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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Neighbors and Wise Men: Sacred Encounters in a Portland Pub and Other Unexpected Places Paperback – September 17, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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, 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.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (September 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0849947391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849947391
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,091,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In concise terms, this book is about how Tony Kriz lost and then found his faith.

He lost his faith while in the middle of a type of Christianity that dictates how God should work and the type of person whom He can work through. It is the kind of Christian belief system that believes that faith works in a very non-faith driven realm: the physical and tangible world, lest anyone accuse Christians of having lost their logic and thus their right to exist in the Post Modern world. Most can understand this thought pattern. Even as Christians, we want validation from each other and the world in which we live. Because we live in the physical world, we forget that God is not bound by our restrictions and inability to see beyond the physical/cultural differences and similarites of those with whom we interact daily.

Tony's honest recount of his journey back reminded me of two things that I have been struggling with recently:

1. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1)
2. God will use whom He choses to use whether or not we approve of their looks, their past, their theology, or their inconsistencies because he takes pleasure in using "the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty; And the base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen...That no flesh should glory in his presence" (1 Corinthians 1:26-31).

Tony's description is the clearest and most helpful book I have read on the topic of "losing faith." Many people that I have known over the years have gone through a similar journey.
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