Rebecca's Reviews > Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People

Accidental Saints by Nadia Bolz-Weber
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really liked it
bookshelves: memoirs, theology-religions, read-via-netgalley

(3.5) I knew of Nadia Bolz-Weber through Greenbelt Festival. She’s a foul-mouthed, tattooed, fairly orthodox Lutheran pastor. This brief, enjoyable memoir is about how she keeps believing despite her own past issues and the many messed-up and outwardly unlovable people who show up at her church, House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver. I especially love her new set of Beatitudes.

In my favorite section, she zeroes in on one Holy Week and shows the whole range of emotions and trauma that religion can address. The Ash Wednesday chapter is the overall highlight, contrasting the funeral of a suicide with the birth of a new baby. People often think that ritual and liturgy are lifeless and empty, but Bolz-Weber shows how they can be full of meaning and foster connections between the unlikely folks encountered in the Body of Christ.

Here’s a few tastes of her writing:

“I’m not running after Jesus. Jesus is running my ass down.”

“we’ve lost the plot if we use religion as the place where we escape from difficult realities instead of as the place where those difficult realities are given meaning.”

“the really inconvenient thing about being Christian is the fact that God is revealed in other people, and other people are annoying. I understand the impulse of not wanting to be in community. I can’t argue with that. But I think the experience of bumping up against other people has changed me in ways that I never could have been changed if I was just reading books and practicing meditation. We don’t get to be Christians on our own.”
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Reading Progress

October 4, 2015 – Shelved
October 4, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
October 4, 2015 – Shelved as: memoirs
October 4, 2015 – Shelved as: theology-religions
October 11, 2015 – Started Reading
October 11, 2015 – Shelved as: read-via-netgalley
November 1, 2015 – Finished Reading

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Rebecca Four years ago I wrote "fairly orthodox" and now I don't know if that was a typo for "fairly unorthodox" or not!

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