My last post was on Lost and Found, one of the many musical attractions waiting for Youth Gatherers (still don’t have a technical term for this group of people) in New Orleans. Next up: one of the speakers lined up for the event, Donald Miller.
Donald Miller is perhaps best known as the author of Blue Like Jazz, a New York Times-bestseller that’s inspired many to reexamine the way they think about religion, Christianity, and the nature of a relationship with God. The book is made up of Miller’s “nonreligious thoughts on Christian spirituality,” as well as his invitingly honest tales and his wry sense of humor. The book is certainly about how Miller learned to relate to God, but his relationship is decidedly outside the bounds of “traditional” Christian perspectives. He’s the type of person to explain his view of God in terms of metaphors about penguin sex and cartoons starring Don Rabbit and the Sexy Carrot.
It’s very appropriate, though, that Don Miller is coming to speak at a Youth Gathering called Jesus, Justice, Jazz, because in a lot of ways, the book presents itself like jazz music. I’m looking forward to arriving in New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz, and hearing from a man who reflected:
There is something beautiful about a billion stars held steady by a God who knows what He is doing. They hang there, the stars, like notes on a page of music, free-form verse, silent mysteries swirling in the blue like jazz.
On a slightly different note, I just finished Blue Like Jazz a few weeks ago after having several friends recommend it to me over months and months. I’m still not quite sure how I feel about it. What I mean is that I like the book, but I’m not sure how much I agree with it, so I’m a bit torn. If you’ve read it (or anything else by Don Miller, or heard him speak), don’t hesitate to drop off a comment–what do you think?