Okay its been a long time since I’ve blogged. This I know (thanks Amy Lynn:). I have been so busy with planning a Luau, Frances’ graduation, my vacation to New York, and trying to catch up at work…its been insane. However, in this time I have been able to get around to reading Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller.
It seems like every college student at the University of Mobile has read this book. And they all recommend it. However, it seems like every conservative Christian I come across claims it as heresy. So to say the least I was interested. I went into reading it with the conservative Christian view, because that is what I know best, and I couldn’t handle it after Chapter One. So I put it down, for about a month.
I picked it up again on the way to New York, and was more than halfway through it by the time we landed at LaGuardia a mere 6 hours later (that includes driving to Atlanta, and flight). I cannot exactly describe it as anything less than radical. In comparison to what I have grown up learning, it defies much of it. Not saying that is good or bad, but it is different. Throughout the book I found some things to be theologically incorrect. For instance, in the first or second chapter, Don claims that he didn’t begin sinning until the age of 10, and that women don’t usually begin sinning until 22. This, to me, is contradicted the moment you walk into a nursery room full of greedy toddlers.
But throughout the book I was able to see a perspective of life, particularly the Christian life, that I had not yet seen. It helped me in better understanding the lost mindset. Because Don greatly enjoys time with non-Christians rather than with Christians, he has a grasp on their views and beliefs towards us. This is something we should all be familiar with, so that we can engage in relationships with people from all backgrounds and beliefs. Because that is why we are here.
But we are not here to accept their lifestyles and become a part of their sin. I don’t want to sound holier-than-thou in any sense, but I believe that we must love the sinner, but hate the sin, as Christ did. He did what He could to help the sinners whom He loved change their ways and live their lives for the Lord. But He loved them with all of His heart while doing so. Don has gotten the love part down, thats for sure. But there is little evidence that he desired to spend eternity with them. The only instance I can think of (without having the book in front of me), is his friend Laura whom He felt God wanted to have a relationship with.
Donald Miller has a way of pulling you into his life and his stories and really caring for what he cares for. That is a sign of a great writer. He mentions something that he used to feel about Christianity when he was an immature, selfish Christian and is often unclear about the distinction between what he used to feel and what he feels today. He focuses more on his past feelings than his feelings today, as he has grown and learned. But at the same time, there are Christians out there (and I was once one of them) who feel the same as him, and this book could help them understand where they could one day be. So as you can see, I am torn. I am going to have to read it again, as I have to with most any book or movie, to really dig deep. However, at this point, I recommend it, if you have a firm stance on biblical theology and what you believe, and if you are willing to be open-minded, yet discerning.
Besides Blue Like Jazz, I will share some more experiences I have been through in the past few weeks.
I was able to personally witness the most incredible acting I have ever seen in person. Thanks to Kevin Spacey. As Jim Tyrone Jr in “A Moon for the Misbegotten” he portrays an emotional drunk whose ever-haunting past creates a tension he cannot surpass in his relationship with Josie Hogan, played by Eve Best. (And may I give props to Eve, for holding her own opposite Kevin Spacey).
I’ve never been so amazed by such incredible talent in my life. Erin explained the feeling very well when she said “It was like I wish everyone in the room would stop breathing just for a moment so that we could soak it all in”. I’m thinking that would have been nice:)
Anyway, I had a video on here, but apparently that has been deleted off of YouTube, sadly. Sorry!