Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Accidental Saints: a Giveaway

I read constantly. All the time. You'd not think it, given the size of my TBR pile, but I probably average more than five books read per week.

I don't suffer foolish books lightly. Also given the size of my TBR pile, you wouldn't think I'd ever hesitate to buy a book, but I do. Lots of volumes get tagged in my head as "library books only." The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up? Library book. Go, Set a Watchman? Library book. (Like I'm giving Harper Lee's lawyers one damn penny.) Girl On a Train? Library book. (Because it kept being compared to Gone Girl and I really hated Gone Girl. Good call, too. I really hated Girl On A Train and only got through a third of it.)

This week has been full of amazing reads. Astonishing, fulfilling, I'm-so-glad-I-read-that reads. Today I want to praise Accidental Saints, by Nadia Bolz-Weber, a female, liberal, heavily-tattooed, gorgeously fit recovering addict who's also a theologically-conservative Lutheran pastor. I can't tell you how much I love that combination. Her faith is so grounded in doctrine, yet her church--one she began, called House For All Sinners and Saints, in Colorado--is so open to everyone.

In her previous awesome book, Pastrix, Nadia talks of the disconnect she originally felt when HFASS started attracting not just transgender youth and former drag queens, but also regular frumpy middle-class Christians. Then one of the transgender kids said, "I want people who look like my parents here. My parents can't love me yet, but maybe these people can."

Anyhow, Accidental Saints is a book of beauty. I somehow accidentally ordered two copies--this happens occasionally when I get over-zealous about a book release, apparently Amazon has quit asking me, "are you sure?" This means I'm supposed to give a copy away. I thought that one of my atheist friends would really like it--I'm serious--and I also thought about my friend who's a healer, but in the end decided to go with Ye Old Random Number Generator. Leave a comment, and you've got a chance.

And here's a quote, one of my favorites:

"As anyone for whom the poor are not an abstraction but actual flesh-and-blood people knows, the poor and hungry and imprisoned are not a romantic special class of Christlike people. And those who meet their needs are not a romantic special class of Christlike people. We all are equally as saintly and sinful as the other. No, Christ comes to us in the needs of the poor and hungry, needs that are met by another so that the gleaming redemption of God might be known.

No one gets to play Jesus."