The Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber

The Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber

Founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints, an ELCA mission church in Denver, Colorado

  1. What is the most exciting book or film you have encountered in the last year? What about it captured your imagination?

    I just read Frank Schaeffer's Crazy for God: How I grew up as one of the elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of it Back. It was a pleasure to read and helped illuminate a lot about American Evangelicalism, life and beauty.

  2. What in your view is the greatest challenge facing people of faith today?

    The same thing that has always challenged people of faith: ourselves. As with all the faithful who have come before us, we wish to create our own Gospel and fashion God in our own image. Nothing has changed in that respect.

  3. Of all the figures in the Bible, with whom would you wish to spend a day, and what would you hope to learn?

    Mary Magdalene. I would wish to learn about leadership and generosity from her.

  4. When you were interviewed for Faith and Leadership, published by the Duke Divinity School, you talked about people longing for a “tether” for tradition. You, then, took that one step further and observed that “you have to be really deeply rooted in tradition in order to innovate with integrity.” In what ways have you seen people manifest this drawing near, or longing for, traditional Christianity, and in what forms have you found the innovation that compliments tradition?

    The vast majority of people in my parish have no liturgical or sacramental background; and yet, they find such deeply rooted traditions comforting. I think they appreciate that the liturgy has its own integrity. But, the way in which we do liturgy is different. We are anti-excellence and we are pro-participation. So, most of the liturgy is led by lay people who decide that they would like to say the Collect, or the Benediction or the post-communion prayer or read the Gospel. No one has to deem them good enough. This is because we value them doing it, more than we value having the people who are the best at things doing them.

  5. Regardless of individual perspective, reviewers of your book, Salvation on the Small Screen? 24 Hours of Christian Television, seem to share some common words – hope, grace, ministry in the midst, thinking.  What words would you like to add to this list?

    Anyone who has something to say about that book is already in an elite class, since I think only about 4 dozen people have actually read it :) 

  6. What question do you wish we would ask you? 

    Tell us about your dog. :)