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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!

4 of 4 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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  • 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 8 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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Not a Christian, but a Fan Nonetheless

Would you consider the audio edition of Accidental Saints to be better than the print version?

Yes. Hearing Pastor Nadia read the book is much better than reading it myself would have been. She has a distinctive voice--both in term of sound and in terms of authorial perspective.

Who was your favorite character and why?

OK, so it's non-fiction and there aren't really characters. Pastor Nadia is the center of the book, though my suspicion is that if you asked her, she would deny that and say that God is. Her version of Lutheranism is unusual (and controversial), though it has things in common with the theologies of Fr. Greg Boyle or Stanley Hauerwas.The center of her Lutheranism is a God who loves us relentlessly and without conditions, who wants us to be joyous, and whose favorite people are the ones that the rest of us are tempted to throw away.

As I mentioned in the title of my review, I'm not a Christian (raised Catholic, practicing Buddhist), but I'm a fan, and if I lived in Denver I'd probably be a parishioner. Pastor Nadia is ruthless in calling out bullshit, especially her own, and a big part of her Christianity is the experience of being forgiven even when she knows that she doesn't deserve it.

The book made me cry, even the second time I listened to it.

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A refreshing candid Christian witness

Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber's book is for everyone wondering if they fit in the church. The answer in ACCIDENTAL SAINTS may surprise you, give you hope, and help you appreciate a Bible/Christian witness that you don't often hear. Her teaching is atypical, truthful, and would be welcome in a bar, army barrack, or a coffee house - but not in many typical churches. I dare you to listen to this book!

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Great book.

moved me to tears a few times. I don't necessarily agree with the doctrine but appreciated the insight.

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Thank you for being vulnerable, Nadia.

This book was a little difficult to listen to at points but overall it touched my heart, made me laugh, made me cry, & made me think.

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Messy Grace for us messes.

Nadia Bolz-Weber opens up about her struggle, her fellow struggles and experiencing Jesus in the mess of life. A really good listen.