Monday, February 21, 2005

Blue Like Jazz

Last week, while I was flying home from Miami, I read a truly great book. I was so amazed by it that I read it again on Saturday. It's called Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller. While the style of the writing is very casual, I can't help but feel that it deserves a place next to C. S. Lewis' great classic, Mere Christianity. Both books share a power that comes directly from the realization that Christianity should not be a cause of division and exclusion in this world, but instead it should be a source of wonder and outreach.

In Blue Like Jazz, Don talks about his group of friends setting up a "confession booth" on their college campus, but in an amazing twist, instead of asking people to confess their sins, he and his friends confess the sins of Christianity to them. They apologize for some of the horrible things that have been done in history in the name of Christianity, and they confessed their personal failings as Christians as well.

Unfortunately, Christianity is represented by imperfect people, but just imagine what would happen if, instead pretending to be perfect, we admitted to the fact that we can be self-absorbed, and judgemental, and lacking in compassion for other people. Of course, it's not enough to simply apologize for these failings-- As my mom used to say, "Sorry means you won't do it again."

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