The Jazz Theologian

The Jazz Theologian

What’s a Jazz Theologian?

A jazz theologian is someone who balances classical faith with a jazz-shaped faith.  

As we take the stage our ensemble can know that:

-We are practicing Christians.  Having spent sufficient time in the woodshed learning the standards we now syncopate, improvise and respond to the call of a love supreme.

-We creatively embrace unresolved tension as we walk with Christ and invite others to join the mystery.

-We have time rather than time having us.  Developing our ear so that we might serve others like Jesus.


-We seek a composed life that is guided by the eternal melody of the Living Word of God as we add our own voice.

-We sing the blues so as not to waste any pain that may come our way.

-We follow in the footsteps of our "kind of blue" Christ, offering our lives as statements to the renaissance that only he can bring.  

Are you in?
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posted July 5, 2009 at 12:43 pm


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Rebecca J. Schaefer

posted July 8, 2009 at 5:11 pm

Count me in…anticipating more joy and challenge in practicing my Christ following now with my children & their children. Nothing touches my heart like the sound of my daughter singing her little boy to sleep & praying the prayers we prayed over her infant head no less than a thousand times. Nothing captures my attention like a conversation about responding to the tug Our Love Supreme places on the heart of someone I care deeply for (reminds me of plucking strings on a harp).
Embracing unresolved tension is where I live. Grateful for others willing to walk with me & explore the mysteries in what has been, what could be, what is & what is to come. Reminds me of writing a song…”How does this sound? Did it resonate with what you hear in your heart or fall flat against your spirit?” the song of Spiritual Direction…
Middle C = Having time rather than allowing time to have us…need more lessons. Willing to learn.
Longing for a composed life, abiding in the Composer; relying on Him to sing over me while I sleep. Listening to the distinction between the soprano voice I had & my new alto voice…I like it, a cross between Julie Andrews meets Bonnie Raitt or The Little Mermaid – Ariel?
Got a little too comfortable in the back alley playing & singing the blues…they started to romance me & draw me to default to melancholy. Too much mileage out of some of my pain.
A follower by choice, so very grateful to be led by an accomplished choreographer. Looking forward to dancing for joy like a ballerina on top of a jewelry box.

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posted July 15, 2009 at 10:07 am

Would you mind speaking a bit more about “creatively embrace[ing] unresolved tension?

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posted July 15, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Hey Constantine…good to hear from you!
I deal with the concept of “Creative Tension” in Chapter four of my book. the basic idea is that we are in a relationship with the most creative being in the universe–God–yet often times our spirituality doesn’t reflect this. In jazz, we see a surprising source of creativity, namely, tension. The goal is not to resolve tension but to live with it until it gives way to a third way. For example, when reading our Bibles we oftentimes try and resolve seeming contradictions rather than seeing what happens if we embrace them.
Or when it comes to spirituality these posts touch on the subject…

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posted July 19, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Thank you, Robert. I will stop by B&N tomorrow and pick up (or order if they don’t have a copy) your ‘labor of love.’

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John Sobert Sylvest

posted December 17, 2009 at 2:51 pm

You might appreciate some of Cynthia Nielsen’s musings at Per Caritatem: Yesterday (Lennon/McCartney) Re-harmonized
From New Orleans, myself, I very much appreciate your approach!

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