I’m deeply smitten with Nadia Bolz-Weber at the moment. I think that I’ve highlighted about 80% of Accidental Saints; Finding God in All the Wrong People and I really appreciate the fact that she clearly wrote the book specifically and just for me, which was considerate.
Even though she ministers to, and often writes for, the marginalised and those on the fringes, and I couldn’t be more un-persecuted, white, straight, and middle class, she reaches everyone, I think (although I do say fuck and am tattooed and my sarcasm level is perpetually at a 10, so maybe we are totally in synch).
Rather than just quote huge swathes of it (because you know I want to), I’ll just point to two of her articles that I love;
Sermon on Baptism and the Devil represents a perspective that I hadn’t really considered,
The Parameters We Prefer Jesus to Work Under, about how we need to spend less time defending positions and more time appreciating God’s love.
Ok, I’m going to just have to quote a little bit from that last article…
A couple weeks ago I got to hear Catholic theologian James Allison talk about how we think faith is about striving – keeping parameters, calling people out for not having it right, spiritual practices, doctrinal purity … whatever – but that really faith is about relaxing. Specifically, relaxing in the way we do when we are with a friend who we know for certain is fond of us. We don’t have to strive around them and we somehow still become our best self – funny, spontaneous, free. Allison suggests that faith is trusting so much that God is fond of us that we just fricken relax.
Seriously good stuff.