The Jazz Theologian

The Jazz Theologian

Jazz-Shaped Spirituality

Acknowledgment, Resolution, Pursuance and Psalm….Those were Coltrane’s stations. We could take them on as our own and seek to move through each stage ourselves; however, a jazz-shaped spirituality is not about merely copying other people’s walk with God but being inspired by them to create and discover the Spirit’s song for ourselves. 

     Do you find yourself cycling through stages in your relationship with the Lord?  Have you listened to them…owned them?  I think that Coltrane discovered the universal beginning and ending point…A Love Supreme.  Any Christian spirituality must being loved and loving as it's core (John 13).  What would it look like for you to begin with the desire for a Love Supreme and then discover the seasons of life that would lead you to that? Like Coltrane, it may take seven years and what God leads you to may even annoy other’s but wouldn’t it be worth it?


            To do what Coltrane did is to cooperate with how God is growing you spiritually and then committing to displaying it in everday life. (Galatians 5.6)  Everyday life for for a musician is music and so Coltrane captures his stages with an album for us it will be different depending on whether we are work at home moms or a bankers.  The test as to whether or not it is God’s work in our lives is how well our spirituality survives in the midst of the minute and mundane tasks of life.  It must be able to be lived in the midst of diapers and dishpans… leg lifts and laptops…love making and grocery shopping.  When we imbed our spirituality that deep into our lives so that it can exist not only when we are doing “spiritual things” but in the midst of our vocations and avocations then we have discovered a jazz-based spirituality.


            Find yourself a quiet place…Pray Jeremiah 33.3…Listen to the Holy Spirit…Discover the groove.

Many saints throughout the centuries have organized their lives around stages…very personal movements that corresponded with the work of the Holy Spirit’s breathing in their life.  Teresa of Avila and of the Cross would be good examples of those who have sought to understand the reoccurring stages that the Spirit is leading them through.

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posted January 19, 2006 at 2:00 pm

Hi, just found your site through Wes Roberts. Fascinated to start reading your insights through Jazz.
I use improv jazz as a learning and organising metaphor a great deal myself, so I will enjoy visiting your site to learn from you
all the best

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posted January 21, 2006 at 9:33 am

I see you decided to go to typepad.
When is the book coming out. I would love to see something more fleshed out on this. This is truly missional theology for our context. Thanks for this!

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posted January 21, 2006 at 10:12 pm

Welcome and I look forward to learning much from you. You keep good company.
The book…I’m working on it!

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posted August 1, 2007 at 6:23 am

Jeremiah 33:3 — the way to find the THIRD WAY.

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posted May 4, 2009 at 10:03 pm

how do you know when it is God calling you? What if every thing you touch is syncopated, seemingly out of step, off-beat, and does not seem to fit with the rest of the piece that is your life. When everything is discordant, sharp, not sufficient, but somehow always missing the mark? How do you find him then? I feel lost yet I know God loves me he keeps me when I don’t think I can go on anymore. How do I find his purpose for me?

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