"When I am dead / I hope it may be said / 'His sins were scarlet, / But his books were read.'"
- Hilaire Belloc
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Jeffrey Overstreet has a lengthy review of the movie, Blue Like Jazz. His opening section is very good, but not about the movie specifically. Here's a quote from the part about the movie:
Don Miller (the character) is not running into unbelief so much as he is running from the comfort zone of American evangelical fundamentalism into what author David Dark would call “the sacredness of questioning everything.” ... But Christians aren’t the only ones being challenged to look in the mirror. Blue Like Jazz is also about how skeptics who have appointed themselves judge and jury over Christians learn to recognize that while they have plenty of complaints — including some very valid complaints — against Christian culture, their objections have ballooned into prejudice and presumption. Taylor doesn’t make the mistake of making heroes out of church-bashers. They’re shown to be as prone to cruelty and intolerance as the Christians. Note the church sign that vandals have altered to say “Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers.” Those who champion “tolerance” are quick to abandon their principles when it comes to insulting the church. And Don’s father, who sees some things very clearly, conveniently ignores that it was the church who paid for the Miller family’s groceries when he abandoned his wife and child.
Blue Like Jazz has the courage to portray all participants in this “culture war” as similarly fallible. It dares to suggest a path through the confusion — relationship rather than shouting, respect rather than antagonism, and an openness to testing our assumptions, loving our neighbors, and growing alongside one another.