Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Girding my loins for "Blue Like Jazz"

I have recently ordered Donald Miller's "Blue Like Jazz," a book that I have flipped through while perusing bookstores both large (Barnes & Noble) and small (LifeWay) but have not actually read. I've wanted to read the book because two of my relatives seem to hold it in high regard, but I have seen some reviews that paint it as a book filled with experiential anecdotes and poor theology (see here and here - a positive review is here). I am also intrigued because Miller will be speaking at my alma mater, Cedarville University, next month - even though I graduated nearly thirteen years ago (that is not possible!), I am still interested in what occurs there.

These are some questions that I hope will be addressed by reading it:

  1. Will I get a sense of Miller's theology? How does he view God - as Lord and Master, as a nice guy who wants us all to be happy and spread cheer, or what?
  2. In what regard does Miller hold the Bible - as the inerrant Word of God (profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness), or as something less?
  3. How much value does Miller place on the 'experience' of the Christian life as opposed to the 'doctrines' of the faith?
  4. Does Miller discuss how Christians ought to be? If so, what ought they be and how does it relate to what they ought to be doing?
  5. What phrases or words will Miller employ so that he can appear 'hip' or 'cool'?
  6. If Miller is going to discuss Christian spirituality, will he give a definition or just assume I know what he means?
  7. Is this a book that is necessary, or just filler on the bookshelves? What I mean is, will I get an idea as to why Miller wrote it?

Miller has his own site.


  1. Ha, ha ... you have no idea what you are stepping in my friend. I have been reading 'Christian' authored books for the past thirteen years and I have NEVER read a book straight through, I did with Blue Like Jazz. I have been radically effected by a few books. 1. God's 'The Bible' 2. Brennan Mannings 'Ragamuffin Gospel' 3. 5 Love languages and now 4. Blue Like Jazz.

    I do think you may not dig his writing style and his perceived uneducated writing style. Make no mistake, I believe Donald is brilliant, but his unassuming, free flowing style might cause some to think he is simple.

    I hope you dig it.

  2. The loyal opposition says that you have to read Blue Like Jazz carefully. It's more than a little glib.

  3. I look forward to your thoughts, I know it generated many for me.


  4. I've heard so many good things about this book. I haven't read it myself yet. Looking forward to hearing more.

  5. My goodness! I put up a post saying that I'm about to read a book, and four people leave a comment. Thanks to all of you!

  6. If you want something that will realy "rock" you and make you think, then read Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire. That's a great Sunday School Curriculum for ya.

    Authors Brian Walsh and Sylvia Keesmaat