Book Review: Pastrix

PastrixPastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of A Sinner and Saint

Let me simply say this: get the book. It is pure testimony. It is a mind‐blowing lead at the open 12‐step meeting we so blithely call ʺchurch.ʺ Wow, but sheʹs articulating the present spirit of the age so clearly. Nadia wrote my heart.

I met Nadia Bolz‐Weber many years ago at an event in Evanston, IL. Seabury‐Western (my seminary alma mater) was hosting a conference on the Emergent Movement. Phyllis Tickle was the principle teacher, but Nadia was also scheduled to speak about her new project, a church start called House for All Sinners and Saints. I recall Nadia was kind and generous. Since then Iʹve made a point to say hello when Iʹve attended events where she was speaking. Again, always kind and generous. So, maybe Iʹm biased.

Some things you need to know. If you are like me, you will have heard some of these stories. You will know the one‐liners. This book is a collection of stories, homilies, tidbits of spiritual nerd‐ery, and confessions of someone in recovery. But even if you know the stories like I do, itʹs absolutely worth your time to read it. I shed tears. I laughed. I was reminded of things that I had apparently set aside. Good things. Holy things.

Pastrix is a testimony, a personal reflection of the moments God has shown up and worked a miracle in spite of oneʹs best efforts to keep God quiet.

I quoted Nadia in my most recent sermon. Of course. There are too many quotations I could highlight. According
to my electronic copy of the book, the one I a used in my sermon and that Pastor Rick also shared, is quite popular with readers. I donʹt care if you have seen it already. Just pay attention.

ʺGod’s grace is not defined as God being forgiving to us even though we sin. Grace is when God is a source of wholeness, which makes up for my failings. My failings hurt me and others and even the planet, and God’s grace to me is that my brokenness is not the final word. My selfishness is not the end‐all…instead, it’s that God makes beautiful things out of even my own shit. Grace isn’t about God creating humans as flawed beings and then acting all hurt when we inevitably fail and then stepping in like the hero to grant us peace—like saying, ‘Oh, it’s OK, I’ll be a good guy and forgive you.’ It’s God saying, ‘I love the world too much to let your sin define you and be the final word. I am a God who makes all things new.ʹʺ (Pastrix, p. 50)

House for All Sinners and Saints, where Nadia serves as pastor, isnʹt just for tattooed hipsters in Denver. Like the rooms of AA, people from every walk of life have made HFASS their spiritual home. Rigorously honest, intelligent, funny, and creative, this book gives us a glimpse into what I think many people are looking for in a spiritual home. Nadia is able to articulate the spirit of the age for many of us. Christian triumphalism is taking a back seat to simple honesty.

Get the book. I am jealous that I didnʹt write it, but I am glad someone is sharing about the kind of spiritual life so many people are actually seeking. And I am especially glad that someone is Nadia.

Pastor Tripp

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We are a progressive Baptist Church affiliated with the American Baptist Churches, USA. We have been in Palo Alto since 1893. We celebrate our Baptist heritage. We affirm the historic Baptist tenets of: Bible Freedom, Soul Freedom, Church Freedom, Religious Freedom

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