Published by Crown Publishing Group on September 8, 2015
Genres: Christian Church, Christian Life, General, Religion, Spiritual Growth
IndieBound | Barnes & Noble
What if that person you've been trying to avoid is your best shot at grace today?And what if that's the point? In Accidental Saints, New York Times best-selling author Nadia Bolz-Weber invites readers into a surprising encounter with what she calls “a religious but not-so-spiritual life.” Tattooed, angry and profane, this former standup comic turned pastor stubbornly, sometimes hilariously, resists the God she feels called to serve. But God keeps showing up in the least likely of people—a church-loving agnostic, a drag queen, a felonious Bishop and a gun-toting member of the NRA. As she lives and worships alongside these “accidental saints,” Nadia is swept into first-hand encounters with grace—a gift that feels to her less like being wrapped in a warm blanket and more like being hit with a blunt instrument. But by this grace, people are transformed in ways they couldn’t have been on their own. In a time when many have rightly become disillusioned with Christianity, Accidental Saints demonstrates what happens when ordinary people share bread and wine, struggle with scripture together, and tell each other the truth about their real lives. This unforgettable account of their faltering steps toward wholeness will ring true for believer and skeptic alike. Told in Nadia’s trademark confessional style, Accidental Saints is the stunning next work from one of today’s most important religious voices.
Even though I’m incredibly happy in the church where I am now a member, I continue to feel like I’m trying to get over years of previous church encounters that weren’t so healthy (and because of where I live, I tend to feel suspicious and on guard about future encounters).
Reading Nadia Bolz-Weber helps, and Accidental Saints was no exception. Maybe it’s something about shared tendency to be cynical. Sometimes all I want to do is shut everyone—including the church—out, but I can’t. So I need to figure out how to find peace and contentment within the church (and get over myself in the process). I feel like Bolz-Weber gets that. All the toughest parts about being a member of the body of Christ, even the parts you don’t want to admit—Nadia Bolz-Weber voices it, then addresses it by sharing her own experiences. Her candid honesty is always refreshing, but in this case, I found it downright healing.
So you know, I came to this book with a Christian perspective. That combined with my own church hangups made it fairly easy to connect with this book on a lot of levels.
Want an atheist perspective instead? April at The Steadfast Reader went to an Accidental Saints book reading and shared her experience on her blog.
We’ll also be discussing this book at The Socratic Salon on November 30. It’s a quick read, just over 200 pages, and a great choice for Nonfiction November. If you haven’t read it yet, I hope you’ll consider reading it and joining our discussion!