Blue Like Jazz…

I recently read Blue Like Jazz, and enjoyed it — even though Miller says he had never “read through the Bible at all” (p. 236). It seems to me to be a good picture of post-modernity and the way post-moderns think, portraying the whole “feeling mentality” and deprioritization of rationality. If you’ve not read it, you can find an interesting review of it here:

Personally, I found it challenged my traditional (not necessarily my biblical) thinking about right and wrong and reminded me that people can be Christian and, sadly, not be part of a church family.

It also reawakened me to the reality that “thus saith the Lord” preaching (my frequent style), is less and less effective in helping those who live in Miller’s world. This is troubling, not because I cannot preach in any other way, but because many traditional Christians will not truck another preaching style. That means we either minister to them or to those who live in Donald Miller’s world.

Hmm…. I wonder… WWJD?

6 thoughts on “Blue Like Jazz…

  1. People in Miller’s world are not helped by “thus saith the Lord” preaching not because of its style, but because of its substance. To wit: they don’t feel anyone has the right to saith anything to them.

    Miller’s world and the world of traditional Christians aren’t very different in this. Traditionalists accept traditional preaching style, but may still reject the substance.

    WWJD? What DID Jesus do?! To be sure, Jesus taught with parables and narrative; but he also did not hesitate to saith it like it is – especially to those who didn’t want to hear it.

    eg. The Sermon on the Mount; Jesus first preaching – “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” (Mt. 4:17); most of his encounters with the Pharisees…

  2. As a preacher, if I can’t say “Thus saith the Lord, what’s the point of saying anything.”

  3. Is there a way to say, “Thus saith the Lord” to those who do not accept the authority of the preacher or the Bible? Generally, I preach deductive sermons, starting with a biblical premise and supporting that premise from the text. I once read a book by Fred Craddock called As One Without Authority. In it, Craddock speaks of an inductive approach to preaching. It is powerful, when used with those who do not readily accept authority.

    The book is here. Or I could loan it to you.

  4. I heard an interesting comment on the radio the other day. It was a commercial that said, “Jesus said I am the only way to God.” (I’m paraphrasing here.) And someone else said, “He did? Really?” “So what do you think of that?” “Well, Jesus was a really good teacher, wasn’t he?” The point was, if Jesus was only a good teacher, he wouldn’t have made such a profound statement.

    I find that a lot of people today are astounded by what Jesus actually said, because they have no clue in the postmodernist world. They think he was a great teacher, but so was Buddah…I’ve never bothered to read much on Buddah because he was only a great teacher. But if Jesus is presented as being something more…if we say, “Well, Jesus said THIS…we might get more people’s attention.

    I dunno, just a thought.

  5. i took that people need to be loved above all else, before we preach anything to them. i think they will listen to what the Lord says after they are loved.

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