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Showing posts from June, 2015

Book Review: Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber

A friend of mine who is a Disciples of Christ minister recommended that I read "Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint" by Nadia Bolz-Weber because Bolz-Weber also grew up in the church of Christ. She is now a Lutheran pastor in Denver at a congregation she founded, the House for All Sinners and Saints.

Bolz-Weber was baptized at age 12 but left the church of Christ at age 17 and was a Wiccan for a while, a period she refers to as "hanging out with God's Aunt." She said it was helpful for getting past the toxic, patriarchal image of God that she had been taught in the CoC.

She was a stand-up comedian for a while and struggled with alcohol and drug addiction. Eventually, she got sober, met her husband, who was a Lutheran seminary student, and converted to the Lutheran church herself. About 4 years into her sobriety, a good friend killed himself. Some mutual friends asked Bolz-Weber to conduct the memorial service because she was the only r…

Violence in the Church of Christ

My brother and I have talked on several occasions about how growing up in the CoC was like being Neo in the first Matrix movie: you can sense that something is off, but you can't quite put your finger on what it is and you certainly have no language to describe it. You just know in your gut that things aren't what they seem and something is very wrong.

I remember even as a very small child feeling uncomfortable and uneasy in that church, and I never felt that I fit in. I always felt like an interloper, an observer, not a true participant. I'm still not entirely sure why I felt that way, but now that I've done some research on fundamentalist churches and have talked with other people who grew up in the CoC and similar churches, I do think I've identified at least one of the factors that made me so uneasy as a child: the ever-present threat of physical, verbal, and spiritual violence.

Physical violence: I've long thought that people in the CoC have an 18th-century…