Sunday, April 3, 2011

Finding the Groove Book Review

Composing a Jazz-shaped faith
Finding the Groove,
by Robert Gelinas
Reviewed by Gail Purath

For too many years, evangelical Christianity has tried to put God into a neat little box with a formula for our every need. In Finding the Groove, Gelinas encourages us to be comfortable with the tension and mystery in both the Bible and our lives.

Using Jazz as a metaphor for Christian faith, Gelinas explores our need for:
  • Syncopation—having eyes and ears (like Jesus) to see and hear the unseen and unheard things in life.
  • Improvisation—willingness to do something new while respecting the old.
  • Call and Response—being the individual God designed us to be while being connected to the community of God.
I better understand and appreciate jazz after reading this book, but jazz is not the point. As Gelinas explains: "Embrace the mystery and tension of your faith, and let it lead you deep into a relationship with the most creative being in the universe…" (p.201)

We do this as we:
  • Develop our ear so we can hear those around us and "live in concert with them."
  • Practice the ways of Jesus so we are ready to “play” when it's our turn.
  • Study God's Word, not simply to recite it but to join in the "melody of the Spirit's eternal song" and add our voice to the many other voices of the past and present.
Robert Gelinas is the pastor of Colorado Community Church, a 'multicultural, interdenominational mission" in Denver. He and his wife have six children.

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