Donald Miller's bestselling book "Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality" was released recently in Hungarian, so I borrowed a copy of the book in English to reread it, to figure out whether or not I want to recommend it to our church.
I read this book when it first came out, and now after reading it again, I remember why I liked it so much the first time. The author is so honest, and it is so enjoyable to read, that I always find myself staying up late or stealing a few minutes throughout the day to read it. When I finish a chapter, I look ahead to see how many pages the next chapter is, and think about if I have enough time to read it - and even if I don't have time, I usually end up reading on anyways.
In case you're not familiar with the book, its the author's story of his own frustrations with American Christianity and the sincere questions he had about God and faith - and how God answered those questions, and led him to a real, living faith in Jesus.
He tells about how he came to realize that being a Christian isn't about accepting and following a set of political beliefs and cultural practices, but about truly encountering and knowing the person of Jesus Christ.
He explains how he was turned off by those who misrepresented God, but came to see that their actions don't discount the reality or greatness of God Himself.
He points out that one of the mistakes Christians often make is using love as a commodity that we lavish on those who agree with us and withhold from those who don't, when Jesus simply told us to love our neighbor.
I found his section on loneliness very insightful, his part about social action challenging, and most of all what he says about actually knowing and experiencing God to be refreshing.
I personally know people who have walked away from the church - some even from the Lord - because they have been disappointed by people who misrepresented God, and I think this book has a great message that these people need to hear.
So, I'm probably going to recommend the book to our church. My only hesitation is that, while I know some people will get what he's saying and be totally blessed by it, others might have a hard time getting it, and be confused.
Have you read Blue Like Jazz?
What do you think?