ture. It is something you feel, and it comes from the soul." p57