Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People (Paperback)
Nadia Bolz-Weber is a Lutheran minister and the founder of the congregation House for All Sinners and Saints. Drawing from her own life experience and reflecting on her parishioners and their deeply held beliefs, the author explores a side of Christianity that is welcoming, inclusive, and genuinely heartfelt. Bolz-Weber exhibits a rare compassion and strength to which I, for one, can only aspire. This is a great read and you may want to have a box of tissues nearby for happy and sad tears.— Kerry M.
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.
About the Author
Nadia Bolz-Weber is the founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado. She is the author of the New York Times best-selling memoir Pastrix. Nadia has been featured on CNN and in the Washington Post, Bitch Magazine, NPR’s Morning Edition, More Magazine, and the Daily Beast.
“Unflinchingly honest (and funny)…You don't have to be religious to get something out of this book.”
-NPR’s “Best Books of 2015”
"Compulsively readable… [Bolz-Weber's] love for God and for humankind shines through on every page.”
"[Bolz-Weber] is one of the most important Christian voices around -- not because she has come up with some catchy, easy new way to do faith, but because when talks about the destructive power of sin, as well as redemption and grace, she knows of what she speaks."
"Wickedly funny and painfully vulnerable, theologically nuanced and lyrically sonorous. [Bolz-Weber's] voice communicates the scandal of the Christ and the sacraments of his church with more force and vitality than most writers can hope to summon."
-The Christian Century
“Engaging and accessible…Bolz-Weber is clear-eyed about the personal travails faced by the marginalized and those without faith.”
"If Saint Augustine were to return to life and live among us now, he would be Bolz-Weber; and if his Confessions were to be written in 21st century rhetoric and style, they would be this book. Accidental Saints is what every Christian yearns to know is possible."
-Phyllis Tickle, author of The Divine Hours and The Great Emergence
"To say this is a book about God working through imperfect people is to reduce a work of profound, unvarnished truth-telling to the very cliché it so masterfully avoids. Accidental Saints is a triumph in faithful storytelling. In just a few lines of description and dialog, Nadia Bolz-Weber manages to capture all that is beautiful and maddening and frightening about our shared humanity, including her own inconsistencies and struggles as a Jesus-loving sinner-saint. This is one of those rare books that will make you simultaneously wince with recognition and sigh with relief. A must read for every screw-up and asshole caught up in God’s grace."
-Rachel Held Evans, author of A Year of Biblical Womanhood and Searching for Sunday
“Besides the fact that she is an amazing writer, my friend Nadia understands more than most that we are messed up people living in a messed up world with other messed up people. She gets the human condition. She refuses to sugarcoat the depth of her own desperation and need. And that’s why she gets grace—our dire need for grace. She understands that God meets our messed-up-ness with his mercy over and over and over again. I couldn’t put this book down.”
-Tullian Tchividjian, author of One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World and founder of LIBERATE
"Nadia Bolz-Weber's new book is even tougher, sharper and sweeter than Pastrix: in painfully honest stories, she pulls back the curtains of religious life to show how church—the actual, living body of God—is created among us. This is a book for everyone who yearns to be made new."
-Sara Miles, author of Take This Bread and City of God
"I always feel narcissistic when I affirm writers who think like I do. But Nadia says it--and does it--so much better, with much more humor, more living examples, and a conviction that will convict you!"
-Fr. Richard Rohr, O.F.M., Center for Action and Contemplation
"This is a collection of stories about how liturgy (who would have imagined?), ritual (what?), church (really?), and a bunch of flawed people (like us?) can catch the light of grace and catch fire with the beauty of God. For so many reasons, you really should read it."
-Brian D. McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christianity and A Generous Orthodoxy
"This book made me so happy to be a Christian. Honest and funny, deep and insightful, Accidental Saints disarmed me and then, right when I was vulnerable, Nadia's words snuck right in to mess with me."
- Sarah Bessey, author of "Jesus Feminist" and "Out of Sorts"