Blue Like Jazz by Don Miller (Thomas Nelson, 2003) is a collection of remarkably honest autobiographical jottings about life and faith. It is always refreshing to read someone who is honest, who doesn’t pretend to have all the answers but is prepared to let God be God in their life and see what happens as a result. I think I enjoyed his chapter on church the most. It is subtitled – how I go without getting angry. He eventually found a church community that he could love and though it is not perfect he is happy there. He has a formula for how to go to church without getting angry: Pray that God will show you a church filled with people who share your interests and values. Go to the church God shows you and don’t hold grudges against other churches.

There were many quotes I could have included but I chose this one because he expresses something that I have often felt but didn’t feel safe to put into words. I don’t have any hippie friends but I have come across the “little unwritten social ethics”; though for me they weren’t as obvious as “don’t cuss and don’t support the Democrats” but certainly “don’t ask tough questions about the Bible”.

Quote: (Miller wrote this prior to attending the church he now goes to) “I was even more amazed when I realized I preferred, in fact, the company of the hippies to the company of Christians. It isn’t that I didn’t love my Christian friends or that they didn’t love me, it was just that there was something different about my hippie friends; something, I don’t know, more real, more true. I realize that is a provocative statement, but I only felt I could be myself around them, and I could not be myself with my Christian friends. My Christian communities had always had little unwritten social ethics like don’t cuss and don’t support Democrats and don’t ask tough questions about the Bible.” Pg. 210