21 Times Nadia Bolz-Weber Blew My Mind

Last Monday, a tattooed, straight-talking, unconventional, truth-speaking, former stand-up comic and now badass Lutheran pastor came to campus. She's kind of a big deal. (Yep, she's verified on Twitter.)

Maybe you missed it. Maybe you went to hear her speak but are already forgetting her message. Don't worry, I gotchu.


    • Donald Trump is convenient because he allows me to ignore my own bigotry and xenophobia. It's easy to be self-righteous when I'm denouncing him or his supporters.
    • Christians are simultaneously sinners & saints.
    • No one's climbing the spiritual ladder--we never can become so spiritual we no longer need God.
    • "I have an enormous capacity for destruction of myself and other people, but I have an enormous capacity for kindness too."
    • Be okay with the complexity of everything: we want to understand ideas as just one thing, but it's never that simple.
    • You don't need to try to be like Jesus. What's the end goal, to be Jesus? No one can be Jesus; we're human.


    • God's always coming to us, we don't make our way to God. Our piety can't make us closer to him. He meets us where we are.
    • Confession isn't how we reconcile with God after sin. Jesus took the burden of our sins and died so that we would be right with God. Confession serves to show us how much we need God.
    • Works are important in this direction ⟷  but they do nothing in this direction ↕︎: that is, they're important in your relationship with the world, but they don't secure your salvation.
    • Catholic theologian James Allison talks about faith being relaxing. Specifically, relaxing in the way you relax with someone who is fond of you. You're funnier, spontaneous. You feel free. Faith is about trusting so much that God is fond of you that you just... relax. (Did you hear that, Davidson?)
    • Trying harder doesn't work; the transformation in my life has never been intentional, it's always been by accident.

    The Church

    • Faith isn't given in sufficient quantity to individuals. It's given to communities.
    • Christianity should not be about sanding ourselves down and smoothing out roughness. Rather, the jagged edges of our humanity connect us.
    • Faith is a team sport, not an individual competition.
    • The Church isn't dying. The Church as a powerful, institutional force in American politics is dying. But the Church is not.
    • Western individualism has run amok in religion: it's not about your personal relationship with God. It's about the community.
    • Churches don't need to tell Christians what to do. Keep Grace at the center, and people's lives will start to be shaped by it.

    God and God's Word

    • God's grace is freely given, you can't earn it.
    • How can you tell law and gospel apart? Law is an "if, then" statement and Gospel is a "because, because, because" à la Wizard of Oz.
    • The Bible is not God. Anything in it that doesn't hold up the gospel of Jesus Christ doesn't hold the same authority.
    • Sinning doesn't hurt God (he's not some delicate flower), but it does hurt others.

    If reading this isn't enough, you can listen to her for yourself:




    Or buy her books!

    If you are interested in writing an article for Her Campus Davidson, contact us at [email protected] or come to our weekly meeting Tuesday at 8pm in the Morcott Room.