As usual, I’m way behind everyone else when it comes to reading the ‘trendy’ book of the day…in this case Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz. In many ways it comes from a similar perspective as Velvet Elvis – that we could do the whole church thing so much better (actually, thinking about it most Christian books are about that!!) than what we’re doing now.
I’m about halfway through this one – it’s definitely a readable book that makes you stop and reflect on what it is you believe and how that shapes the way you do church. It’s really interesting that time and time again Miller realises that much of what has made ‘fundamentalism’ such an unattractive thing for anyone outside of that paradigm is based on a true reading of scripture, but an unrealistic interpretation. I guess the most simple way to describe this would be judging instead of grace inspired love for everyone. Yes, we believe there is a particular way to live our lives, but it’s God’s grace that does the work within us, not anything we do – and therefore who are we to judge those who choose not to live their lives our way? (interesting thought – isn’t most OT prophecy aimed at believers [jews] who’ve gone off the track rather than ‘non-believers’ – I know there are exceptions, but do you get what I’m thinking?)
One inspirational story was the decision of Miller and some Christian friends at an extremely atheist and liberal university to set up a confessional booth in the middle of the most depraved festival at the campus. When people started showing up, the Christians told them that they wanted to confess to the non-believers – the own up for all the rubbish stuff Christianity has done over the ages, and how wrong they’ve got the message of Christ. It sounds incredible (and many would say too liberal), but the remarkable thing is that this humility – rather than insisting that we always got everything right – opened more doors than trying to argue people round to their point of view.
Liking what I’m reading…