Neighbors and Wise Men – Sacred Encounters in a Portland Pub and Other Unexpected Places by Tony Kriz

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The Book of Matthew opens with the genealogy of Jesus. Jesus’ lineage included a prostitute, Rahab, and even an adulterer/murderer, David. The lineage of Christ was in no way full of perfect human beings and yet God was able to use each and every person to fulfill His purpose.

The core thought found throughout Tony Kritz’s Neighbors and Wise Men is that God often uses people of other faiths, cultures, and locations to speak to us; That God can use an old Albanian Muslim woman or even patrons of a pub to help heal and restore the soul. Tony constantly contrasts the church teachings he grew up with (sinners were only to be evangelized not socialized with) versus the truths God revealed to him.

Tony Kritz writes in the same appealing style that Donald Miller uses. Throughout Neighbors and Wise Men, I felt like I was on a personal journey with Tony. From the truth of Reed College not being anti-Christian all the way to the thoughts of how ingrained nationalism is in the American church, I was there with him. From Chapter 19 on, I felt like the tone of the book shifted. What had been a literary road trip with Tony suddenly became a series of random personal and political thoughts. In short, I felt like I was now being preached to. I did not like this change of tone.

The overarching truth that God uses people of different faiths, cultures, and in different locations resonated with me. I love that God is not confined to the walls of a church and that He can exist even in a pub.

I was given a copy of this book by BookSneeze. All opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

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3 thoughts on “Neighbors and Wise Men – Sacred Encounters in a Portland Pub and Other Unexpected Places by Tony Kriz

  1. mjoshua

    One of the most sacred experiences I had was being welcomed into an Iraqui widow’s house as a family member when she met me and agreed to teach me some Arabic.To say that it was an overt and clear “Jesus speaking to me” scenario would be inaccurate and miss the point. But the opportunies that come out of loving conversation with others? Priceless.

    Lately, the Lord’s been teaching me a lot about how evangelism is more about hearing others’ stories as we sit with them and less about sharing my own story. Truth be told: Listening is sharing Christ with them. This is best illustrated in the youth center I volunteer at (and am making a video for).

    Okay. That’s enough me-talk. The book sounds cool. Your posts are easily digested. Your blog is nice.

    • You were in Iraq?

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for complimenting my blog. I’ve been blogging since maybe 2004-ish. Nice to have someone, who is now my friend, comment back.

      • mjoshua

        I’ve been blogging since somewhere around then, albeit not on an official blog (If you count Xanga, Live Journal, and Myspace Blogs). Love Subverts started out as mostly a music blog, but my gamer leanings have kinda taken over. And it’s become surprisingly personal with me blogging about weeknds and such. I’m not terribly consistent, it woudl seem.

        Yeah. I was in Iraq, Kurdistan (in the north of the country, different people group and language). But that was only for a week and mostly unrelated to my previous story. It was a medical mission trip with my church network and a few friends.

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