Shameless
Raw, intimate, and timely, Nadia Bolz-Weber’s latest book offers a full-blown overhaul of our harmful and antiquated ideas about sex, gender, and our bodies.  Christians are obsessed with sex. But not in a good way. For generations countless people have suffered pain, guilt, and judgment as a result of this toxic fixation on sex, the body, and physical pleasure. In the follow-up to her celebrated New York Times bestseller Accidental Saints, Bolz-Weber unleashes her critical eye, her sharp pen, and her vulnerable but hopeful soul on the caustic, fear-riddled, and religiously inspired messages about sex that have fed our shame.             In turn, Bolz-Weber offers no simple amendments or polite compromises, because the stakes are too high—and our souls and our bodies are worth too much. Instead, this tattooed, swearing, modern-day pastor calls for a new reformation. She urges us to take antiquated, sexist ideas about sex, gender, and our bodies and “burn them the f*ck down and start all over.”             This is a journey of holy resistance. Along the way, as antidotes to shame, heresy, and all-too-familiar injustice, Bolz-Weber dispenses grace, freedom, and courage. She shares stories, poetry, and scripture, cultivating resilient hope and audacious love rooted in good news that is “powerful enough, transgressive enough, and beautiful enough to heal not only the ones who have been hurt but also those who have done the hurting.”             In Bolz-Weber’s most personal, bracingly honest book yet, she shares intimately about her life, with her trademark blend of vulnerability, humor, and candor. If you’ve been mistreated, confused, angered, and/or wounded by the shaming sexual messages so prevalent in religion, this one is for you.

Shameless Details

TitleShameless
Author
ReleaseJan 29th, 2019
PublisherConvergent Books
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Religion, Feminism, Spirituality, Faith, Sexuality

Shameless Review

  • Marty
    January 1, 1970
    No review this time, only: this book is first-aid.
  • F. Feeley Jr
    January 1, 1970
    I received my pre-ordered copy of Shameless yesterday in the mail and finished it this afternoon. This isn't a book. This is a kindness. With a gentle yet authoritative voice, Nadia deconstructs the 'sex is dirty but necessary' theology that has been the cornerstone of control in Christianity lo these many years. As someone who grew up in 'fundiland' where this type of control was like iron bars around the psyche (and often times the advocates were little hedonists caught up in their inability t I received my pre-ordered copy of Shameless yesterday in the mail and finished it this afternoon. This isn't a book. This is a kindness. With a gentle yet authoritative voice, Nadia deconstructs the 'sex is dirty but necessary' theology that has been the cornerstone of control in Christianity lo these many years. As someone who grew up in 'fundiland' where this type of control was like iron bars around the psyche (and often times the advocates were little hedonists caught up in their inability to escape their own humanity), I have so often struggled with being gay and loving the Lord. So many people, and sometimes even I, would ask "How do you deal with being gay and being a Christian?" Sometimes that's asked politely. Other times it comes with 'side eye' suspicion. In a lot of ways, I couldn't. I, married these eight years to another man, another Christian of a different sect, was made squeamish at the idea of Jesus knowing my sex life. There was a duality there of self that felt schizophrenic with all the damage that word entails including the absolute shame around my body and my desire. Nadia, however, moves from Sage and kind minister to Warrior Shepard, hell-bent on protecting the faithful. This work isn't just a call to be kinder to ourselves and faithful that God doesn't make junk - this book levels a gimlet eye on those who've manipulated the gospel for the sake of domination. For power. For the ability to protect an obscene practice (racial discrimination) disguised in the abortion fight that has destroyed more lives and destroyed more people than it has ever saved. This is an important message that social justice advocates and women's rights advocates had better learn and understand. After all, you can't talk about the reformation without Martin Luther and the emergence of Protestantism. Therefore, you cannot talk about the aforementioned movements to secure rights for people without knowing men like Bob Jones Sr., Jerry Falwell, and Oral Roberts and the 'moral majority'. This was a brilliant work. This ex fundi kid who is scarred from head to toe thanks you. See:Bob Jones Sr. vs The United StatesWar on DrugsWilliam RehnquistMass Incarceration(https://www.politico.com/magazine/sto...).
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    This book definitely has Bolz-Weber's characteristic conversational style that has made all of her earlier works incredibly readable. And just like her earlier works, it also made me cry cathartically at different points. I think "Shameless" fills a much needed gap in Christian nonfiction on sex, sexuality and the body.
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  • Alyssa Foll
    January 1, 1970
    I've come to expect thought-provoking, pastorally-oriented books from Nadia Bolz-Weber and Shameless did not disappoint. I deeply resonated with one of Nadia's metaphors for sexuality -- she likened it to how crops are planted in squares and grids, but watered in circles. Thus, when one is flying over the Mid-west, you can see square patches of land that contain circles. She likens the church's teachings on sexuality to circle-irrigation -- some of the teachings don't reach those who are "plante I've come to expect thought-provoking, pastorally-oriented books from Nadia Bolz-Weber and Shameless did not disappoint. I deeply resonated with one of Nadia's metaphors for sexuality -- she likened it to how crops are planted in squares and grids, but watered in circles. Thus, when one is flying over the Mid-west, you can see square patches of land that contain circles. She likens the church's teachings on sexuality to circle-irrigation -- some of the teachings don't reach those who are "planted in the corners." Nadia wants to move beyond a shame-based, "just say no," sexual ethic to one that is concerned with sexual flourishing (as a part of human flourishing) for all people. And I applaud her vision for that. I disagreed with a few of her ideas throughout the book, but there is room for different ideas or disagreement about what would constitute flourishing. This book is definitely worth a read and worth pondering. The one thing that I was disappointed about is that Nadia Bolz-Weber does not address issues of sexual assault and sexual abuse in her book. She mentions in the introduction that those themes came up in her interviews and research with an "alarming regularity" but that she was unprepared to write about it in her book. I appreciated her acknowledgement, but I was disappointed, because I count on Nadia to tell the truth about difficult subjects. This is the pastor, who in "Accidental Saints," suggested that Adam Lanza be counted among the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting because he, too, was a child of God, beloved by God. That kind of pastoral and prophetic thinking is why I turn to Nadia Bolz-Weber and trust her voice. I wish I could have heard that pastoral and prophetic response to the #MeToo movement and the crisis of sexual abuse within the church (and world), too. All in all, this is an important book. I hope it will be read widely and pondered thoughtfully.
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  • Tori
    January 1, 1970
    I read this book on Netgalley and it is utterly incredible. If you’ve ever felt guilt about who you are due to bad experiences with a church, you need this book. It is far from conservative and Bolz-Weber is really reaching out to those folks who feel like they no longer have a relationship with Jesus because of shame. Highly recommend.
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  • Jennifer Lambert
    January 1, 1970
    My marriages were pretty disastrous. Counselors, both Christian and secular, told me to just allow my husband all the sex he wanted, whenever and however he wanted it - and all would be better. Trite tips on how to parrot his requests to improve communication. I was always the aggressor, refusing to back down in my admonition that communication and sex weren't the real problems. My first husband was addicted to pornography. My second was mentally ill. But somehow, they were victims.I researched My marriages were pretty disastrous. Counselors, both Christian and secular, told me to just allow my husband all the sex he wanted, whenever and however he wanted it - and all would be better. Trite tips on how to parrot his requests to improve communication. I was always the aggressor, refusing to back down in my admonition that communication and sex weren't the real problems. My first husband was addicted to pornography. My second was mentally ill. But somehow, they were victims.I researched and did all the self-help - secular and churchy. I dove down that evangelical rabbit hole. I've been divorced (gasp!) and church members just wanted to pray for reconciliation (no!). I thought purity culture might be the answer. (It's not.)I tried to be the perfect Christian wife. I am not a quiet meek little mouse. I was ostracized, criticized, alienated for being myself. A cis straight white woman - homemaker and homeschooler. I can't even imagine what others face.I'm just really tired of it all. Something has to change. I have three daughters and a son. What narrative about sexuality do I want them to learn? From whom do I want them to learn about it? It's important to do more than have The Talk. How do I help my kids make sense of it all? I want them to have healthy relationships. It has to be an ongoing conversation and I have to learn alongside my kids and have no fear.Sex sells. Sex permeates our society. Sex affects all our relationships - with coworkers, acquaintances, authority figures. People who see everything in black and white say just always avoid being alone with someone of the opposite sex, as if that protects everyone from abuse, assault, accusation.We need a sexual reformation in the church.I preordered the book and received a galley copy from the publisher, Convergent/Penguin Random House.
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  • Donald Powell
    January 1, 1970
    I love everyone after reading this book. It is a transformative essay. Based on common sense (logic), scripture, history, study of serious social scientists and a strong and abiding faith in what Christianity means to the author and her flock, it is a view of the Christian faith making me feel validated, no longer alone. These same thoughts, sometimes exactly and sometimes in a less mature less organized, and less articulate formulation are what I have been preaching to my friends and associates I love everyone after reading this book. It is a transformative essay. Based on common sense (logic), scripture, history, study of serious social scientists and a strong and abiding faith in what Christianity means to the author and her flock, it is a view of the Christian faith making me feel validated, no longer alone. These same thoughts, sometimes exactly and sometimes in a less mature less organized, and less articulate formulation are what I have been preaching to my friends and associates for years. (They are all tired of hearing me drone on about it [including many who are reading this review].) This is a book full of grace, love, caring, forgiveness and all of those traditions and principles which make Christianity what it was meant to be. This book will remain on my favorites list and may be the first for which I might dare to write the author a letter of gratitude and support.
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  • Leslie Welton
    January 1, 1970
    For those of us raised in evangelical purity culture, this book is like reading old journals with a new set of glasses and a cupcake. It’s a gift for those at any place on life’s journey where a new conversation about bodies and sex needs to be engaged. Pastor Nadia bravely, but with great vulnerability, steps into the spaces where shame and expectation have caused harm and opens the door to a new way of talking about sexuality. It’s still challenging, but securely rooted in scripture and our th For those of us raised in evangelical purity culture, this book is like reading old journals with a new set of glasses and a cupcake. It’s a gift for those at any place on life’s journey where a new conversation about bodies and sex needs to be engaged. Pastor Nadia bravely, but with great vulnerability, steps into the spaces where shame and expectation have caused harm and opens the door to a new way of talking about sexuality. It’s still challenging, but securely rooted in scripture and our theology and wrapping around the whole person and relationships. It might break you open, but she doesn’t leave you without some loving tools to put the pieces back together in a beautiful new creation.
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  • Mary
    January 1, 1970
    Short Version: Read this book. Longer Version: If you have felt shame or betrayal at the hands of the Purity Movement, then this book can provide a lens of healing, a way to approach sex that is uncompromising in from both the perspective of faith and your own personal story.But also, even if you haven’t felt shame or betrayal, even if the Purity Movement was a beneficial approach to sex and sexuality, then this book can provide an alternate story–not one that invalidates your experience, but on Short Version: Read this book. Longer Version: If you have felt shame or betrayal at the hands of the Purity Movement, then this book can provide a lens of healing, a way to approach sex that is uncompromising in from both the perspective of faith and your own personal story.But also, even if you haven’t felt shame or betrayal, even if the Purity Movement was a beneficial approach to sex and sexuality, then this book can provide an alternate story–not one that invalidates your experience, but one that allows you to hear the stories of the people around you, the people who may not be straight, married, or monogamous.
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  • Kristine Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    Just read it. If you were harmed by morality codes or if you know people who were, or if you long to speak truth to your children about gender and sex and sin and regret and how much we are loved and that we absolutely cannot sin enough to make God hate us. Some people have a gift for putting truth in words and NBW is one of them. I am grateful.
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  • Nathan Byrd
    January 1, 1970
    Bolz-Weber consistently brings fresh insights to our sacred texts and staunch religious traditions. “Shameless” is a conversation Christendom has been avoiding for decades. The commonly accepted answers given to youth and parents regarding sexuality inside of our churches frankly don’t work. Bolz-Weber identifies the reason we continue to give obviously wrong answers to our children - fear. While we know the stats demonstrate that our methods are not working (and never really have worked, as muc Bolz-Weber consistently brings fresh insights to our sacred texts and staunch religious traditions. “Shameless” is a conversation Christendom has been avoiding for decades. The commonly accepted answers given to youth and parents regarding sexuality inside of our churches frankly don’t work. Bolz-Weber identifies the reason we continue to give obviously wrong answers to our children - fear. While we know the stats demonstrate that our methods are not working (and never really have worked, as much as we lied or tried to convince ourselves that they ever worked), our fear the possible outcomes of our children and youth experimenting with our blessing numbs us to inaction. This book won’t be the final answer - but someone had to start the conversation. Bolz-Weber has done that in her amazingly honest voice with good notes, insightful research, and the varied experiences of her congregants mixed in. It’s a great read!
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  • Terry Berger
    January 1, 1970
    An excellent read. A completely different take on sexuality and Christianity. So many ideas and thoughts going through my head - like her other books, I’m sure I’ll be reading this again and get more out of it each time.
  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    The first words that come to my mind to describe “Shameless” by Nadia Bolz-Weber are "pastoral, healing, water for a dry and weary soul." The money quote for me came in the introduction: "We should not be more loyal to an idea, a doctrine, or an interpretation of a Bible verse than we are to people. If the teachings of the church are harming the bodies and spirits of people, we should rethink those teachings." (5)Right after that, Nadia reminds us that 500 years ago Martin Luther took a close lo The first words that come to my mind to describe “Shameless” by Nadia Bolz-Weber are "pastoral, healing, water for a dry and weary soul." The money quote for me came in the introduction: "We should not be more loyal to an idea, a doctrine, or an interpretation of a Bible verse than we are to people. If the teachings of the church are harming the bodies and spirits of people, we should rethink those teachings." (5)Right after that, Nadia reminds us that 500 years ago Martin Luther took a close look at the harm in his parishioners’ spiritual lives. In his case he focused on the damage that came from them trying to fulfill sacramental obligations that the church said would appease an angry God. Luther was bold and daring enough to believe that Christians could find freedom from the harm their church and done to them: “Luther was less loyal to the teachings of the church than he was to people, and this helped spark what is now known as the Protestant Reformation." (5)I also loved the illustration of the irrigation system that only waters in a circular pattern, leaving the corners and edges of the farmland without water. Nadia says this book is for those un-watered places, for the ones who do not fit inside the small circle of the church’s behavior codes. "This book […] is water, I hope, for those planted in the corners. [...] This book is for the young Evangelical who silently disagrees with the church’s stance on sex and sexual orientation, yet feels alone in that silence. This book is for anyone who wonders, even subconsciously: Has the church obsessed over this too much? Do we really think we’ve gotten it right?"Nadia writes, “our sexual and gender expressions are as integral to who we are as our religious upbringings are. To separate these aspects of ourselves—to separate life as a sexual being from a life with God—is to bifurcate our psyche, like a musical progression that never comes to resolution."Nadia makes me laugh several times throughout the book also: “So if the traditional teachings of the church around sex and the body have caused no harm in the lives of the people around you, and have even provided them a plan for true human flourishing, then this book probably is not for you. (Good news, though: the Christian publishing world is your oyster. There you’ll find no lack of books to uphold and even help you double down on your beliefs.)"She made me laugh again at the end of chapter 5. In this chapter Nadia talks about the day that she and several of her parishioners worked together to write their "Denver Statement" in response to "The Nashville Statement". She then showed us snippets from both. The very end of The Nashville Statement says, “WE DENY that the Lord’s arm is too short to save or that any sinner is beyond his reach." The counter line from The Denver Statement says, “WE DENY that God is a boy and has actual arms." 😂Other quotes and passages that really struck me:From the introduction:- "I will not indulge in the sin of false equivalency. To admit that both the church and our culture can cause harm is not the same as saying the harm from both is equivalent. It is not. Because as harmful as the messages from society are, what society does not do is say that these messages are from God. Our culture does not say to me that the creator of the universe is disgusted by my cellulite."- "Let us consider the harm that has been caused in God’s name, but let’s not be satisfied with stopping there. We must reach for a new Christian sexual ethic."- "Where sex is concerned, for sexual flourishing to occur we must be guided by more than just the absence of “no” and the absence of harm. That’s why I believe we must also bring concern to our consent and mutuality. Concern moves us closer to the heart of Jesus’s own ethic: love God and our neighbor as ourselves. It requires us to act on another’s behalf. It reframes the choice entirely outside of our own self-interest in a way that consent and mutuality alone do not.”- “Concern means taking notice of how our sexual behavior affects ourselves and each other. I may be having a mutually pleasurable, consensual relationship with someone, but if I am cheating on my spouse at the time, I have failed to show concern for the person I am married to. If I am in a crisis and totally distraught, I may be more likely to consent to sex when in fact it is the last thing I need. If someone intuits this and sleeps with me anyway, they have consent, but they are not showing care and concern. A sexual ethic that includes concern means seeing someone as a whole person and not just a willing body. The only way to show true concern for ourselves and others is to see, to pay attention."From Chapter 1:- “The Greek word for salvation is sozo, which means “to heal, bring wholeness, preserve.” This is what God does. God heals fractured parts of ourselves back together into wholeness."- "Holiness is the union we experience with one another and with God. Holiness is when more than one become one, when what is fractured is made whole. Singing in harmony. Breastfeeding a baby. Collective bargaining. Dancing. Admitting our pain to someone, and hearing them say, “Me too.” Holiness happens when we are integrated as physical, spiritual, sexual, emotional, and political beings. Holiness is the song that has always been sung, perhaps even the sound that was first spoken when God said, “Let there be light".- "Whether we realize it or not, we often find ways to alleviate feelings of existential aloneness through the seeking of unity. We fill our lives with things that distract us from the sound of our deepest isolation tapping at the window. Food, entertainment, success, sex, relationships, busyness, gossip—there are plenty of ways to divert our attention from the unavoidable, terrifying aloneness of human existence. But there is a difference between distraction from and alleviation of. Moments of unity—holiness—actually alleviate isolation, which is not the same as simply distracting us from our isolation. In the same way, smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee distract from the feelings of hunger, but eating food alleviates them. Temporarily, of course. But that is what it means to be human."- "To connect to the holy is to access the deepest, juiciest part of our spirits. Perhaps this is why we set up so many boundaries, protections, and rules around both sex and religion. Both pursuits expose such a large surface area of the self, which can then be either hurt or healed. But when the boundaries, protections, and rules become more important than the sacred thing they are intended to protect, casualties ensue."- "Holiness is about union with, and purity is about separation from."From Chapter 2:- "The nineteenth-century theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher defines heresy as “that which preserves the appearance of Christianity, and yet contradicts its essence.”- “The heresy is this: with all the trappings of Christianity behind us, we who seek to justify or maintain our dominance over another group of people have historically used the Bible, Genesis in particular, to prove that domination is not actually an abuse of power at the expense of others, but is indeed part of “God’s plan.”Footnote 52:"The best definition of sin I have ever heard is found in Francis Spufford’s book Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense (New York: HarperOne, 2013), where he defines it as HPFTU: “the Human Propensity to F*** Things Up.”Thanks to Crown Publishing, Convergent Books, and NetGalley for the ARC. I also ended up purchasing the audiobook through Audible as well. I really enjoy hearing books read by their author.
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  • Nicole
    January 1, 1970
    Definitely the best book Nadia’s ever written, and it might make it into my top 10 nonfiction books ever (and from a voracious reader like myself, that’s saying something). This book was a healing balm for my soul. I found myself in the pages & wept with relief. For anyone considering it, even if you don’t agree with every point, her mindset, her compassion, the way she asks questions, the way she listens, is what the Christian church so desperately needs. I wish I would have had someone to Definitely the best book Nadia’s ever written, and it might make it into my top 10 nonfiction books ever (and from a voracious reader like myself, that’s saying something). This book was a healing balm for my soul. I found myself in the pages & wept with relief. For anyone considering it, even if you don’t agree with every point, her mindset, her compassion, the way she asks questions, the way she listens, is what the Christian church so desperately needs. I wish I would have had someone to talk with me about these things in high school & college. I now get to be a part of changing the narrative. Thank you Nadia for this bold, beautiful, courageously vulnerable masterpiece.
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  • Jeffrey Nelson
    January 1, 1970
    If you've had any kind of brush with evangelical Christianity the past few decades, you may be familiar with what has come to be known as the "purity movement." This is a massive campaign within that religious strand that advocates abstinence before marriage. Depending on what books you read, conferences you attend, or speakers you hear, such "purity" messaging always uses sex before marriage as the baseline, but then may add on any number of requirements up to and including not even kissing or If you've had any kind of brush with evangelical Christianity the past few decades, you may be familiar with what has come to be known as the "purity movement." This is a massive campaign within that religious strand that advocates abstinence before marriage. Depending on what books you read, conferences you attend, or speakers you hear, such "purity" messaging always uses sex before marriage as the baseline, but then may add on any number of requirements up to and including not even kissing or holding hands until you meet your new life partner at the altar.In recent years, the backlash to this movement has been growing and gaining more traction as people who grew up hearing these messages have been telling their stories. These include tales of awkward physical and sexual interactions between newly married couples once they were allowed to be together, crippling amounts of guilt and psychological abuse, and, from women in particular, observations that this messaging is very patriarchal in nature. Girls suffer the most in this movement as they are treated as objects meant to remain in their virginal packaging, unused until their first night with their husbands.This backlash has produced some worthwhile reads the past few years. Good Christian Sex by Bromleigh McCleneghan offers an alternative spirituality of sex. Tina Schermer Sellers wrote Sex, God, and the Conservative Church, which focuses on how therapists may best work with individuals and couples struggling to develop healthier sex lives. And Pure by Linda Kay Klein presents stories from a variety of women who had to unlearn the messages of their younger years.And now, Nadia Bolz-Weber is adding a new volume to this discussion with Shameless: A Sexual Reformation. Nadia is a Lutheran pastor and speaker perhaps best known for her biting honesty. She has previously written about the imperfect yet dedicated souls who make up her former congregation and her own struggles with life, faith, and vocation. While she didn't grow up in the purity movement, she has seen its effects, and this book is her endeavor to speak pastorally to those who need to hear about a different approach to sexual ethics.As in previous works, Nadia seems most comfortable when she is sharing stories, and this book has them in abundance. She recounts conversations she's had with people in her church and with friends from elsewhere who either had to deconstruct their own experiences with purity culture or who never felt like that message was really for them. Helpfully, this includes people who identify as LGBTQ+, as purity culture assumes from the beginning that sex should only be between heterosexual married couples. Near the beginning, Nadia gives an illustration of rotational irrigation where the corners and edges of farmland never get watered. This book, she declares, is for those unwatered corners: people who never felt like their lives could adhere to what this abstinence messaging taught.In Shameless, those corners turn out to be quite large. As mentioned, she includes non-straight and non-cis voices who were excluded in their church communities. She includes those who have ended up divorced and have had to wrestle with their sense of worth. She includes those who have struggled with whether to have an abortion. And she includes those who thought they were doing everything right only to find that they had no idea how to handle themselves or each other once they finally got married.Much of this book is anecdotal, and that is likely by design. After all, Nadia wrote this while serving as pastor of a faith community and her reflections stem from a pastoral concern for people who aren't being served well by the information--or lack thereof--provided by many churches. As a pastor myself, I could recognize the movements from illustration to Biblical interpretation to encouragement or critique that often characterize sermon preparation. With equal parts care and challenge and irreverence and humor, Nadia is preaching to the large corners in desperate need of a life-giving, affirming, holistic, and holy approach to sexual health.
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  • Shari
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely beautiful book. It’s filled with the edgy language that we’re all familiar with when it comes to Nadia Bolz-Weber - so if F-bombs bother you, consider yourself forewarned. The book reads like a diary in some ways. This isn’t a dry and unemotional textbook. It’s full of big and hard feelings. She shares personal stories and stories from her parishioners on everything from abortion to purity culture to LGBTQ+ issues. She describes how wrongful teachings from the church has led to deep p Absolutely beautiful book. It’s filled with the edgy language that we’re all familiar with when it comes to Nadia Bolz-Weber - so if F-bombs bother you, consider yourself forewarned. The book reads like a diary in some ways. This isn’t a dry and unemotional textbook. It’s full of big and hard feelings. She shares personal stories and stories from her parishioners on everything from abortion to purity culture to LGBTQ+ issues. She describes how wrongful teachings from the church has led to deep pain and mental health concerns. She invites the reader to take stock of their own personal journeys with regards to gender/sexual teachings/experiences and how that may have impacted them. She advocates for the reader to find a safe and supportive community to grieve with and to acknowledge hard feelings. She affirms that each and every one of us are deeply deeply loved. Simply because we exist, just how God created us to be. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever struggled with purity, sexuality, gender roles, gender orientation, etc... this book may be helpful in reframing Christ and the church in your mind in a much healthier light.
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  • Eileen
    January 1, 1970
    This book discusses sexuality as well as other related topics that are very relevant and important for the contemporary Christian. I urge parents and churches to read and discuss this book. I think it's that important!
  • Rebekah Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    Spent my Saturday starting and finishing this book, and it was time well spent. Nadia is a compelling story teller, faithfully helping us have empathetic eyes into the experience of the other. This book is a needed discussion on sexual ethics within the church, and it propels the reader into a healthier and more embodied self completely loved by God.
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  • Melodie Roschman
    January 1, 1970
    She's done it again. I've read two other books about Christian sexuality - Pure and Damaged Goods - that had good intentions and ideas and worked hard but struggled to make me think or inspire me at all. I gulped this book down in one sitting and felt seen. Nadia is smart and funny and honest and insightful and, perhaps most importantly for me, she is an incredibly good, poetic, and moving writer.
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  • Amydee
    January 1, 1970
    Incredibly thought provoking and insightful! This book is not about transgenderism (one of my friends thought is was), but about the concept of gender and how it affects us. I will read this again to pick up what I might have missed!
  • Nathan
    January 1, 1970
    Tackling longstanding Christian attitudes and approaches toward sex, Bolz-Weber’s inviting readers to think of the subject a little differently by applying historical context and/or by viewing scripture in a different light. Also, there’s put forth a hand to those hurt by the church to know that there’s still a way back to the faith (and peace), and it doesn’t go through those that would seek to exclude them. Stories both triumphant and heartbreaking are sprinkled about and Bolz-Weber uses them Tackling longstanding Christian attitudes and approaches toward sex, Bolz-Weber’s inviting readers to think of the subject a little differently by applying historical context and/or by viewing scripture in a different light. Also, there’s put forth a hand to those hurt by the church to know that there’s still a way back to the faith (and peace), and it doesn’t go through those that would seek to exclude them. Stories both triumphant and heartbreaking are sprinkled about and Bolz-Weber uses them to make various points about where Christianity is going massively off of the tracks in terms of loving one another and raising its young generation to be set up successfully to cultivate and navigate successful bonds—primarily from a sexual perspective, but the net is cast to obviously include any type. It’s an honest book that might rub many the wrong way. I sure hope not, and, while I did experience (to a lesser degree than several in this book) many of the Christian efforts to completely suppress any and all sexual desire until after marriage, I think my parents and others like them would have been well-served to have a voice like Bolz-Weber’s offering up these sensible suggestions. The author has seen the hurt many have gone through simply because they’re not conforming to some ideal or expectation; she’s out to let you know that, even though you may be an outlier, even though you may not fit into the secular Christian idea of a man or a woman, you’re still worth it, and you’re still capable of being/receiving everything in the church you always wanted from such a community. Bolz-Weber’s fire for warming the reader’s heart is inescapably obvious, and it’s not a long book, so you have nothing to lose. High recommendation. Many thanks to Crown Publishing, Convergent Books, and NetGalley for the advance read.
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  • Marije van der Poel
    January 1, 1970
    "During the autumn when I first started really thinking about all these issues around sex and the church, I called a close friend from the road. He is not a Christian, but I asked, with an unwarranted urgency, "Why do you think it is that the church has tried to control human sexuality so much throughout the ages?"He answered, "I guess I always assumed the church saw sex as its competition."The moment he said it, I knew it was at least partially true. Sex does compete with the church. Sex, like "During the autumn when I first started really thinking about all these issues around sex and the church, I called a close friend from the road. He is not a Christian, but I asked, with an unwarranted urgency, "Why do you think it is that the church has tried to control human sexuality so much throughout the ages?"He answered, "I guess I always assumed the church saw sex as its competition."The moment he said it, I knew it was at least partially true. Sex does compete with the church. Sex, like religion, can alleviate the pain of seperateness. It can soothe the ache of not being seen. It can tame the fear of insignificance. It can circumvent the lacerating experience of feeling incomplete. Whether we realize it or not, we often find ways to alleviate feelings of existential aloneness through the seeking of unity. We fill our lives with things that distract us from the sound of our deepest isolation tapping at the window. Food, entertainment, success, sex, relationships, busyness, gossip - there are plenty of ways to divert our attention from the unavoidable, terrifying aloneness of human existence."To know and to be known. Over hoe seksualiteit en spiritualiteit bij elkaar horen en waarom een seksuele reformatie hard nodig is in de kerk. Sommige stukken zijn net wat oppervlakkig of erg specifiek gericht op de Amerikaanse context, maar andere stukken raakten me op een diep niveau en voelden bijna profetisch aan. Al met al en belangrijk, liefdevol boek.
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  • Scott Sloan
    January 1, 1970
    To Know and to be Known - spirituality and sexuality go hand in handNadia Bolz-Weber's book Shameless, exposes the churches lack of understanding how God created sex to be a symbol of his relationship with us and our relationships with each other. She exposes the lies, the legalism that has been perpetuated since the time of the early church and talks about how human sexuality is good, not shameful or sinful but a gift of Grace to us by God to show us how we can be known by him and others in a p To Know and to be Known - spirituality and sexuality go hand in handNadia Bolz-Weber's book Shameless, exposes the churches lack of understanding how God created sex to be a symbol of his relationship with us and our relationships with each other. She exposes the lies, the legalism that has been perpetuated since the time of the early church and talks about how human sexuality is good, not shameful or sinful but a gift of Grace to us by God to show us how we can be known by him and others in a profound and intimate way.Because of it's magick, and power, sex can be abused and misused and worshipped itself instead of bringing freedom, it brings a sense of lack and instaible desire for more. It falls short and leaves us wanting. Sex, put in the right perspective can be redeemed and bring a sexual Reformation that Nadia writes about.I recommend this book for anyone that is really into both spirituality and sexuality, and for those that want a different perspective from what they were taught in their churches.
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  • Andrew Moore
    January 1, 1970
    Much like a church sermon, (which is essentially what this book is)there were nice things that I was able to take away and it was enjoyable to hear some things about the bible I didn't know as much about. However, much like a church sermon, it was first and foremost focused on its main subject, leaving nearly all others by the wayside. The stories here are rarely developed and sometimes seemingly completely abandoned mid chapter to move on to something else. The people we meet through their trau Much like a church sermon, (which is essentially what this book is)there were nice things that I was able to take away and it was enjoyable to hear some things about the bible I didn't know as much about. However, much like a church sermon, it was first and foremost focused on its main subject, leaving nearly all others by the wayside. The stories here are rarely developed and sometimes seemingly completely abandoned mid chapter to move on to something else. The people we meet through their traumas and triumphs, including the author herself, are never fleshed out and just become mascots for their particular traits that are shunned by traditional Christianity. I don't want to be too harsh on this book because I enjoy her progressive take on Christianity and feel she is doing good things. There are pleasant ideas here but it never goes beyond the surface.
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  • Anna
    January 1, 1970
    I'm still formulating my thoughts on this book, but for now and in this public sphere, I will say I thoroughly appreciate NB-W's honesty and intense passion for the brokenness of others, and desire to offer her experience of the mercy of Christ despite sexual sin, trauma, heartbreak and outsidedness. If you have never experienced betrayal in these ways, this book might make you supremely uncomfortable but also it might be exactly what you need to hear--to walk a mile in someone else's shoes.
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  • Wendy
    January 1, 1970
    A must read for Christians. How we think about God impacts how we live out our faith. Similarly, how we live out our faith, whether we intend it or not, says a lot about God. This is a fantastic read and a great conversation pusher; a lot of people won’t want to start this conversation but if we believe following Christ means serving and sharing, how can we remain silent?
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  • Tami Groth
    January 1, 1970
    This book is first of all about shame, and we need all the books that speak truth and gospel good news in the face of shame that we can get. This book is beautiful and filled with beautiful stories that we need to hear. I am so thankful Nadia wrote it.
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  • Kari
    January 1, 1970
    I got a pre-release copy of SHAMELESS by Nadia Bolz-Weber and it is a much-needed addition to the American church’s discussions relating to sex. I consider myself lucky that mostly things worked out okay for me and I escaped the True Love Waits culture relatively unscathed in comparison to many of my friends. But there was still a lot of junk there that Nadia deconstructs artfully. My two minor complaints are that I wish it was a bit longer because I was enjoying it so much! And that I wonder if I got a pre-release copy of SHAMELESS by Nadia Bolz-Weber and it is a much-needed addition to the American church’s discussions relating to sex. I consider myself lucky that mostly things worked out okay for me and I escaped the True Love Waits culture relatively unscathed in comparison to many of my friends. But there was still a lot of junk there that Nadia deconstructs artfully. My two minor complaints are that I wish it was a bit longer because I was enjoying it so much! And that I wonder if it’s worth our time to focus on things like The Nashville Statement (and her church’s Denver Statement response) or if we would be better off ignoring it. Those guys do hold some power but overall it’s less than the internet might make you think. Anyway, my favorite quote was this one, “Our purity systems, even those established with the best of intentions, do not make us holy.” Amen.
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  • Sara Martin
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. I feel like Nadia put words to so many things that have gone unmentioned in the church world for so long. While she is herself while writing this book (no filter, vulgar language), I felt as if that was the only way to get her point across. By sharing stories from her congregation (House for All Sinners and Saints) she was able to show how diverse sexual experiences are, and how the church teaches a variety of positions on the topic depending on how and when you were raised.If you are looki Wow. I feel like Nadia put words to so many things that have gone unmentioned in the church world for so long. While she is herself while writing this book (no filter, vulgar language), I felt as if that was the only way to get her point across. By sharing stories from her congregation (House for All Sinners and Saints) she was able to show how diverse sexual experiences are, and how the church teaches a variety of positions on the topic depending on how and when you were raised.If you are looking for a book that honestly talks about sexuality and its relationship to our spirituality, this would be the book for you.I received an Advanced Reader's Copy from the Publisher.
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  • Holly Anderson
    January 1, 1970
    So you may not like Nadia. You may not agree with her. But we must begin talking about sex differently. And I appreciate her honesty and her love for humanity.
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