About

TONY HOPES, THROUGH WORDS both written and spoken, to give people permission to authentically feel/speak/struggle and to honestly express their faith-filled affections.

IMG_6594TONY IS HUSBAND TO Aimee, father to three courageous and creative boys, unofficial ambassador of his beloved Portland, devoted to his neighborhood, honored by his communal household, and a friend to the religious and irreligious alike.

He has a Doctorate of Ministry in Leadership and Spiritual Formation. He teaches in colleges and universities around the country on topics of authentic faith, spiritual formation, cultural integration, cross-spiritual communication, and sacred friendship.

His writing life involves books (including ALOOF and Neighbors and Wise Men), articles (including Leadership Journal), and playful profundity through his blog.

How did he get here? He was raised by Skip and Susie in the theatrical town of Eugene, Oregon. He spent his young adulthood in the developing world, including two years living with and being loved by a Muslim family in Albania. He has learned the gospel alongside non-religious barflies and undergrad geniuses at places like Reed College.

He has stumblingly submitted himself to his diverse household, to multicultural communities, and to those passionate about a rebirth of parish passion (www.parishcollective.org).

Let the epiphanies come.

Contact us to ask about these topics and more ways to use Tony at your event.  

Download this selective CV:  CV, Fall 2014

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

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“In these days when chaos seems to drive the evening news cycle and broken relationships seem to be more the norm than not, when we stop for a minute—just stop—the soul’s reach for God breaks through. That longing to touch and be touched by God rises from the soul of every human. Even so, God often feels unreachable. Tony Kriz offers a new generation guidance on its journey to encounter God. Raw, honest, and wise, Kriz’s narrative reminded me to cherish those awe-inspiring moments when God came in close. Remember them. Soak them in. They are fuel for our journey—especially when God feels aloof.”

Lisa Sharon Harper, Senior Director of Mobilizing, Sojourners & sojo.net

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“Reading Aloof is a pleasure. People will debate the ideas—is there a God or not?—but no one will put this book down feeling cheated. It is a work of art.”

Frank Schaeffer, Author of Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God

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“Like having a late-night conversation with a good friend where no topic is off limits, and no question is too difficult to ask. Kriz’s engaging candor offers an invitation to travel with him on life’s journey with the Silent Divine, a mysterious yet merciful God who often seems to hide.”

Sarah Thebarge, Author of The Invisible Girls

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“Televangelists and preachers make out that God is ever present and easily accessible, but the stark reality is, at best, we perceive God fitfully, partially, and mysteriously. Tony Kriz, brutally honest and sincerely compassionate,, invites us into the mystery of the God who appears aloof, but who beckons us through the fog of life.”

Michael Frost, Morling College, Sydney

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Tony’s raw and compelling storytelling drives the reader off the beaten path of intellect and into the rocky terrain of our hearts greatest pain, loss, and unorthodox hope. This book is liberating in that it asks the questions so many of us have about the not-so-tangible-presence of God, yet find ourselves too fearful to ask. Tony doesn’t offer all the answers, but gives us the freedom to see, experience, and communicate with God in ways we wouldn’t have considered. A must-read for us everyday folks committed to stumbling toward Jesus.

Jon Huckins, Cofounding Director of The Global Immersion Project and Author of Thin Places: Six Postures for Creating and Practicing Missional Community

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It’s a breath of fresh air to come upon a book like Aloof. Tony Kriz challenges paint-by-numbers conventionality with brave honesty about doubt, struggle, and the elusiveness of God—a struggle many Christians experience but few are willing to acknowledge so candidly. Just as Tony has made a friend out of a “doubting Thomas” like me with his kindness, openness, and infectious new ways of seeing things, he is bound to make legions of literary friends with his remarkable new book.

Tom Krattenmaker, USA Today Contributing Columnist and Author of The Evangelicals You Don’t Know

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Tony Kriz unlocks memories, mystery, and imagination in this invitation to see the divine breath which is invisible to so many, though it surrounds all of us every day. A masterful storyteller and whimsical writer, Kriz provokes his readers to live into the reality of the silence of God, and wait in anticipation for the times when we’re surprised by the tangible realities of God with us.

Michael Kimpan, Executive Director of The Marin Foundation

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One of Tony Kriz’s greatest gifts is navigating complex—even confounding—concepts like theology and theodicy in relatable, digestible ways. He does so once again with grace, humor, and vulnerable transparency in Aloof.

Christian Piatt, Author of postChristian: What’s left? Can we fix it? Do we care?

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Honest, transparent, and relevant, Aloof is one of the rare books that, while telling someone else’s story, helps unpack your own spiritual narrative along the way. A must-read.

Ken Wytsma, Author of Pursuing Justice and The Grand Paradox: The Messiness of Life, the Mystery of God and the Necessity of Faith

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If you are looking for perfect, sanitized stories of people who make all the right choices or who never waver in the face of tragedy, this is not the book for you. If you gain strength by stories of others who search for God and sometimes still feel like the kid who is loosing at hide-and-seek, this book will encourage you that you do not search alone.

Micky ScottBey Jones, TransFORM Network, Patheos Emerging Voices Blog, Red Letter Christians

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Tony explores the mystery behind the “presence of God” in our lives, pulling apart the expectations of God’s presence that have potentially been taught to us. A truly transparent, thoughtful, and honest memoir, Aloof is Tony’s account of the seasons and journeys of God’s presence in his life.

Rachel Goble, President of The SOLD Project

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Tony takes us on a powerful, vulnerable journey through his spiritual life, from a young boy to a man. We are invited to walk with him as he wrestles with a God who at times does not seem near enough, tangible enough, or intimate enough. His unnerving honesty reveals the questions found deep in our own hearts, and will ultimately help us find hope in the mercy of God who remains constant through our struggle and invites us to rest.

Kevin Palau, President of the Luis Palau Evangelistic Association

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Tony is a prophet of our times. His story is mixed with reality and hope that draws you to know God in a deep and realistic way. This book presents the mystery so that it appeals it to those who may find themselves questioning where to find it and into a space to actually find him.

Leroy Barber, Global Executive Director of Word Made Flesh

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Beautifully written, heartbreaking, revealing, and honest, Aloof gives us hope that in the end, God will reveal himself and take each of us by the hand.

Matt Mikalatos, Author of The First Time We Saw Him

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Tony Kriz articulates his experiences of God’s aloofness so the rest of us can find the language and freedom to articulate our own. Like our best poets, prophets, and mystics, he looks into the darkness and tells us what he sees—and what he doesn’t. The result is a searingly honest but ultimately hopeful book about a “God who hides” but then is occasionally, suddenly, briefly, mysteriously, and wonderfully there.

John Pattison, Coauthor of Slow Church

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An anguished search for the hand of God in the raucous uncertainty and redemptive community that otherwise attends us.

Steve Duin, Columnist for The Oregonian

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With raw honesty, disarming vulnerability, and faith-filled hope, Tony Kriz creates a space for us to rediscover the divine mystery that God is at times perhaps most powerfully and intentionally at work in the moments when it feels like he’s left the building.

Joshua Ryan Butler, Author of The Skeletons in God’s Closet

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Tony Kriz writes like he lives. He tells the truth and then lives it.

Dr. Andrea Cook, President of Warner Pacific College

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Can you really trust God when he is silent? It’s an age-old question. Easy to answer for those who’ve not experienced silence. With the precision of a surgeon and the tenderness of a wounded spirit, Tony walks us through his prism to find where God really lives.

Hon. Jason A. Atkinson, Oregon State Senator, Producer of A River Between Us

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The ordinary doesn’t usually feel sacramental, but that doesn’t mean God isn’t closer, much closer than you think. I’m grateful for this wise and honest memoir that is more than a reminder, it’s a literary companion on the winding journey of life with God.

Tim Soerens, Cofounding director of the Parish Collective and Coauthor of The New Parish: How Neighborhood Churches are Transformation Mission, Discipleship, and Community

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Whenever Tony’s talking or writing, I lean in. He gives voice to the questions many of us struggle to articulate—either through fear of what others will think, or because we just don’t have the words—and invites us to sit with them a while. Not necessarily to find answers, but because our questions have much to teach us, if we’ll let them. He tells great stories with humorous, evocative, and at times delectable prose. Often right before he punches you in the gut.

Sean Gladding, Author of The Story of God, the Story of Us and TEN: Words of Life for an Addicted, Compulsive, Cynical, Divided and Worn-Out Culture

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Tony says this is not a book of theology; don’t believe it. It’s the best kind of theology: the lived kind. So while you’re laughing and crying (sometimes on the same page), just know that you’re drinking deeper than you may realize from the wisdom in these words.

Shane Blackshear, Host of Seminary Dropout (podcast) and Blogger at shaneblackshear.com

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The hiddenness of God—despite being a touchy, if not out-of-bounds, topic for many Christians—is anything but ambiguous in the pages of the Bible. God arrives as the hidden One. What Kriz has done here is nothing short of a masterpiece.

A.J. Swoboda, Professor, Pastor, and Author of A Glorious Dark and Introducing Evangelical Ecotheology

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My friend Tony Kriz always asks courageous questions with unchartered answers. He understands the sacredness and power of story and his style reminds me of someone . . . sometimes his words are in red.

Randy Woodley, Author of Shalom and the Community of Creation: An Indigenous Vision

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“Tony Kriz is my hero, the authentic voice to a generation of believers that bought into ‘the jazz’. Spend time with his writing and you’ll be spending time with your better self. It cannot be helped.”

Timothy Kurek, Author of the best-selling book, The Cross in the Closet