I'm pretty big on endorsing books, but I wasn't too sure whether I should endorse this one. I like fresh looks, if that makes any sense. What I mean to say is that I like to be reinvigorated, given a new sense of passion in things I already love. Blue Like Jazz, I guess you could say, has reinvigorated the way I looked at Christianity.
I think the major pitfall of Christians, and humans in general for that matter, is that they classify Christianity as a religion. Christianity is so not a religion. Religion, in my opinion, is merely a way that man tries to do something to satisfy God, albeit through good works, killing animals, hugging tress (though I'm totally not bashing tree huggers...), or whatever else people are trying these days to rectify themselves in God's eyes. This system is completely polar to that of my Christianity. I've realized that there is nothing I can do to please God and I can never please Him unless He aids me.
So am I a religious person? Absolutely not. However, I have a great and intimate relationship with my triune God, and I think that's a far better system. I guess Blue Like Jazz reawakened me to this relational look at Christ. Sure I think it's a little too, eh...liberal, in some aspects, but Donald Miller has a great heart for God and others. Sure he smokes cigarettes and guzzles down a few beers when he writes, but I wish more Christians, myself included, would take such an active approach in helping others the way he does. Christ called us to be "light of the world", cities on a hill that "cannot be hidden" (Matt. 5:14). How do we fulfill these callings when all we do is worry about ourselves and our fellow believers? Where would we get? Nowhere.
Don quoted a friend of his late in the book, "If we are not willing to wake up in the morning and die to ourselves, perhaps we should ask ourselves whether or not we are really following Jesus." If we aren't willing to be something different, to do something different for Christ's sake(finally used godly in a sentence..) then we should seriously be asking ourselves if we are following Jesus, the man who ate with sinners and tax collectors, like my pastor once said, "a scandalous man." If Christ didn't judge Himself too highly to sit with sinners, neither should we. We aren't saved and done. We are saved and do. We do for His kingdom because it's ours too. You have more motivation to clean a grand house that will be yours, than to clean a grand house that you can't even afford to look at, right? Well His kingdom is our kingdom, His inheritance is ours. So let's conduct ourselves as such.
Let's be scandalous, be revolutionary, be Christlike, a shining, salty city high on a hill.