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Neighbors and Wise Men: Sacred Encounters in a Portland Pub and Other Unexpected Places Paperback – September 18, 2012


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Neighbors and Wise Men: Sacred Encounters in a Portland Pub and Other Unexpected Places + Mondays with My Old Pastor: Sometimes All We Need Is a Reminder from Someone Who Has Walked Before Us
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849947391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849947391
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,026,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tony "The Beat Poet" Kriz has an earned doctorate in spiritual formation. He is a teacher of faith and culture through the mass media, via social media, and at universities, conferences, churches, seminars, and other speaking engagements. He pastors an imbedded community of life-servants in one of Portland's most culturally diverse neighborhoods. Tony and his wife Aimee have three sons.


More About the Author

Tony Kriz has an earned doctorate in spiritual formation. He is a teacher of faith and culture through the mass media, via social media, and at universities, conferences, and communities of faith.

Tony has served with a variety of international organizations, living much of that time in Eastern Europe ministering with Muslims in Albania and loving a war-torn former Yugoslavia.

Many were first introduced to Tony under the moniker "Tony the Beat Poet." He lived for a season alongside the radically liberal campus of Reed College in Portland; some of his exploits were first described in Donald Miller's best-selling book Blue Like Jazz.

Today, Tony journeys with a community of life-servants among some of Portland's most culturally diverse neighborhoods and lives in submission to a multiracial gathering of Jesus-followers. He is giving his time to transforming urban missions: nurturing the Parish Collective network, integrating a holistic gospel-life, and serving as coach/consultant for church planters from diverse traditions.

Tony lives with his wife, Aimee, and their three sons (Malachi, Hudson, and Tristan) in an intentional community of faith. Together they have been foundational participants of several spiritual communities that serve the disillusioned, artistic, and dramatically post-Christian cultures of east Portland.

www.tonykriz.com

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 96 customer reviews
Fans of Donald Miller, will be familiar with Kriz as `Tony the Beat Poet' in the pages of Blue Like Jazz.
James R. V. Matichuk
Even if you don't agree with everything he talks about, it's a good read to make you chew on some of the things he points out.
A'Grace
Reading Kriz's book made me take a step back and watch and the first thing I noticed came from my daughter.
sbcwilliams0917

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Josh B on August 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
I loved this book! It's well-written, refreshing and will expand where you look for Jesus in the world around you. Tony shares life-changing stories of Jesus encountering him through those outside the Christian faith: Muslims and atheists, addicts and nudists. The stories are powerful, personal and will make you hungry: hungry to hear God speaking in unexpected places through people who've been written off.

A unique thing I loved is Tony's ability to make others, rather than himself, the hero in his stories. If the classic saying is, "The victors write the history books," meaning those who write history tend to depict themselves as enlightened noble heroes and the "outsiders" as unvirtuous folks fumbling through the dark, then Tony inverts this truism: he lets us into his times of weakness, areas where he has stumbled in the dark, and lifts up the "outsiders" as those God has used to minister and speak to him in that place.

One of the biggest takeaways of this book is it can inspire you to be more attentive to God's voice speaking in the unexpected places in your own life, to listen more closely to the neighbors and wise men God has surrounded you with.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Girl of Cardigan on August 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
If Tony Kriz were to write a "How to" instructional book of any sort, it would be "How to See and Love People Well." Kriz's ability to see the God-given value in others radiates off the pages of this book, giving the reader the opportunity to glimpse the world, its lessons and grit and beauty, with a humility and openness that is sometimes lacking in Christian text.

The story of Kriz's disillusionment, quest for answers and meaning, and unconventional reconciliation with his God isn't a particularly new one, and whole chapters of this book seem wildly familiar to the reader - not because they aren't original, but because so many of us have been in those spaces. This book is comforting in its honesty - Kriz's doubts are real, his questions are difficult, and the answers aren't always the cookie cutter ones we expect - much like, you know, actual life walking with God.

The gift Neighbors and Wise Men has to offer is a change in perspective - read this book only if you're willing to let it change the way you look at people. There are windows into the heart of God in all kinds of unexpected places - the stories in this book will open you up to them. Expect to be mightily blessed.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Todd Price on August 31, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Disclaimer: I know Tony personally. So it touches my heart deeply to read his stories by the mere fact that he is important to me.

That said, I found myself in tears and cheers throughout this read, because it is a deeply human story. And the glory of God in all things and all people shines through Tony's story, which is really a glimpse into all of our stories. If you dare to read with an eye towards understanding your own heart (what Jesus, Paul, and the mystics are concerned with), and leave the judgments of what is good and right and proper (what the Pharisees are concerned with) behind, you can't help but be caught up into an experience of finding God in all the places you never expected to - inside your own story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth G. Campbell III on October 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
Tony tells us stories from his life as he goes to places from Albania to Portland pubs. Throughout his adventures he shares with us lessons he has learned and grown from. A lot of the people he has met throughout his life have been very memorial and they all mean great deals to him. Tony shows us how even in our everyday life we may have unexpected encounters with God people or people who may soon be God's people. He tells us story after story and the great part of about it all is that it is real, it's genuine and personal.

Throughout the book Kriz tells us a story and then gives us a half a page sermon. It was a nice little lesson for his stories. As nice as the little summaries were I wasn't blown away by this book by any means. It had great little stories in it, but I felt like I could have dropped the book at any moment and be completely fine. I never felt convicted to read the next chapter. He had little lessons in just about every chapter which were really good, but I could have just read them and got the same thing out of it. It would be good to use for sermons if you wanted to use his stories. You could tract the book according to the different lessons in it. But it wasn't good for me, just to read. I could see it being a good beach book, if you were going for a week.

Above everything else the one part that I didn't like was his view of his Bible in one chapter. His pastor said his Bible was a bad one and is a propaganda Bible. He basically shrugged it off and agreed to disagree. I was really taken back by this. I couldn't really read too much past this point because it kind of shook me a bit. Maybe I should keep reading and he will change his ways by the end of the book, I don't know.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James R. V. Matichuk on September 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
Tony Kriz was a good evangelical Christian. Because he was confident and had a sense of adventure, he signed up as a missionary to Albania. While he was there, he lost his faith and his soul died. He was sent to seminary to heal and rebuild. Ultimately, Tony finds his faith again, but it wasn't on the mission field or in the walls of Christian academia. It was in a Turkish bathhouse and a smoke-filled-pub. It was in a New York homeless mission and on the campus of 'America's most secular university.' Ultimately the thing that heals Tony's soul is not a place, not an act of volition or getting his theology right (though it doesn't seem that bad). It was his encounter with `the other'-those neighbors and wise people along the way (despite the gender exclusive title, some of the `wise men' are women!).

This isn't a book which touts a narrow evangelicalism. The people who speak life back into Kriz's faith are often people on the margins or religious outsiders-a friend from the bar named Pope, a Jewish woman, a bartender, Reed students, a crazy(?) homeless man, activists and organic farmers, and other neighbors. The conviction underlying this book is that the Spirit of God is at work in the world and speaks to us in surprising and unexpected ways through surprising and unexpected people. Kriz has the humility to learn from these `Samaritan' strangers.

Fans of Donald Miller, will be familiar with Kriz as `Tony the Beat Poet' in the pages of Blue Like Jazz. He was the guy whom Donald Miller worked with on the campus of Reed College. I think Kriz brings a similar sort of introspection to his writing, but is more reflective on the nature of spiritual formation (Blue Like Jazz, focuses more on a slice of the journey; the stories in this book span about 20 years).
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