Moving to a new URL…

I’m joining my counseling website with my blog, so my web address is changing.

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Blue Like Jazz – the book and the movie

Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality is a book written by Donald Miller. It was published in 2003 and has sold over a million copies.

In Donald Miller’s early years, he was vaguely familiar with a distant God. But when he came to know Jesus Christ, he pursued the Christian life with great zeal. Within a few years he had a successful ministry that ultimately left him feeling empty, burned out, and, once again, far away from God. In this intimate, soul-searching account, Miller describes his remarkable journey back to a culturally relevant, infinitely loving God. You can follow his blog here.

This video will help you get to know him a little better.

In case you haven’t heard, the book has been made into a movie. The book has been made into a movie by director Steve Taylor. On his blog September 2010, Donald Miller stated that despite a strong screenplay, a stellar cast, and rave reviews, the project was put on hold indefinitely due to lack of funding. Two fans created a site called “Save Blue Like Jazz” where they urged fans to help raise money to fund the movie through a website called Kickstarter. This campaign raised over $340,000, more than doubling the original goal of $125,000 by October 25th, 2010.

The movie won’t show until April 13, 2012, but I got to attend a prescreening last night. I even got to meet Donald Miller.

The movie received a standing ovation but let me caution you, this is not your run of the mill Christian movie The term Christian film has become synonymous with substandard production values, stilted dialogue and childish plots. Blue Like Jazz is raw, it’s edgy. There is language and all sorts of offensive behavior. But that’s the whole point. The world is edgy and messy and raw and sacrilegious. God is here anyway.

I think this movie will appeal to both Christians and non-Chrisitan because it is not pushy or sanctimonious. In fact, when I asked the girl standing in line with me if she was Christian she told me she was Hindu.

I hope you’ll put it on your calendar. One day only: April 13, 2012.

“I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn’t resolve. I used to not like God because God didn’t resolve. But that was before any of this happened.” ―Donald Miller




For anyone wondering if the Christian faith is still relevant in a postmodern culture.


For anyone thirsting for a genuine encounter with a God who is real.

How Psychology Fixed My Faith

When I went to school to become a Christian counselor I had no idea that there were those who were opposed to Christians learning how to become helpers through the lens of psychology. I remember one of my professors asking the class how we would respond to the challenges voiced by others. I was stunned. “Why wouldn’t we want to learn from any field of knowledge in this world, if it offered a real chance to help hurting people?”

His challenge felt like someone questioning me as to why I wouldn’t accept a Polio vaccine made by a scientist. It just didn’t make sense to me. If we can’t use information that doesn’t come strictly from the Bible, none of us could exist. We couldn’t bake bread because the recipe doesn’t come from the Bible. We couldn’t do mathematic equations because the Word doesn’t show us how. I thought this was craziness and I truly was shocked that I even had to consider this question.

But my professor was right: Within a week’s time, I noticed certain Christian friends asking me why I would study psychology. Their tone and choice of words let me know that they were displeased.

I had gone into the field of Counseling in order to help other people. I really didn’t think I had many issues to work out. The blessing was that I literally unraveled emotionally while in school. I had always been a nervous and emotional person, but I thought that was just how I was made. As I learned family dynamics and examined psychological issues, I began to see the wounds I had incurred while growing up. Now I had no choice, I had to work through through these issues in my own counseling process. I could go into great detail here, and I hope to at a later date, but suffice it to say by the time I left the program I was no longer the depressed, anxious or insecure person I had been three years prior.

If you google “Psychology and Christianity” you will encounter a maelstrom of web sites devoted to this issue. Some support the combination of Christianity and psychology, but many are vehemently opposed. Thirteen years after I made a personal commitment to Christ, I was stuck in shame and low self-esteem. Being a Christian that long, and understanding God’s grace but not being able to apply it to your life, causes you to feel more shame.

But after I examined some things with the help of a counselor, I forgave myself and understood better how situations had impacted me. As St. Augustine said, “all Truth is God’s Truth” — note the capital T — but we can still use small “t” truths to help us. No field of study has the absolute truth, but we as humans, making our way through a world which is filled with suffering,  need to rely on resources in addition to the Bible.

I feel that psychology, and the help of some very compassionate Christian people, healed me: My faith is stronger than ever.  I hurt for Christians who have emotional wounds, and or medical issues, which could be helped by what psychology (and medicine) has to offer. They stay stuck in a silent hell because they have been told psychology comes from the devil.

What do you think?

*This post was originally posted 12/09/07