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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2015 Nadia Bolz-Weber (P)2015 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"...compulsively readable...deftly explains why God's love should be the heart of every sacred (and secular) experience....[Bolz-Weber's] love for God and for humankind shines through on every page." ( Publishers Weekly)
"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)

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Irreverent Humor/ Ordinary Grace

What did you love best about Accidental Saints?

I'm good with a little irreverence. I like authentic confessional story telling. I love people who live Monday to Monday looking for wonder and are excited when they find it.

Which scene was your favorite?

I've listened several times to the episode on speaking to the youth. I like the struggle to find what to say, the doubts about the audience, and the openness to find wisdom in an accidental encounter on a plane.

Any additional comments?

I like the underlying thread throughout Nadia's two books, the struggle with ego when we are strong and our desire to hide when we are weak.
I also like her refusal to find God in only one kind of person. We're all bad and we're all good and God draws no lines across which he will not step.
Well done!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Grace beyond Mercy. Get it!

Amazing amazing amazing.
Grace comes to those who don't hide brokenness in the bushes of Eden.
Moving call to owning your whole self.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Touched me deeply

God put this book in my Audible Library in just the moment to grab me and challenge me to deal with issues I have avoided for 60 years.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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God knew I needed this......I was set so free

I am a Pastor and so is my husband.....I haven't been into drugs but I was seeking to find myself in Wicca and other things. I have always been looked down upon because of my tattoos, my occasional frustrated swearing episodes and the fact I do not fit what they think a pastor should be....complete with piercings and colored hair.

I have tried to live the outside of what people thought I should look like and sound like only to be miserable and my true self invisible...

I was freed with this book and have a more sincere clarity of the unapologetic person I need to continue to be.

Thank you Nadia. You allows God to use you and you freed metros outside imposed shame.

I'm in tears because I found acceptance in a book.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • betsy
  • Sherman Oaks, CA, United States
  • 09-22-15

"Jesus is running my (butt) down"

"Confessional Style" is the phrase I should have noticed in the blurb.

This book is too much about the author for me. Everything is about how God affects her, her faith journey, and to some extent people around her, but it's so centered on her. I expected something more outreachy or more universal, I guess. Bolz-Weber sees grace in how a congregant was really moved by finding her church before he died, despite the fact that she avoided him and was a bit of a jerk to him. She meets a outsider, possibly suicidal, kid on a plane on her way to give a speech to some kids, and the speech was really successful because she was channeling the outsider and God is using her, or something.

The author narrates, and while she's charismatic and conversational, her conversational styles include insistent? grating? upspeak? and earnest sympathetic child psychologist. I'm not usually bothered by upspeak, but OMG?

I would recommend Greg Boyle's Tattoos on the Heart several times over before Accidental Saints. Bole manages to be a jerk sometimes but inspirational, and he shows more than tells the effects of grace and love, letting his flock take center stage more than he.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Caught off guard ,moved to tears in every chapter.

This is my first time listening to one of Pastor Nadia's books. I will be getting her other book next. I love her take on life & faith & Christianity which I desperately needed to hear.

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For All Sinners and Saints and Religious Wanderers

I found this story, the stories,and her story compelling. Pastor Nadia challenges the right side up theories and puts us in touch with the grace and love of God.
Thank you Pastor Nadia for lighting a path back to God for me.

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We are not Saints

I have truly enjoyed listening to this book. Pastor Nadia opened my eyes in how to read the Gospel. When she talked about Matt 25 and I really saw how I was taking credit for feeding a poor person (without telling me that my Big Fat Ego was in the way) then I started to see Jesus. He uses me, not in a bad way, but only for good. And it is through his Grace that he does this.

I could really relate to so much of what Pastor was saying. I have been a ELCA member for only a few years. I had no intention of going to church. After all my church had dropped me as a member because I had no money to tithe 30 years ago. Yet here I am, a Lutheran no doubt. I was sponsoring a fellow recovering alcoholic. She wanted to try this church out. She had been Catholic but left them with all the child abuse. I was just going to go a few times. I am still there. Jesus does get us whether we are looking or not.
So be careful when reading or listening, Jesus may be talking to you.

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Welcome perspective.

I grew up Anglican, and there was much I loved about it. As an adult, I have been unable to resolve fundamental conflicts I perceive between my internal truth and Christian doctrine, such as, I can't make myself believe in Hell, much less the idea that a Good who could create all that is, would need to stop to coercion. (That sounds much more human than Divine, too me.) Although this book didn't address that particular point, the author addressed equally troubling areas of scripture and practice that I found uplifting, healing, peace - giving, and joy-inducing. On a few stressful days, I have fallen asleep to previously read chapters, confident in the truth in her voice.

Nadia BolzWeber's voice is as thoughtful as it is earnest, and in her words I find abundant evidence of her own authentic journey. I would love to hear her perspective on some of the things that obstruct my embracement of Christianity, because I believe she would engage them openly, receiving them as genuine and heart - based as they are. I am even considering writing to her and offering them as potential content areas for future writing. It is amazing to me that this is an active idea. I can only credit her willingness and deliberate choice to be home to her own humanity as making me think that she might receive such questions as opportunities, rather than cynical "gotcha" challenges. Whether or not I write to her, the consideration of doing so is based in the appreciation of her writing, and what it brings to me.

Now I am going to start the book again, from the beginning.

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  • KB2
  • Northern California
  • 08-06-18

Touches the heart and inspires!

At first Pastor Nadia's style put me off a bit - both the rough language, direct and peppered with four letter words, and her tendency to make sudden shifts in her telling of the story, which puzzle you at first, then gradually make sense as you come to see the point. Despite all that, I was quickly hooked. This is a very well-produced and engaging memoir. It made me laugh one moment and cry the next. The beautiful music at the start of each section is an added bonus - excerpts from the Exsultet, a proclamation and prayer chanted at the Easter Vigil - it sets the mood and draws you into the story. In short, this is a story of finding God and experiencing grace. It is very enjoyable and inspiring.