'Blue Like Jazz' Director Steve Taylor Stirs Up Controversy

Religion Today

March 24, 2012

Steve Taylor, director of the upcoming movie Blue Like Jazz (based on Donald Miller's 2003 book of the same name), is stirring up controversy for recent comments about Christian movies. In a recent blog post, Taylor accused the "Christian movie establishment" of being out to get Blue Like Jazz and discussed some of his issues with "Christian movies" like the popular Facing the Giants and Fireproof -- for example, that they are over-sentimental, lacking in artistry, poorly acted and stereotypical. Taylor wrote: "I'm glad movies like Fireproof exist, and I wish its makers continued success. But most of my movie-going friends are ready for a different representation of their faith beyond what the Christian Movie Establishment is currently serving." Miller, who received criticism about the book in 2003 from many evangelicals -- such as one pastor who wrote, "I am concerned that in his attempt to relate Christianity to the world, Miller has let the postmodern world define Christianity for him" -- said he expected similar pushback over some themes in the film but that he and Taylor "wanted to tell the story truthfully." Miller emphasized that the movie was about "real people in a real world and one of them happens to be a Christian," but as WORLD Magazine movie reviewer Tiffany Owens wrote, the film "struggles to offer a clear explanation of the gospel" and "refers to Jesus but never explains who Jesus is or what He did."