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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality

Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian SpiritualityBlue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality by Donald Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very interesting book. Don writes like he is journaling. He does not hold back. He made me think and I like that. I didn’t agree with everything he wrote, but he did give me food for thought. I would like to share the following quotes from the book:
I believe the greatest trick of the devil is not to get us into some sort of evil but rather have us wasting time. This is why the devil tries so hard to get Christians to be religious. If he can sink a man’s mind into habit, he will prevent his heart from engaging God. I was into habit. I grew up going to church, so I got used to hearing about God. He was like Uncle Harry or Aunt Sally except we didn’t have pictures. p. 13
In a recent radio interview I was sternly asked by the host, who did not consider himself a Christian, to defend Christianity. I told him that I couldn’t do it, and moreover, that I didn’t want to defend the term. He asked me if I was a Christian, and I told him yes. “Then why don’t you want to defend Christianity?” he asked, confused. I told him I no longer knew what the term meant. Of the hundreds of thousands of people listening to his show that day, some of them had terrible experiences with Christianity; they may have been yelled at by a teacher in a Christian school, abused by a minister, or browbeaten by a Christian parent. To them, the term Christianity meant something that no Christian I know would defend. By fortifying the term, I am only making them more and more angry. I won’t do it. Stop ten people on the street and ask them what they think of when they hear the word Christianity, and they will give you ten different answers. How can I defend a term that means ten different things to ten different people? I told the radio show host that I would rather talk about Jesus and how I came to believe that Jesus exists and that he likes me. The host looked back at me with tears in his eyes. When we were done, he asked me if we could go get lunch together. He told me how much he didn’t like Christianity but how he had always wanted to believe Jesus was the Son of God. p. 115
All the wonder of God happens right above our arithmetic and formula. The more I climb outside my pat answers, the more invigorating the view, the more my heart enters into worship. p. 203
Too much of our time is spent trying to chart God on a grid, and too little is spent allowing our hearts to feel awe. By reducing Christian spirituality to formula, we deprive our hearts of wonder. p. 205

I recommend those who enjoy reading books that make you think!


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