Raghu sits down with Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber for a heartwarming conversation about the emphasis of grace at the heart of the Lutheran tradition and breaking the cycle of harm with forgiveness.
Nadia Bolz-Weber is the founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People, as well as Salvation on the Small Screen? 24 Hours of Christian Television and the New York Times bestselling theological memoir, Pastrix: the Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint.
Resources from this episode: Sex, Shame, and Scripture | Nadia Boles-Weber | Ram Dass Shop | Nourishing Life Yatra
A Center Point of Grace (Opening) – Nadia shares her upbringing in the church and how she found a spiritual resonation with the teachings and practices of the Lutheran tradition. She and Raghu talk about the focus around grace in the Lutheran church and the intersection of Nadia’s spiritual practice with Eastern traditions. They discuss the responsibility we have to ourselves and others to step back from a position of leadership when we see ourselves getting in the way of what is best for the group.
“I was raised in a kind of fundamentalist Christianity, I left that church when I was sixteen. I just couldn’t have anything to do with it, there was such a difference in what they were teaching and what I was experiencing in the world. I never stopped believing in God, I spent a decade outside of Christianity and was really involved in women’s spirituality and Wicca. I had to bask in the female image of God for a long time to heal something in me before I could ever go back to Christianity.
When I came back it was through a very different theological structure. Lutheran theology is very different from other systematic theologies because the center point is Grace. The center point is not being good, achieving righteousness or discipleship. All the striving, striving, striving that is at the center of so many other spiritual systems, Lutherans think that is overrated. What about the fact that everything is a gift? You can’t earn the grace it took to take your first breathe and be on this planet.” – Nadia Bolz-Weber
In God’s Image (19:40) – What does the Luthern tradition have to say about bringing space to the chatter in our heads. Raghu and Nadia talk about the context that the Lutheran faith brings to our identity and the many roles we play.
“I like that Jesus used the word friend a lot. There is this relational quality to that spiritual connection to Christ that I think is beautiful, to be God’s friend is a beautiful thing.” – Nadia Bolz-Weber
Breaking the Cycle with Forgiveness (32:50) – Nadia speaks about breaking the cycle of harm with radical forgiveness. She and Raghu discuss bringing compassion and love to our transgressions, instead of demonizing ourselves or others.
“Forgiveness isn’t saying what you did was ok, it is saying what you did was so not ok that I refuse to be chained to it anymore. It is like getting a pair of bolt cutters and saying that I will not absorb it anymore.” – Nadia Bolz-Weber
Jesus and The Grinch (45:20) – We look at Christ as the aspect of God that comes into our lives, shakes things up and transforms our lives by making off with our attachments.