Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership
The Authenticity of Blue Like JazzBy Evan Nehring
Did I mention, sheepishly, that I have two bachelor’s degrees? The first was from a Bible college, the second from a state university. While I didn’t stay in the dorms at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, it was a pretty good reintroduction to the real world.
Donald Miller’s book, Blue Like Jazz, was made into a movie. Did you see it? I love both the book and the movie for the authenticity that they bring to this real world scenario. Don, a Christian kid, starts his road trip with a two thousand mile drive from Texas to Oregon’s Reed College. Do you remember that whole conversation about values? For reasons the movie explains, Don didn’t have “Values” in his college choice matrix. It was wild.
I loved the authenticity of the movie because it’s similar to how I felt on the UWSP campus. My road trip took me from a pastor’s home, to Bible college, to a youth pastorate, to the UWSP campus. I don't believe all the ideas passed around by Don, Penny and the fake pope, but I believe those ideas are genuinely being passed around. So they're worth thinking about. What kind of ideas? Well...
- Sex, homosexuality
- The church, denominations, theology, religions
- Justice, compassion
- Atheism, paganism
- Literature, Philosophy
- Music, jazz
- Being far from home
- Meaning - Who am I? Why am I here?
- Authenticity, hypocrisy
- Spiritual poverty
There's a scene in the movie where the fake pope rides around with his shopping cart bike and collects everyone's graduation gift books from home to be burned. What's funny is that my book project is exactly in the genre of graduation books. It motivates me to continue my quest to write something really good, and then to be there where the questions are being asked.
My dorm floor at North Central Bible College had a prayer room, Christian friends, and a Resident Advisor who challenged us to grow as men of God. Campus life at UWSP was more like Reed College.
Comments Are Always Welcome...I'd love to hear about your college experience. What surprised you when you got there?
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