A Prayer for Rachel Held Evans

Rachel Held Evans

Almighty God,

we grieve the loss of Rachel and we pray for her family,
and so we remember before you today your faithful servant Rachel;

and we pray that, having opened to her the gates of eternal life,
you will receive her more and more into your joyful service,

that, with all who have faithfully served you in the past,
she may share in the eternal victory of Jesus Christ our Lord;

who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God,
for ever and ever.

Amen.

BCP (edited by Scot McKnight)

Rob Bell – What Is the Bible?

I have just finished reading Rob Bell’s latest book, titled What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything. I really loved it and I think every evangelical should read it. The book does not say anything new, nor does the author claim to do so. It merely presents at a popular level what theologians and Bible scholars have said about it in the last hundred years.

You may ask, what is then so important about it? Here is my answer. Continue reading “Rob Bell – What Is the Bible?”

Rachel Held Evans – Let the World Change You: A Commencement Address Do-Over

Rachel Held Evans

Way back in 2003, when people still left voicemails and Mark Zuckerberg’s “Facesmash” was just a mildly sexist college experiment, I was chosen by my classmates to deliver a commencement address at graduation ceremonies for our conservative Christian university.

I took the honor seriously, prepping for weeks amidst all the final exams and senior parties, working through multiple drafts and soliciting feedback from my parents and professors.

And I did okay, (though, to this day I still have nightmares about approaching that podium only to look down and realize I left my notes…or my pants… in my dorm room).  I admonished my classmates the way any other 21-year-old evangelical would admonish her peers:

I told them to go out and change the world.

Continue reading “Rachel Held Evans – Let the World Change You: A Commencement Address Do-Over”

3 Things You Might Not Know About Proverbs 31

It never fails. Every year, on the Monday after Mother’s Day I receive a flood of messages from women who spent yesterday morning grimacing through yet another Proverbs 31 sermon. The pastors usually mean well. They want to honor women on Mother’s Day, so they turn to the biblical passage most associated with femininity, the one that culminates with what may be the most cross-stitched Bible verse of all time: “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”  But for women like me who grew up thinking of the domestic super-heronie of Proverbs 31 as just another impossible standard by which to mark my shortcomings as a woman, the passage can come with some…baggage.  That’s because, too often, we focus on the Proverbs 31 Woman’s  roles as a way of reducing womanhood to marriage, motherhood, and domesticity, when really, this passage is about character that transcends both gender and circumstance.    3 Things You Might Not Know About Proverbs 31  Our confusion around Proverbs 31, like most misinterpreted Bible passages, centers around issues related to genre, audience, and language. With that in mind, here are three things you might not know:  1. Proverbs 31 is a poem.  The subject of a twenty-two-line poem found in the last chapter of the book of Proverbs, the “woman of noble character” is meant to be a tangible expression of the book’s celebrated virtue of wisdom. The author is essentially showing us what wisdom looks like in action. (The astute reader will immediately make a connection between the Proverbs 31 Woman and “Woman Wisdom,” found in earlier chapters of Proverbs.)  Packed with hyperbolic, militaristic imagery, the poem is an acrostic, so the first word of each verse begins with a letter from the Hebrew alphabet in succession. This communicates a sense of totality as the poet praises the everyday achievements of an upper-class Jewish wife, a woman who keeps her household functioning day and night by buying, trading, investing, planting, sewing, spindling, managing servants, extending charity, providing food for the family, and preparing for each season.  Like any good poem, the purpose of this one is to draw attention to the often-overlooked glory of the everyday. As a poem, Proverbs 31 should not be interpreted prescriptively as a job description for all women. Its purpose is to celebrate wisdom-in-action, not to instruct women everywhere to get married, have children, and take up the loom.  Good News: You don’t have to know how this works to be a Proverbs 31 Woman.  2. The “Target Audience” of Proverbs 31 is Men  If you’ve read A Year of Biblical Womanhood, you’ll know I first learned this from my Jewish friend Ahava who told me that in her culture, it’s not the women who memorize Proverbs 31, but the men. (What I wouldn’t pay to see a Christian MEN’S conference in which the central text is Proverbs 31!)  They memorize it, Ahava said, to sing it as a song of praise to the women in their lives—their wives, daughters, sisters, mothers, and friends. Ahava’s husband sings Proverbs 31 to her at every Sabbath meal.   As I did more research, I learned that indeed the only instructive language in the poem is directed at the poem’s intended male audience: “Praise her for all her hands have done.”  And yet many Christians interpret this passage prescriptively, as a command to women rather than an ode to women, with the home-based endeavors of the Proverbs 31 woman cast as the ideal lifestyle for all women of faith. An empire of books, conferences, products, and media has evolved from a subtle repositioning the poem’s intended audience from that of men to that of women. One of the more popular books is titled Becoming the Woman God Wants Me to Be: A 90 Day Guide to Living the Proverbs 31 Life. No longer presented as a song through which a man offers a woman praise, Proverbs 31 is presented as a task list through which a woman earns it.  This, I believe, misses the point of the text entirely.  3. Proverbs 31 Celebrates Valor  Ahava repeated a finding I’d discovered in my research, that the first line of the Proverbs 31 poem—“a virtuous woman who can find?”—is best translated, “a woman of valor who can find?” (The Hebrew is eshet chayil, “woman of valor”; the male equivalent is gibor chayil, “man of valor.”)  To make this fact even more fun, Ahava explained to me that she and her friends cheer one another on with the blessing, celebrating everything from promotions, to pregnancies, to acts of mercy and justice, to battles with cancer with a hearty “eshet chayil”! (Think of it as something like the Jewish “you go girl.”) This discovery led me to declare “woman of valor!” when a good friend finished seminary, when my mom beat breast cancer, when my sister ran a half marathon. It also led u

Source: 3 Things You Might Not Know About Proverbs 31

Rachel Held Evans – Donald Trump and a Tale of Two Gospels

Rachel-Held-Evans1
Rachel Held Evans

NOTES: It has been some time since I have shared on my blog a post written by Rachel. But this one is a must, as so many evangelicals in the US seem to be fooled by the perverted version of the gospel promoted by the Republican candidate to the American presidency.

And some good news on Rachel. On Feb 29th, President Obama nominated Rachel Held Evans as member of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Well done, Rachel.

* * *

As it becomes clear Donald Trump’s candidacy for president will be more than a sideshow this year, the probable Republican nominee is making his pitch to Christian voters.

You would think it would be a hard sell given the fact that the real estate mogul and reality star has boasted about his extramarital affairs, profited off casinos and strip clubs, said he doesn’t need to ask God for forgiveness, called for targeting innocent civilians in war, mocked a reporter with a disability, threatened the religious liberty of minority groups in the U.S., and gained wide support among white nationalists for consistently lying about and demeaning blacks, Mexican immigrants, Muslims, and Syrian refugees.

But polls show that despite all of this, Trump remains favored among evangelical voters. After speaking at Liberty University last week, Trump scored an important endorsement from Jerry Falwell Jr., a prominent leader of the Religious Right who, to the applause of thousands, compared Trump to Jesus and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Continue reading “Rachel Held Evans – Donald Trump and a Tale of Two Gospels”

7 Ways to Welcome Young People to the Mainline

7 Ways to Welcome Young People to the Mainline.

I would say, these suggestions work also for some more traditional evangelical churches that started losing the young people.

Tara Owens – Embracing the Body

Tara Owens - Embracing the Body

Christians along history had, and they continue to have an ambiguous relationship with their bodies in particular and physicality in general.

This is the topic of Tara M Owens’s new book, Embracing the Body: Finding God in Our Flesh and Bone.

Here is a short presentation, on Amazon website.

Our bodies teach us about God, and God communicates to us through our bodies. Our bodies are more good than we can possibly imagine them to be. And yet at times we may struggle with feelings of shame and guilt or even pride in regard to our bodies. What is God trying to do through our skin and bones? In Embracing the Body spiritual director Tara Owens invites you to listen to your thoughts about your body in a way that draws you closer to God, calling you to explore how your spirituality is intimately tied to your physicality. Using exercises for reflection at the end of each chapter, she guides you to see your body not as an inconvenience but as a place where you can meet the Holy in a new way―a place to embrace God’s glorious intention.

I have heard of Owens for the first time on Rachel Held Evans’s blog, in a guest post written by Tara and titled ‘How do I involve God in my sexuality?

Read HERE a very good interview with Tara on her book. Here is the beginning of it:

Q – Tara – you’re a certified spiritual director, veteran writer, wife and mum – can you tell us three things we may not know about you?

That’s a fun question! I’ve always thought I would win the “two truths and a lie” icebreaker game—because I have at least three outrageous things about myself that I can share, all of which are true.

First, I used to be an amateur boxer. For nearly eight years, I competed in boxing, muay thai boxing and kickboxing. It surprises people, because I’m a soft-spoken spiritual director, but I loved the sport and learned so much about myself from it. I hope to get back to in some time in the future.

Second, five years ago I had a heart attack. It was completely out of the blue, and almost totally unexplained—I didn’t have high blood pressure or cholesterol. It’s one of the things that created this desire in me to write about the body in a way that both honored the gift that we’ve been given in flesh and bone, and acknowledged that our bodies sometime betray us deeply.

Third, I’ve never had a full cup of coffee in my life. I know that I tend toward fallen, addictive behaviors, so I’ve avoided coffee because I just have this sense that if I started it, I’d be mainlining it every morning within a week or so. It’s part of the way I steward my own weaknesses.

Oh, and I’m British and Canadian, living in the United States on a green card. And I once had a warrant out for my arrest.

Read on at the link above. It is really worth it.

You may also listen HERE to another interview with Tara in her new book.

* * *

Here are a few things about Tara as told by herself:

Tara M Owens

I was born in Montreal to British parents who moved to Canada for a better life for their growing family. Canadian by birth and British by blood, I’ve also lived in Raleigh, North Carolina; Washington, DC; Arlington, Virginia and, now, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

I discerned the call to spiritual direction while completing my Masters of Theological Studies in Spiritual Formation at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto. Like many spiritual directors, I was captured by the incredible privilege it is to companion someone as they discern the voice of the Loving Creator in their lives.

Before pursuing my Spiritual Formation degree, I was a professional print journalist. My love of story drew me to news reporting and then to political journalism. It was that very ear for narrative that God used to bring me to spiritual direction, where I help others make sense of the story in which they are living, and connect it up with the Larger Story of redemption and life that the Trinity is weaving into human history.

In addition to my journey as a spiritual director, I am blessed to marry my love for spiritual formation with my love for the written word as Senior Editor of Conversations Journal. Founded by Larry Crabb, David Benner and Gary Moon, Conversations is a forum for authentic spiritual transformation where authors such as Dallas Willard and Eugene Peterson discuss the patterns and practice of spiritual growth.

I founded Anam Cara Ministries in 2007 as a place of where true soul friendship can be found. ‘Anam Cara’ is an ancient Celtic word meaning ‘soul friend,’ one of the essential qualities of a spiritual director. Celtic  Christianity and its practices form a foundation to the work of Anam Cara Ministries—from spiritual fri en ds hip to a fundamental respect for creation to the discipline of the hours.

Anam Cara Ministries is meant to be a place of grace and hope, where a deeper relationship with God can be pursued in a context of hospitality and safety. I’ve been a practicing spiritual director for more than five years, and I’m honored that you’ve chosen to explore a little deeper here with me.

(Source, HERE.)

 

 

Why Are Most People with Theology Degrees Real Jerks, and How Can You Avoid It?

rachel-held-evans

This is the topic of the last blog post by Rachel Held Evans, as most of your know, one of my favourite blog writers and recent authors.

First, let’s establish something. There is, I believe, no doubt most people with theology degrees are real jerks, simply because they give you the impression they have figured God out and they know it all… and a little bit more, as a bonus.

In contrasty to this, all great women and men of God are really humble, because they know that they don’t know.

If you are one of those happy ones with theology degrees, how do people categorise you? In the first or the second category? If you are not sure, you may need to read Rachel’s post, as a help. Enjoy!

* * *

Not too long ago, I was at a dinner party and was asked by the hostess if I’d been embroiled in any intense writing projects lately. (I suspect my slightly dazed, what-is-this-thing-called-sunshine? look was something of a giveaway.) I laughed and told the group about Searching for Sunday—perhaps the most challenging and rewarding creative project of my life—which at the time was a mere 10,000 words away from completion.

Barely had the familiar elevator pitch, “it’s a book about a doubter’s search for church, arranged around seven sacraments,” left my lips when a young, seminary-trained man at the table interrupted me and launched into a 15-minute lecture on sacramental theology, suggesting I google Alexander Schmemann (whose book, For the Life of the World, I’d already read three times) before “attempting a popular treatment” of the sacraments.

I received several apologetic glances from the hostess, who finally managed to wrangle the conversation away from the young Calvinist and turn it to the topic of asparagus, which, miraculously, he did not seem to have an opinion about. We never returned to the sacraments, whose beauty and power had been lighting up my imagination for the last fourteen months.

The truth is, my lack of seminary training is something I’m deeply insecure about. Every writer struggles with self-doubt, and the refrain most commonly caught in a loop in my brain is: Who do you think you are? What do you know about God or faith or church? You haven’t even been to seminary! What could you possibly teach anyone? 

This insecurity gets reinforced by people like my dinner companion, who seem especially perturbed that an undereducated woman like me has built a platform from which to write and speak about faith.

Regardless of how well they know me or my work, these guys tend to approach our conversations with a paternalistic familiarity that makes me uncomfortable, immediately rendering me the student and them the teacher.  I am not criticized; I am “lovingly corrected.”  We do not discuss where we agree or disagree; I am informed of  what I got right and what I got wrong.  It’s not a peer-to-peer conversation; it’s a session of “pastoral counseling,” initiated by a man who is not, in fact, my pastor. 

What they don’t realize, of course, is that I am intensely aware of my lack of theological qualifications, which is precisely why I read a lot, cite my sources, ask questions, listen, apologize when I get stuff wrong, and refuse to fake my way through Q&A sessions when the honest “A” is “I don’t know.” It’s also why I invite comments and critiques from faithful collaborators—pastors, scholars, artists, scientists, doctors, parents, blog commenters, and editors—who often know more about a given topic than I and whose insights improve my writing by miles.  My gifts and training are in creative writing. My interests are in matters of faith. I know I am not entitled to respect,  but on my better days, I am of the conviction that regular people can talk about God too, and perhaps even prophesy. 

It would be easy to turn this post into a rant against the much-maligned phenomenon “mansplaining,” which is certainly real, though perhaps too liberally invoked on social media. What I’d rather do is tell you about the alternative, about just a few of the people who treat me and nearly everyone they encounter with respect, openness, and humble teachability, even as they carry around an armful of credentials. 

A seminary degree doesn’t have to make you jerk. You can be an expert on ancient Hebrew without fancying yourself an expert on everything.  In fact, the people who have taught me the most in life do not view themselves as teachers, but rather as perpetual students, always eager to learn more and always open to changing their minds.  

Perhaps the closest example of this in my life is Dan, who is an insatiable and avid learner and who has as one of his life’s mottos, “always assume there’s someone in the room who knows more about the topic at hand than you do.” He says he learned much of this from his sister-in-law, Maki, who is smart, curious, entrepreneurial, and who will “listen your mouth off” if you let her.  Like Maki, Dan responds with the delight of a child whenever he encounters some new and interesting idea, and like Maki, Dan is no respecter of persons when it comes to seeking out teachers—whether it’s the grocery bagger, a theoretical physicist, or an eleven-year-old nephew. Dan doesn’t have to prove himself an expert on everything because he’s secure enough in what he knows and what he doesn’t know to engage other people as peers. As we were talking about this post today he said to me: “Tell them that if they’re in a conversation where they are the expert; they ought to change the subject. Because what fun is that?”

When it comes to matters of faith, my father is like this too—open, curious, and humble. As a kid I believed his degree from Dallas Seminary made him an all-knowing expert on Jesus and the Bible and I bragged to my friends that he was a “Master of Divinity.” But when my questions evolved into the kind without easy answers, Dad refused to respond with empty platitudes or weak apologetics, and instead simply took my hand, walked with me through all the pain and anger and fear that accompanies religious doubt, and said, “I don’t know, Rachel. Let’s find out together.” 

I’ve been fortunate, too, to have pastors who respect the people in their congregations as peers rather than sheep in perpetual need of guidance. In Searching for Sunday, I write about Brian Ward, who even as a youth pastor at a church that forbade women from teaching and leading was the first to tell me I had gifts for teaching and leading. Just a few months ago, I met with the rector of our new church who, though he sat in an office lined with heavy commentaries and some of his own published work, said, “We’re so glad you’re a part of this community. You have so much to teach us!”

And then there are the people with whom I’ve had the pleasure to converse and collaborate as a result of my writing, people with big brains and fancy degrees who have every right to shrug off the musings of small-town author, but who instead engage me with enthusiasm, interest, and mutual respect…even if we don’t always agree and even if they offer useful, critical feedback. 

Richard Beck is one such person. The man is one of the smartest, most well-read people I know, armed with a PhD in experimental psychology and years of researching and writing. But Richard is also one of the kindest, most encouraging people I know. He’s someone who engages in conversation in such a way that you walk away feeling both smarter and more confident, like you’ve both learned and contributed. Richard will recount with enthusiasm and specificity all the things he’s learned from me, from other bloggers, from his students, from his wife Jana, from the Bible study he leads with fifty inmates at a maximum security prison each week. The world is his lab and he’s a joyful, engaged observer, taking notes on it all.

The same could be said of credentialed people like Peter Enns, Scot McKnight, and Walter Brueggemann, who have graciously offered their encouragement and insight to me through the years, and of course to the many credentialed women—Nadia Bolz-Weber, Christena Cleveland, Lauren Winner—who have done the same.

Brueggemann recently displayed his trademark humility in acknowledging, “Until the middle of the twentieth century scripture study was essentially white males. And white males –including myself — always walked under the flag of objectivity. ‘We are objective scholars!’ Now what we are discovering in the presence of many other voices is that what we thought was objectivity is simply white-male-experience.”

Even Walter Brueggemann….WALTER BRUEGGEMANN, PEOPLE… knows he doesn’t know everything. Even Walter Brueggemann values the insights and perspectives of other people, especially those whose gender, race, or socioeconomic status means they see Scripture differently than he.

Whenever I catch myself looking down my nose at a first-time author with a new book or a blogger who has yet to learn the term “intersectionality,” I think about people like Walter B., my dad, Dan, Richard Beck, Maki and Nadia, people who aren’t so quick to let on how much they know, people who delight in learning from others, even from me.  And I pray that I become more like them—curious, humble, awe-struck, and kind. I pray I grow secure enough to listen and learn as a student of the world.

Continue reading “Why Are Most People with Theology Degrees Real Jerks, and How Can You Avoid It?”

Rachel Held Evans – Searching for Sunday Excerpt: “Body”

Searching for Sunday Excerpt: “Body”.

From Rachel’s latest book.

Rachel Held Evans Returns to Church | Christianity Today

Rachel Held Evans Returns to Church | Christianity Today.

Lots of articles these days about Rachel Held Evans, probably related to her publishing her latest book.

This one, in CT, talks about her moving theologically from evangelicalism to Anglicanism.

Zach Hoag – Searching for Sunday and Finding Home: An Interview With Rachel Held Evans

Rachel-Held-Evans1

Rachel Held Evans just released her latest book, Searching For Sunday, with Thomas Nelson. It’s an excellent foray into the church’s current cultural moment, seen through the lens of Rachel’s own journey from evangelicalism, to doubt, to church planting, to the Episcopal church. In this interview we dig a bit deeper into the author’s motivations, insights, and hopes as Searching For Sunday hits store shelves:

Z: Rachel, wow. What a timely, important book you’ve written here. It deeply resonated with me all the way through, made me cry (and laugh) at several points, and provided insight that I really needed in this season of my life. So first and foremost, thank you! And to kick things off – why (beyond the prodding of your editors) did you write this book?

RHE: I keep in close contact with my readers through my blog and social media, and in my conversations with them have repeatedly found one question to be front and center of their minds: What do I do about church? Many have been deeply wounded by the churches in which they grew up, or alienated when their questions and doubts weren’t welcomed, or even kicked out when they they told the truth about their sexuality. There are so many people of faith who, like me, want to follow Jesus but who are understandably reluctant to follow him through the church doors. So I wrote this book for them, not to glorify church on the one hand or bash it on the other, but to tell the truth about it — the good the bad and the ugly — and to offer something of a way forward, using seven sacraments (baptism, confession, communion, holy orders, marriage, anointing of the sick, and confirmation) as guides.

Z: So apparently you’ve rejected the evangelical church of your youth and apostatized to the mainline, huh? (Tongue firmly in cheek.) Care to explain yourself? Continue reading “Zach Hoag – Searching for Sunday and Finding Home: An Interview With Rachel Held Evans”

John Schmalzbauer – An Evangelical on the Canterbury Trail

The article below discusses the spiritual pilgrimage of what the author calls ‘evangelical darling’ Rachel Held Evans from evangelicalism to Anglicanism. I have been very interested in this, as I am myself an evangelical treading on the ‘Canterbury trail. And although Rachel and myself live in very different contexts and, as a result, we struggle with different challenges, and are interested in quite different matters (the LGBT is only one of them), there is a lot of communality between our stories. That is why I have decided to share this too on my blog.

* * *

Rev. Rachel Held Evans
Rachel Held Evans

Highlighting the protean nature of contemporary religious identity, a 2008 Pew study found that 28 percent of adults had left their childhood denominations for other groups — a “remarkable amount of movement by Americans from one religious group to another” in a lively religious marketplace. Continue reading “John Schmalzbauer – An Evangelical on the Canterbury Trail”

Rachel Held Evans – On “Going Episcopal”

On “Going Episcopal”.

I share fully Rachel’s feelings on this.

An Interview with Rachel Held Evans on What It Means for Her to Join Anglicanism

Rachel Held Evans
Rachel Held Evans

Those who read this blog from time to time know how much I like what Rachel Held Evans writes. Although I do not necessarily agree with her on everything, and I am sure she does not mind this, her pilgrimage of faith, from  (radical Reformation) Evangelicalism to (magisterial Reformation) Anglicanism is very similar with mine, and we share similar convictions and struggles.

This is also reflected in her latest interview in The Huffington Post, which is very relevant in the context of the recent polemic around Mohler’s frustrated comments about Baptists becoming Anglicans (or Catholics).

Here is the interview.

* * *

Q: You say that the way to stop the exodus of millennials from churches isn’t cosmetic changes like better music, sleeker logos and more relevant programming. Why are these methods ineffective?

A: These aren’t inherently bad strategies, and some churches would be wise to employ them. But many church leaders make the mistake of thinking millennials are shallow consumers who are leaving church because they aren’t being entertained. I think our reasons for leaving church are more complicated, more related to social changes and deep questions of faith than worship style or image.

If you try to woo us back with skinny jeans and coffee shops, it may actually backfire. Millen Continue reading “An Interview with Rachel Held Evans on What It Means for Her to Join Anglicanism”

40 Ideas for Lent 2015

40 Ideas for Lent 2015.

Here is, again, Rachel’s yearly collection of ideas for Lent. Enjoy!

Rachel Held Evans – Post-Evangelicals and Why We Can’t Just Get Over It

Rachel Held Evans – blog.

Rachel Held Evans expresses very well what I, and other piost-evangelicals like me, feel about all this. Here is a little quote:
‘…when you grow up believing everyone outside evangelical Christianity is going to get spewed from God’s mouth at best or cooked for eternity in hell at worst, when the people you love most in the world belong to the evangelical community and want you to belong to it too, making a deliberate step out of that tradition is a big deal.’

The American Paranoia of ‘Keeping God Out of Christmas’

Are you being persecuted_

Rachel Held Evans writes again about the fundamentalist paranoia that captures at the end of every year the minds of many American evangelicals (and right wing Catholics alike).

Here is the core of her argument: Continue reading “The American Paranoia of ‘Keeping God Out of Christmas’”

26 Ideas for Advent (with Sybil MacBeth)

26 Ideas for Advent (with Sybil MacBeth).

Here is the usual pot pouri that Rachel publishes every year, containing ideas for a more meaningful celebration of the Advent.

Enjoy!

Ask Scot McKnight…(Response)

Ask Scot McKnight…(Response).

Scot McKnight is one of the fee biblical scholars I follow regularly. I am glad to see that Rachel likes him too.

Here is a series of answers Scot gave to questions asked by readers on Rachel’s blog.

Rachel Held Evans -Changing the Culture that Enabled Mark Driscoll: 6 Ways Forward

Rachel Held Evans – blog.

Rachel offers some suggestions on way forward after Mark Driscoll’s disgrace.
There are a few lessons to be learned, so that such disgrace does not multiply and repeat itself.

Inside Mark Driscoll’s Disturbed Mind

Inside Mark Driscoll’s disturbed mind.

I have written a number of times about the troubled personality of Mark Driscoll, this playboy of the neo-reformed ‘sect’.

Here we go again, with help from Rachel; new revelations and further proof that this guy really needs to see a psychiatrist.

Rachel Held Eans – I Don’t Always Tell You

I don’t always tell you.

Christians, especially those in the evangelical tradition, do not use to talk a lot about their doubts and about their dilemmas. They are expected to display a serene and confident outlook on life – they may have bought too much into the artificial American cultural optimism.

Rachel Held Evans, however, is not the shy nor the hypocritical kind of Christian. So, she invited us to discuss in the open our struggles, with God, and with each other.

This may be too much, though, for many.

Ask Brian McLaren…(Response)

Ask Brian McLaren…(Response).

Some readers on my blog absolutely hate Brian McLaren, or at least deeply detest him, considering him an enemy of faith. I certainly do not share this view. I have met Brian personally and I read some of his books and posts and I have a deep appreciation for him, even if I do not always agree with his view. And probably he does not with some of mine either. Which is perfectly OK.

Here is a post on Rachel Held Evans blog, where her readers ask questions from Brian, and he responds.

Rachel Held Evans – An Open Letter to Jesus on this Whole Ascension Business

rachel-held-evans

Dear Jesus, 

We weren’t ready.  

Surely you could have seen that as you floated into the sky, your disciples standing beneath your feet with craned necks, slacked mouths, a million questions, and no clue what to do next. I bet they totally asked those angels which one of them would be greatest in the Kingdom, and Luke just left that part out because, oh my gosh, not again; how embarrassing. 

And while we’re on it, what’s with the floating thing? After all the eating and drinking and healing and laughing and crying, it just doesn’t seem like your style—floating. I like you better with your feet on the ground. 

I’ll be honest, Jesus, Ascension Day brings up some abandonment issues for me. I know you promised we wouldn’t be alone, that you would send a Helper and Advocate, full of power and truth and ready to guide, but let’s face it: the fire of the Spirit is the wild kind. One moment I sense that it’s blazing like the burning bush, the next it’s like it’s out with a poof. I still haven’t figured it out. I still haven’t been able to pin it down.  Continue reading “Rachel Held Evans – An Open Letter to Jesus on this Whole Ascension Business”

Rachel’s Summer Reading Spectacular

Rachel’s Summer Reading Spectacular.

Some suggestions from Rachel Held Evans for your summer reading.

Enjoy!

Scot McKnight on Heretics vs Hypocrites

Recently, Scot McKnight commented on Owen Strachan, the new ‘hawk’ in the Southern Baptist army, accusing Rachel Held Evans of ‘heresy’, because of her egalitarian stance.  In doing this, Strachan used a typical fundamentalist tactic: extending the borders of the Gospel, in order to include in them their favourite non-essentials.

This time, Scot discusses the fact that, in the gospels,  Jesus was much more interested in matters of religious hypocrisy than in matters of doctrinal accuracy, a topic on which my Southern Baptist friends should do well to meditate seriously. And look in the mirror, from time to time.

Here is what Scot write on this topic: Continue reading “Scot McKnight on Heretics vs Hypocrites”

Scot McKnight – Who is a Heretic?

Who is a Heretic?.

This is Scot’s response to the question in the title, again about Strachan’s accusation of heresy addressed to Rachel Held Evans.

What is heresy? (an interview with Justin Holcomb)

What is heresy? (an interview with Justin Holcomb).

This in response of a a SBC taliban accusing Rachel Held Evans of heresy.

Rachel Held Evans – Is God A Man? (a response to the CBMW accusation of heresy)

Rachel Held Evans – blog.

Of course, God is not a man, but Owen Starchan, or John Piper, and other such fundamentalists, would like God to be male.
That is, as Rachel tightly argues here, idolatry – worship of maleness.
Let me quote Rachel again:
‘The people of Israel received a strong warning from God about this in Deuteronomy 4:15-17: “You saw no form of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air…”’

Rachel Held Evans – Patriarchy and Abusive Churches

Patriarchy and Abusive Churches.

Rachel Held Evans writes again on the topic of patriarchalism and its role in abuse on women in churches.

Here are a few quotes:

Survivors have spoken out about pervasive abuse or sexual misconduct situations with Sovereign Grace Ministries, Vision Forum, Jesus People USA, the Bill Gothard Ministry, Bob Jones University, Patrick Henry College, Pensacola Christian College, and several missions organizationsContinue reading “Rachel Held Evans – Patriarchy and Abusive Churches”