The Jazz Theologian

The Jazz Theologian


What if we had a “jazz-shaped” faith?

posted by Robert Gelinas

Ralph Ellison said that all of American life is "jazz-shaped."  I think that this raises a number of questions for what a jazz-shaped faith might entail.

What if…

…Christians embraced the tension and mystery of our faith?

…Experienced church like a jazz ensemble, listening to the beat of the image of God in each other?

…community meant that we felt connected not only with those that we can see, but with those who have and have yet to follow Jesus?

…the scriptures were a song with room for us to add our voice?

…every moment of life with Jesus was seen as a one-of-a-kind masterpiece?

…we knew why caged-birds sing?

…we are approaching the Christian faith in America in a way that is not even American?

…so much of what has gone wrong with America has also produced something that is right, good and beautiful?

Which of these questions intrigues you most and why?



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Doodle

posted July 20, 2007 at 7:58 pm


I really like the first one–What if Christians embraced the tension and mystery of our faith?
Christianity is all about relationship, so it’s always going to be messy…and I think the deeper you get in, the bigger God becomes…the more you discover, the less you know…



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Doodle

posted July 21, 2007 at 12:20 am


“the more you discover, the less you know”–I mean the more we discover, the more we find there is that we do not know



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Halleluyah

posted July 21, 2007 at 9:14 pm


I like “What if we knew why the caged bird sings?” There’s so much you can do with it: about freedom and hope and despair, how music has the power to shape lives and how our lives shape our music. But on the other hand, I already know why the caged bird sings. It has to. It’s not enough. Of course it isn’t. It shouldn’t be. But it’s all there is.



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Johnny Brooks

posted July 21, 2007 at 9:48 pm


I love the one about scripture, …the scriptures were a song with room for us to add our voice?
Great stuff, inspiring, and thought provoking.



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Reagan Pugh

posted July 22, 2007 at 12:02 pm


…Christians embraced the tension and mystery of our faith?
It seems mystery is so far removed from what we think is our relationship with God. But aren’t relationships by definition static? Changing and growing, weakening and adapting to each member of the bond? In the mystery the answers might not lie, but at least the beauty does. And for now, I’m fine having no questions answered and being quiet in how lovely Christ is.



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Blackwasp19

posted March 30, 2009 at 11:17 pm


. . . we are approaching the Christian faith in America in a way that is not even American?
For the American church I think this is the biggest tragedy. Often we are more American or Democratic than Christian. It isn’t to say that we should be impacted by earthly culture, but that we are supposed to be essentially of the culture of God and secondarily the peripheral things of our lives should look similar to those things around us.
Thanks for the post.



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Luke Parrott

posted April 2, 2009 at 7:59 am


…we are approaching the Christian faith in America in a way that is not even American?
I was in Rwanda last week and Bishop John Rucyahana helped me see that “the world is not America”. It is the same with our faith. Our faith need not be American.
I often imagine how God will bring the beauty of all cultures together as he makes his Kingdom come and His will to be done on earth. And how do our cultural values both rejoice and reject Kingdom values? Heaven will truly be a beautiful thing, won’t it?
It ties into your other question about community linking us to those who have and have yet to follow Jesus. As we grow up in this global village, how do we find unity with other people? May Christ become the commonality of us all!
Jesus is the answer to global community.



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