October 23, 2014
Nadia Bolz-Weber —
Seeing the Underside and Seeing God: Tattoos, Tradition, and Grace

She’s the tattooed, Lutheran pastor of the House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, a church where a chocolate fountain, a blessing of the bicycles, and serious liturgy come together. She's a face of the Emerging Church — redefining what church is, with deep reverence for tradition.

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is the pastor and founder of the Denver-based church the House for All Sinners and Saints. Her spiritual memoir is Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and Saint.

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Under the Tent with Nadia Bolz-Weber (video)

Watch Krista's unedited conversation with a leading voice in the Emerging Church. Live from the Wild Goose Festival in Hot Springs, North Carolina, this interview is a dynamic 90 minutes of discussion about tattoos and tradition, death and resurrection, and redefining what church is.

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The unedited version of this conversation was the most accessible for me. Incredible conversation. I will get her book when it comes out. Thank you Krista. Lately It feels like each program is building on your whole body of work.

I have not been able to successfully post the unedited version of this show on my Facebook page.

Trent Gilliss's picture

David, how can I help you with this?

I have posted unedited versions of the show in the past. This time the opportunity to listen or download comes up but I am not able to listen, download or copy. The produced show works fine. Thanks for any help you can give me, David

Trent Gilliss's picture

David, I think I've solved your issue. Please take a look and try this again. If it doesn't, clear your cache first and then open the unedited interview window. Thank you!

This worked Trent. Thank you.

Hi David, Thanks to all - a profound program this morning. Like some others, I cannot get the video to play. I cleared my cache. I get other videos' to play. Am running Mac OS 10.0.6 with Safari browser. Any ideas?

Hi, can I download a printed version of Krista Tippett's interview? Thank you, J.

Krista, at the closing of the edited podcast, you invite listeners to watch the video version of Nadia's conversation. I cannot find a link or a list of videos on your site. Can someone tell me where to find it.


Trent Gilliss's picture

Hi Scott. We just finished crunching the video and it's up now. Yay! Here's a link: http://www.onbeing.org/program/nadia-bolz-weber-on-seeing-the-underside-....

Can't access the unedited version either. Would love to hear it when it's available. When I click above where it says 76:32, there is nothing when I hit play.

Trent Gilliss's picture

It should work now, Amy. Please click on the unedited interview link again. If it doesn't, clear your cache first and then open the unedited interview window. Thank you!

I'm having a hard time with the uncut interview. is there a problem with the player, perhaps? thanks for any help you can give.

Trent Gilliss's picture

Lace, it should work for you now. Click on the unedited interview link again. If it doesn't, clear your cache first and then open the unedited interview window. Thank you!

A very interesting, entertaining conversation. But I'll never get the tattoo thing. It is so totally passive. Yes, you make a statement, but surrendering your body irrevocably to do it - that appears to be an even bigger statement.

all we do is surrender our bodies irrevocably to death every minute of our lives.

Wow, Nadia and her Christianity is a taste of tolerance and Alterance of repetitive spirituality. We , in other countries have been down this road for ages... church with arthi (Indian cculture borrowed from Hinduism), I was listening to BBC today, where on heart and Soul they were talking about Malikiitism in north Africa that preaches the Koran, Prophet Mohammads teachings, Medina teachings and then if the answer cannot be found in these, they will look elsewhere.


Thank you both to Kristen and Nadia. This talk really spoke to me. I have not been able to find a church that really speaks to me. I understand that God speaks to us no matter where we are. And to act on that information and what you do with it is a blessing in itself. I call it Lowly listening. There are many ways to pick up on those around us and to favor them with a simple word or kindness is what I have gotten form God. I remember watching MTV one morning and a video came on that showed a teen with a white robe on a skate board moving in and out of people on the board walk. It really struck me that that is what God is asking me to do. I wish we had Nadia here because you are the first person that I have heard that speaks to me and would help me on my journey. But I will listen often and get your book. I hope to hear you maybe someday and your sense of humor is exactly how I have handled things in most instances that are of hardship in my life. I know I am on the right track but you have given my life more meaning. I must have been meant to hear you as my life right now is hard and need to get back on coarse again I need a gentle push to go on. I suffer from depression also. It has lead me threw incredible pain but on the other side a deeper commitment of empathy toward others and a commitment to be kinder to myself. I am lucky enough to have a dog that has helped me through this walk. She seems to understand my mission obviously without any conversation. God got me out of bed this morning to hear you. LOL I NEVER get up and stay up so early in the morning.

I've been following your program since a long time ago when it was "Speaking of Faith". I admire your openness to listen and ponder over a wide range of sources for ideas and viewpoints. I think it is mostly the contrast between your position and Ms. Bolz-Weber that speaks louder than her life and faith viewpoint. This is what constitute the enriching message for this episode. It seems that many people are sprouting "religions" and "churches" to gather as a club of like-minded people excluding those who don't share the same views. Adaptations and accommodations of traditional older believes do not contribute much to the religious human experience. Especially when they are created to serve a "certain" kind of people. I am deceived by the degrading of religion to this club innovation. By the way, that versatility may be the reason why I don't endorse any "religion" or church.

This, being raised Catholic and now a practicing Buddhist, had to be the best thing I have heard on NPR in a VERY LONG TIME! I mean the show and the interview. I have never even heard of the show up until now and I will listen EVERY WEEK now! I get you guys on WHYY and I wish there was more like it! If there are any other shows like this(I already listen to voices in the family) please let me know! I live near Philadelphia PA and if anyone knows of any Sanghas around here PLEASE let me know, I CANT FIND ONE! This woman almost had me in a Church this morn...in fact I may still go....just to worship...

If you podcast you have an opportunity to listen to all the show, one by one. The whole is bigger than the sum of it's parts.

The unedited version was incredibly thought provoking for this Catholic, turned Episcopalian. To me, the closing comments about her parents blessing and the importance of a blessing clearly displayed the deep presence of the Spirit in Nadia's heart. If I could ask one question of her, it might simply be, why doesn't she like to cry in public, as the Desert Fathers and Mothers refer to tears as the "work of the Spirit" and she is so willing to ask for forgiveness?
Thank you Krista --- Jean Varnier and Nadia in two of the last three weeks --- amazing!

Nadia is so right in her resistance to attributing "maleness" when we say or read "God" in Christian liturgy. How can the God we pray to be male? I'm at the point where the mere attribution of male nouns/pronouns as/to God feels misleading and wrong-headed. Christians have historically referred to God reflexively as the Father, and of course Jesus was male . . . so the doctrine of the Trinity became male-oriented . .. This issue seems to have been important to the writers of the Old Testament, who developed the famous tetragrammaton YHWH, a way to speak or write God's name in a genderless way. Judaic sources throughout history also used other terms for God, such as Merciful One, Creator, and the Name, as well as the gender-connoting King, Master of the Universe, and Hashem, among others. In Islam, God is never "genderized." Islam holds that Allah is one and unique -- a single indivisible truth that is independent of the created world. My way of dealing with the "male God problem" is to substitute Love writ large whenever a male "God" comes my way -- the great Love I have come to understand that pervades all of creation, and that includes all of us.

This was a profound podcast for me. Thanks for engaging with Nadia Bolz-Weber. As a 40+ year Evangelical believer I found the conversation very encouraging, engaging, entertaining, and profoundly enlightening. I am so excited to see where God is taking the emerging church.

In the Catholic Church there is mystery and certainty at the same time. One of the mistakes of the current time is to think that there are no certainties, no revelation that we can interpret with certainty, not so.

For Catholics, the Church is the community founded and run by Christ ('on this rock I will build my Church'). Our task isn't to create a new church, though I of course encourage the movement toward adoration and prayer to God, but to follow the Church that God has given to us as the instrument of salvation, of the fullness of life which starts even here in this life.

'The house for all sinners and saints' could be a name for the Catholic Church, everyone is welcome.

The Eucharist ... not confected by a Catholic (or Orthodox) priest ... isn't the Eucharist.

This is the same story that we can find in Nietzsche, though his response was to leave Christianity entirely. This person was raised in a Protestant tradition. From a Catholic perspective, there are truths in the Protestant traditions, but they are imperfect and flawed. So the members of these congregations sometimes turn away from them and criticise their flaws. And it comes across as a criticism of Christianity - but it's a criticism of the Protestant tradition, which had flaws, which they were raised in. It's OK to criticize the denomination, but realize that the criticism doesn't hold for Catholicism.

But, interestingly, here is someone it seems who actually believes in God and in Jesus Christ, and in Mary and the Incarnation, wonderful, keep at it. Yes, divine heart transplant - that's the whole idea. 'To reform your mind', 'To put on Christ'. The two hearts, Jesus and Mary.

Still sounds like the liturgy of the Catholic Church. I invite her to the Catholic Church, the fullness of the truth. Try it.

In the round is how monks celebrate the Eucharist. In the Catholic Church everyone participates in the Liturgy, entirely.

Krista Tippett was raised a Southern Baptist - now I see why she is a believer but why she has such trouble with the Catholic Church.

Exactly, that's why the Catholic Church is a church we can be idealistic about - because it is constructed by God, not by man.

Wonderful to see someone on the path to Christ, as we all are.

When one lives with Christ these dark places are healed, we open them up to the light of Christ and He brings light to them.

The Cross - exactly, the complete revelation of God. How amazing that God is so merciful that the Father - who also suffered at the Cross - that the suffering and death of one man was enough to redeem the whole human race, to pay for all the sins of all people of all time.

Exactly, very good, the Cross is the most important event, and you interpret it correctly, not incorrectly in terms of the Father.

Yes, Mary Magdelene was the one told to tell the apostles, in one Gospel account. How it shows God's humility and love. (And doesn't distort Mary Magdelene the way Dan Brown does.)

Your love for the Gospel is inspiring. What they have in common is Christ. The only other more diverse congregation is the Catholic Church, where everyone is welcome. See 'The Journey Home' with Marcus Grodi.

Exactly, the Protestant tradition did just that: made Christianity individual. The Catholic Church has both the individual aspect and the community aspect, both are essential. She is not far from the Catholic Church, if she has enough courage.

I'm unable to view the video, it doesn't play for me, but I have no trouble with the audio. Suggestions?

I can't access the video. I press play and it looks like it's loading but nothing happens. I'm using Chrome - could that be the issue?

For some reason the video of Krista's interview with Nadia Bolz-Weber doesn't seem to be working. Not sure if the problem is on my side or yours.

Thank you Krista & Nadia for this interview! As a Catholic woman in ministry, it is voices like this that keep me grounded and connected to faith in a God that is bigger than any one of us can understand. I especially appreciate what Ms Bolz-Weber says about the creed, and how we overly-individualize faith. I juxtapose the communal nature of faith with the 2011 liturgical changes in the Catholic church – to be Liturgically Correct, it’s no longer “We believe" but “I believe” and that’s always felt weird to me, and I say We anyhow… I got my theology degree in 2005, back in the ‘We’ days, and I’m so glad to have some additional theological grounding for my discomfort.

is there a verse in the OT/NT or any early church writings that indicate woman pastors ?

I suspect that Jesus blessed the Woman at the Well and she became the first woman pastor. Look in John's Gospel... because also the women who served Jesus through his death and resurrection are also pastoring the disciples.

I cannot begin to describe how affecting this podcast was for me. I grew up in the Church of Christ, am covered in tattoos and have spikey hair. My friends and I, all who have left the church, say the thing we miss most about it was the acapella singing. Although I have known of many liberal open Christians, somehow hearing from a person who grew up like me broke my heart open in a way that no one else could.

Wow. This was amazing to read. Come visit us some time in Denver...we sing all the old C of C hymns!

What a wonderful program....thank you so much. Paula

I have been unable to get the video to work, too.

As for the interview, I found it fascinating. And while I just can't go the chocolate fountain in the baptismal font (enough is enough), I do truly appreciate the sentiment that you need to be deeply rooted in tradition in order to innovate with integrity. I have Nadia's book reserved and look forward to reading more of her story- thanks for the interview!

I would love to see the full video with Nadia but it won't run. I'm using chrome browser on windows 8 & I've tried clearing the cache.
Any other ideas?
Thanks for this great interview !

My first sweetheart from high school then college introduced me to the Lutheran Church. Up to that time my family went to which ever church was closest. This was in 1953. I've been Lutheran Ever since. Now I know why. Kind of. I'm 79 still hoping to make a difference in this word. Now I guess I realize I don't really have to worry about it. Now I'm out shopping for a chocolate Baptismal fount. Until then I'll have to keep on worrying the pastor will drop the baby up and down the aisle after the Baptism. Especially when they are twins. I'll never be the same - now more than before I heard this interview. My sweet heart married a really nice guy, raised a family and lives in God's country North of Mankato, Minnesota. I'm at the other end of Heaven in Michigan. Thanks for the recording.

Hey! I loved listening to the conversation! I was fascinated by the wit and intelligence of both and would follow - happily - each wherever they lead me - because of their faith in humanity. Thank you each for the enlightenment. But there's a 'fly in the ointment'. You can't have an 'inscrutable' god - one that you can live with because his ways are beyond our knowledge - and then drag a 'caring god' into the picture kicking and screaming and give that god credit for taking the cross at the last minute to make our suffering 'bearable'. I loved listening to Nadia Bolz-Weber's embrace of humanity and god, but 'bearable' is a nasty euphemism for abandonment. If it's a 'faith' thing, then fine. I guess you have to find a way to forgive the god you imagine. But don't tell me god is doing the innocent any kind of favor by making himself absent when they need him most. Or, what kind of god is it that manages to 'show up' only after the girls have had acid thrown in their eyes and are blinded for life? So maybe the ancient authors who depicted god as a 'cigar chomping' psychopathic sadist weren't all wrong, or, maybe we can't begin to know him after all. One or the other, but let's keep the depiction honest.

I loved listening to the interview and thought both women were brilliant and witty. I'm a big fan of "On Being", and that's without reservation. But there was a fly in the ointment. God is either 'knowable' or god is not knowable. And I'm fine either way; but it's one way or the other. It's no good to theorize that god is unknowable, and then later in the interview, conjure a caring god who manages to "show up" only after the atrocities are perpetrated, proposing that what god's really doing - behind the scenes where it doesn't seem to be doing humanity any real good - is 'taking up our burden'. Hogwash. God seemed plenty content to let Jesus get whipped and tortured and crucified. And yet Nadia Bolz-Weber would describe Jesus's death on the cross as god's "shining moment"? How so? At what point did god put a stop to it, or switch places? "Helping humanity bear its burdens" seems a nasty euphemism for god's abandonment of the innocent. Just once I'd like to see god take care of the innocent when it would do them some good; like say, before the school-children are tortured and gassed and have acid thrown in their eyes so that they're blinded for life. Maybe the ancient writers who depicted god as a "cigar chomping" psychopathic sadist weren't entirely wrong. They too thought they knew god. And where's god's Bishop anyway?

Like a few others, I can't get the video to run. I have tried with Chrome, Firefox and I.E., and on two different networks.

As a "just-retired" Episcopal priest (incidentally - a Rectrix!) I rejoiced at the honesty, integrity, and vibrant faith evident throughout the interview with Nadia Bolz-Weber. Thank God some people know how not to take themselves too seriously when it comes to "beliefs", to have big heart, to be able to laugh and to cry, to see the holy, to not be afraid to be wrong, and to know that there is a great mystery at the heart of all things. Great work. Thank you.

I'm a HUGE fan of on being. Love listening to the podcasts, but this, with Nadia, moved me to tears, not tears of sadness, but of utter happiness. That there is a place in this world where people can love Jesus and church and not feel like they are weird or strange or that they have to eventually conform to the church standard to go their. I grew up in church and I loved it. I was a perfect church girl and never had a crazy rebellious streak, but I eventually had to leave church after I felt there were too many rules placed on people to make them inauthentic. I love the loving caring side of church, but I hate the side that makes everyone conform and feel like poop if they don't. I so wish I lived in Denver so I could come be a part of what seems like a beautiful place of love. I'm going to be in Denver in February and am wishing to the universe that I'll get to go and be a part of a beer and hymns night, because that just sounds divine. Thank you for your convictions and sharing them. I'm eternally grateful.

As a new On Being listener, Seeing the Underside and Seeing God with Nadia Bolz-Weber was a pleasant introduction. It was refreshing to hear a female pastor that was not only incredibly real, but rather intelligent. Although I do not consider myself Lutheran, I found much of Nadia’s views in line with my own. I was intrigued enough to listen to more of Nadia Bolz-Weber in other audio clips including sermons. She is a wonderful example of what Christianity can look like for those who believe.

Krista, throughout the podcasts that I have listened to, I am humbled by your ability to have a neutral heart in speaking with people of all different religions and spiritual beliefs. Your interviewing techniques are informational and pleasant to listen to. Thank you for providing great profound audio for your listeners to ponder!

It is really hard to express exactly how I felt about this particular show. I sympathize with Nadia to an extent. I understand why she might move away from the teachings of her old church if it did not allow any movies or dancing whatsoever. I think many “conservative” churches have to be careful about what kind of behavior they label as sin. King David danced so I do not understand why some churches considered it a sin (2 Sam. 6:14), unless it was sensual dancing. I also can’t stand it when people treat someone like a leper because they have strange hair, tattoos..ect. With this said, Nadia has strayed from the teachings of Jesus Christ.

This show was saddening to an extent because Nadia spoke about how televangelists have completely missed the gospel, but it became very clear to me that Nadia had completely missed it as well. She preaches a different gospel and the Apostle Paul calls for anyone that does that to be “accursed” (Galatians 1:8). One of the very telling statements that she made was when she said that the cross shows that God would rather die than be in the “sin accounting business.” This paints a picture of a God who is stuck in this situation of being a bookkeeper of sins which leads him to decide that he will die in order to get himself out of it. In actuality, the statement of the cross is that God saw that we were stuck in our sin and since he loved us so much he decided to go and bear the wrath of our sin so that whosoever believed in him would not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). Furthermore, the cross also gave an opportunity for God to be glorified.

Nadia goes on to say that she believes that the cross was the final judgment. This is so unbiblical that I wonder if she completely disregards certain passages of the Bible. If the cross is the final judgment then why do the writers of the books of the New Testament talk about future judgment so much? For example, Paul states that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2 Cor. 5). If the cross is the final judgment then why, “When the Son of man comes in his glory” does he come to judge and make war (Rev. 19:11) and why are his garments dipped in the blood of the wicked (Rev. 19:13) (Matt. 25)? Nadia has completely rejected the idea of people needing to repent (as in forsake or turn from) their sins, place their faith in Jesus Christ and submit to him. In other words, she has completely missed important pieces of the gospel. This isn’t to say that repentance is a work that people have to do to be saved; rather it is a work that God does in people when he saves them.

Lastly, I found it very telling when Nadia said that she doesn’t do “faith stuff” at home because she feels that her kids need a break from it. What she misses is that the Christian is supposed to be consumed with thoughts about God and desire for God. Followers are called to pray without ceasing, to forsake everything they have to follow Jesus, and even to love God so much that it appears as if they hate their family in comparison (Luke 14:26). What most people don’t realize is that a Christian is a slave of God. The apostles often referred to themselves as slaves of Christ. Slaves don’t follow their own will; they do what their master tells them to do. A Christian desires to follow God's will no matter what day it is or where they are; they do not leave their faith at church but take it with them wherever they go because Jesus is their life (Philippians 1:21).

Nadia may be attracting different people into the church but, really, this is irrelevant. If Nadia stood up one Sunday and started preaching about the sinfulness of humanity and the need for repentance, I imagine that the vast majority of the congregation would get up and leave. It doesn't matter how many people go to your church. What matters is how many people within your church are true, devoted followers of Jesus Christ. There is this idea out there that everyone who says the sinners’ prayer will be saved. I fell for it when I was young, and hundreds of thousands of people fall for it each year. Folks who don’t recognize their depravity or fail to truly understand their need for a savior say a prayer and go on with their lives. Where is the transformation? When someone is saved their old self is crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20) and they become a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Either someone is a slave to Jesus or they are a slave of their own desires and sin; it's as simple as that (Romans 6:22). I encourage everyone to examine themselves in light of God's word as Paul calls us to do (2 Corinthians 13:5) and ask if they have really been completely transformed by Jesus Christ (do you read your bible often?; do you love God more than your hobbies & friends?; do you pass the tests of 1 John and bear the fruit outlined in Galatians 5?...ect.)

It seems like you're drawing a lot of conclusions from one conversation. And I don't think that the points you raise are incongruent with the points Nadia talked about, one example being the "sin accounting business." Yes, Christ was sent out of a profound love for humankind and a desire to reconcile us to God. And I think when Nadia talks about God being in a sin accounting business, it's because WE, THE CHURCH have put him there...because in so many conversations that I've heard, it becomes in essence, "God is keeping score," as if God is Santa Claus with his list of who's been naughty or nice. And in truth, I think Christians have invented that because of their own individual guilt about their own individual sin, and have forgotten the fact that more than anything, God loves us as if we were his own children, and that when he forgives us our sin is put "as far away as the east is from the west," as Psalm 103:12 says.

Your comments sound to me as if you're judging Nadia's life based on what YOU think her life should look like, when in truth, each believer's life is unique and different. There are some commonalities, but you have to realize that those sometimes look different to different people. You mention, for example, "Loving God more than your hobbies and friends." Well who are you to determine what that looks like for someone else? It's like Aslan says in The Horse and His Boy, “'Child,' said the Lion, 'I am telling you your story, not hers. No one is told any story but their own.'”

Over all I found this interview to be very interesting I always keep an open mind to whom Jesus could be using in this day and age, I know the average Christian might think that because of her outward appearance how could she be considered a vessel for God, but I happen to know god can use whom he will, it made perfect since to me that a person of her caliber, and back ground would be used in this arena, God can use whatever, and whoever he sees fit for his purpose, I mean let’s face it if he can use a donkey to speak because it was the only available vessel to reach one man, then he can certainly use Nadia Bolz to reach a people that the traditional churches are not reaching for whatever reason. The wisdom I got from this was when I first got save God used a lot of different instruments to get me where I am in my Christian walk today.

I listened to the broadcast of Nadia Bolz-Weber, recorded Sept 5,2013. She is a Lutheran pastor of the house for All Sinners and Saints.

I was wowed by this broadcast. I have never seen a pastor so open about their past about being a sinner. Nadia is a tattooed ex-addict to drugs that one day realized her life has to change. She states,"she had a calling to be a pastor and even at my darkest hour I still had God in my heart." After becoming sober and putting her past behind her, she opened the Lutheran house of All Sinners and Saints.

For her with her past, she knows no matter what people have done and gone through you can always change yourself to be better. People who are ex-cons and felons are all welcome here. Most people that go here are looked at as indiffernt due to their hair, tattoos or the way they dress or do their makeup. This is a place where people can go here, worship God and not feel like anyone is starring or judging them. What most have in common, is their religion for believing in God and their reputation of being different. As Nadia states," Her house is to redefine what religion really is."

It was very interesting seeing a picture of this woman. I have always thought of a pastor as a professional looking, strict, but kind person. She looks like the outgoing girl, who runs free in the world with no care of what others think and living day by day. After listening to her talk she is very educated and well mannered and God loving woman. I can see why people go to her house of God.

The most interesting thing she talked about is how her service is run.She says instead of having a huge spot for herself , she sits amongst the people. She also gives the people the oppurtunity to do the literagy greeting or prayer of the day. As the members walk into the church they can just decide right there if they will be part of it for the day. I think this is an awesome thing, it shows not 1 person has to be worthy of this and they really do worship as a community. She says it makes them closer. What a great thing!

I found the second choice much more appealing and I'm glad to have made the switch. Nadia, the speaker, talks about taking religion to the next level or as I understood it, progressing with the times. She gives a very interesting point of view on how she believes god wants/is. She has a strong Lutheran back round which I found odd that she hung on to throughout her "transformation" I do not know much about the Lutheran religion, but it seemed almost contradictory. I always thought of Lutheran as a pretty cut and dry religion and one that shouldn't necessarily be "tampered" with.

She did a great job of explaining her point of view vs the typical point of view people and pastors have and it really made sense to me. One of the reasons I was turned off to church was I felt I had to act/look a certain way otherwise God or the pastor would not approve. It's really silly to me that so many people can focus on outward appearance and make so many judgments based on that alone. I like how she takes the focus of off the individual and focuses it more on the community, I think people including myself are too harsh on themselves and they not judge themselves in such a way as it often leads to them pushing away from the whole idea.

She says "innovation and tradition go hand in hand" I view this almost as enlightenment.. Wouldn't it be foolish to just follow in the footsteps of the past with out exploring, studying, and gaining a different knowledge/understanding along way, but at the same time cannot discount what has been established in the past.. This goes to my point of taking things as a team/community. God saved everyone, he bares the sins of everyone. I think it hurts more than helps when people single themselves out to such a degree they feel helpless and alone.

I really see this trend happening more and more. It's more about learning about god and understanding as opposed to judging and condemning, nothing wrong with drinking beer and loving god or having tats and loving god etc.. Though I still may not believe everything, I can admit, this "new aged" church movement has gotten me back in the doors.. People learn in different ways and people love god in different ways, What makes yours better than mine? (rhetorical question)

This was so relevant to our readings I was completely engrossed.

Nadia Boltz Weber is a woman who helped redefine and create and church and following for what seems to be the new generation of people. The sinners, we tattoo ourselves, pierce our body, have sex before marriage, have babies before as well and much more. Much of what she says really helped solidy my own beliefs.

She believes in intovating with integrity. She has solid traditions but merges them with innovating them. Being raised in the church she tell that they teach more to be really good at not misbehaving. Struggled with the identity of who God was, and what he beleived. Could never bring herself to be atheist because she knew there was someone.

She believes in death and ressurectiom which was relevent to our readings which was nice to hear about. Along with this in her group she welcomed sinners, the gays, gang members, emo, transgender, cross dressers, you name it were allowed here. She even became a little worried when what she called normal people, started to show up. They looked like soccer mom and dads dressed in nice clothes ect. When she got over her initial worry she asked them to share why they were here as they began to explain they believed in her message (which I will get to later) that they started to come. Then a boy who was gay spoke up and said this " I love that people who look like my mom and dad are here, because they can understand and love them like my own parents cannot"

Which brings me to her message which I LOVE. Jesus, was not jesus, The man on the cross was God, and even when bad things happen and we blame god for not being there to fix it, that rather God died on the cross to help us bear the bad. Even through everything horrible that happened to him, he died saying this, forgive them for they do not understand what they are doing. Which is a powerful message. We must accept everyone in their journey here on earth.

I loved her message of the new church, where we go and be oursleves, that its okay to have tattoos and to live life. To celebrate Easter with dancing music and laughter, that our message is the same in the strong routed tradition but we are okay to evolve ourselves. to personalize who we are as individuals in this ever changing world.

"Look, as the young transgender kid who was welcomed into this community, I just want to go on the record as saying I'm glad there's people who look like my mom and dad here, because they love me in a way my mom and dad can't." I nearly wept with joy. ^..^~

I know, me too! That's beautiful!

Profound understanding of who God really is and our part in Divine mystery.

Really enjoyed this interview.

Good Morning and thank you for "being" part of my Sunday morning ritual :-) Blessings to you. MTF

I enjoy listening to On Being on Sunday mornings. It's always interesting, and Krista is a thoughtful interviewer, but today was the first time I found the guest to be kind of self-involved and, well, annoying. Perhaps I've just been reading too much Bart Ehrman? I'm usually glues to the radio when O.B. is on, but today was the first time that I welcomed a distraction!

I grow weary of the direction Krista has taken the show recently. There are those of us who's children are millennials that don't have tattoos and piercings and who are employed responsible members of society. I think you should just call it bad parenting.

Loved her view of Jesus as god on the cross...would rather die than have to be in a sense of grudge holding and Unforgiveness. Beautiful illustration.

Nadia Bolz-Weber is certainly a different sort of preacher, but I like her approach. One question, before she met her husband and she was dating, did her height intimidate the men she dated? In any case Ms. Tippett, always has interesting guests and her voice is very soothing and she offers intelligence and sensitivity to her discussions. My continued best wishes to her and the show.

Headstones Drip

...“Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.” --Luke 8:52

the coffeehouse
young students
breathe nicotine
with coffee in hand
the jailhouse
guards taking“tokes”
off their intimates
getting it
each day
the choices
we are able
to see
to help
make someone's
in the water
may accrete
in the tangle
of roots

Seasons... Read about Saint Gregorys of Nyssa in San Francisco emerging for 30 years

This was a show that spoke directly to me. I love her passionate, reverent approach to liturgy and spirituality as well as her keen and quirky sense of humor. Color me a convert!

Every time I listen to this interview I hear something else that's so speaks to my condition! Worship in the round! Evolving rituals! Love her.

In my opinion there is something inherently psychologically wrong with putting ink under your skin with needles. It looks ugly and I wouldn't want to spend the time nor money to do same. This is my belief.

Sure, but our bodies are our temples. I am an artist, and I choose to decorate my temple with artwork that tells a story, like Nadia...and I found personal validation in the way she talked about that. But it's totally fine for your approach to be one of "the temple IS the artwork." It's one of those things that the Bible does not really talk about, so it then reasons to believe that it's one of those things that isn't high on God's list of agenda items. Consequently, I don't think there's any reason to judge people on this topic.

realization of knowing the glory of "life" only know ing the darker side!

I so relate to Nadia. It would have been so much easier when I came back to church to have her there. As it was, there were loving people who accepted me as I was. I am so glad my grandson wanted to go to church and I actually took him.

When I am in Sag Harbor, N.Y., in the early hours of Sunday mornings I try to listen to a radio show on our spiritual life broadcast on National Public Radio. It consists of Christa Tippett interviewing interesting people that have made a path for themselves paved with courage and integrity. The last time I was there I made a note on the name of the program and I now listen to it on line in Toronto. In the last days I have been listening to a few programs and I am even more enthusiastic about the show than before, and I want to bring it to your attention. It is called ON BEING and you can click on this address to access it:

Two ripples of thought surround this point. One is my memory of working in the basement of our house with my father and regularly listening to the radio together. We may have been doing this or that but we were at the same time paying attention to the wider world and people’s thoughts about it. There was a shared, unspoken (at least by us) intimacy in that basement. There was a teaching implied in that situation: namely, people could listen together, think together, and feel together.
Second, my memories of the insights in the many writings of Paul Tillich, particularly his thoughts about “correlative theology”. When I was in university I read a number of important books written by him: The Dynamics of Faith, The Courage To Be, three volumes of his sermons (a sermon a day for some months) and parts of his Systematic Theology. His genius was to articulate human experiences and how the story of Jesus and Christian’s response to that story throughout the ages applied to our experiences, questions, dilemmas. This might easily explain why he was considered an “existential “theologian while he was alive. As you know the growth edge of our lives is uneven and often not pretty. Tillich articulated this in many eloquent writings. The radio show ON BEING carries on with this effort .
I think you will enjoy the voices and intimate atmosphere of this radio show.

This was a very interesting interview. I come from a very religious background and am not used to seeing people with tattoos and different color hair, piercings, etc. even inside the church, let alone be the one preaching. I am torn in many ways by these things. I can understand that in this interview, for example she is bringing people to church that may not have other ways come to know Christ and I think that is a blessing. In the same way, I am very traditional and believe in not having tattoos as it is marking the body the God gave you. In her defense of tattoos Nadia does state that she believes that tattoos are used to tell peoples stories and some people choose to tell their story on the outside of their body. While I can understand this, I disagree. I believe that people that get tattoos and piercings are trying to fill a void, trying to do something that will make them stand out, be different and I believe that when one has the Holy Spirit and truly believes in Jesus Christ, that will be enough for them. They will not need any external marking.

I did find her church practices very interesting as she is very modern but maintains many traditional aspects such as a Capella choir and the Easter Vigil. It was also very interesting to learn that she was first an drug addict and a standup comic. I believe that when one goes through an addiction, and comes through they have a very powerful testimony that can inspire others to seek help. I believe that se is ultimately the new face of Christianity, at least in the United States and I believe that anyone that has a true heart for Christ and wants to save souls, is to be commended, praised and supported.

I got to listen to the 10/23 broadcast with Nadia Bolz-Weber.

I love that fact that Nadia did not take a "traditional" route to becoming a pastor. Even though she was raised Christian, but became a comic, a drug addict and an almost atheist, or as she calls it, she stepped away from Christianity for 10 years only to be called back to Christianity when she met her future husband who was a Lutheran seminary student.

The fact that she is a 6 foot tall, spikey haired, tattooed, foul mouthed feminist who welcomes a traditional, liturgical style of worship at a congregation that is geared towards those that are not the social norm. All are welcome, of course, but House of All Sinners and Saints is designed to reach out to those that might not fit into a "regular" church. Transgender teens, drug addicts, prostitutes, tattooed/pierced/body modified folks, former convicts to public officials that are looking. Looking for something more.

Leaning on the saying, "Loving our enemies even if we don't mean it" Nadia has helped grow a congregation to go, serve and pray for their enemies even if they are not ready to.

"But you were born for a day like this" is a quote from the Book of Esther that her father had blessed her with when she told them that she wanted to become a pastor.

She uses this quote to bless others in her congregation to let them know that the community that she is in can use all to do all to the best of their abilities to uplift others and share the love, grace and mercy of Christ Jesus to all, especially those that need it most.

This can be such a welcome and a sign of hope to those that might need it. It is encouraging that Nadia has become another of the many that have been known to be a part of the "Qualifying the call, not calling the qualified"

Very glad to see Nadia on the Pepperdine Univ. Lectureship Program....

I was so moved by this....I'm honestly still reflecting. I think that combining such joy, FUN, love, grace and inclusivity for people while simultaneously providing something so important and foundational as liturgy is beautiful. We often see liturgy and fun/"real stuff" juxtaposed or even at war with each other. But God is using Nadia to make it one...and for ALL people.
How amazing is that?
Truly moved!

This episode was an interview with a female pastor in an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Her name is Nadia Bolz-Weber. She is the exact opposite of any stereotypical pastor. She is 6ft 1in and has quite a few tattoos.

As she goes on to describe her congregation and the people involved, it was incredibly unconventional and from my perspective, very un-Lutheran. I think that Lutheran stereotype is more of traditional and continues to stick to tradition. I've been quite interested in the different synods(branches) of the Lutheran faith for quite awhile and to me, there are 4 main synods. (There are more, I'm just less familiar with those.)

LCMS-Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
WELS-Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod
ELS-Evangelical Luthearan Synod
ELCA-Evangelical Lutheran Church of Missouri Synod

For me, to hear someone else's perspective on the ELCA was quite eye opening. I was raised in an LCMS church, went to an ELS grade school, and graduated from a WELS high school. I will be attending a LCMS college in the fall. For the majority of my schooling I've been taught that the ELCA was kind of the black sheep so to speak of the Lutheran Synods. There were following typical Lutheran traditions, they were the more liberal of the 4. No other synod allows female pastors and some don't allow women to hold a leadership position.

Nadia goes on to say that she may be the pastor but she rarely does the liturgy. She allows other members of her congregation participate in the the service. She believes that she is part of the people, she may be a public figure but she is no better than any one else in her congregation. She says she strongly believes that at the root of Christianity everyone is a sinner and a saint and that death and resurrection are key. I think that that's really where the truth lies. In the end, each synod is still gathered together for the same reason, worshiping the same God for the same reasons. Different synods are really just because someone somewhere didn't like how the logistics were being handled and in the end I really don't think that matters. In the end of a Christian's life all that really matters is that you believe that you are a sinful being and that Jesus died to save you from your sins.