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I have recently been enthralled by some of the writing of Rachel Held Evans. She has written some powerful things illuminated by thrilling stories. It may not surprise you that I do not agree with her in some points. But I do recognize her as a fellow believer in Christ.

In honest disclosure, at the beginning of her book Inspired she gave a long list of theologians who had influenced her thinking. I had only heard of one of them. I looked up each one, but I would not dare describe their positions without having read a single book by those I didn't know. It was interesting to me that her list began with some pretty far out Old Testament scholars, and proceeded to some really sound New Testament scholars climaxing with N.T. Wright whose books I have read and love.

I have read two of Rachel Held Evans's books, Looking For Sunday, and Inspired. Especially in Inspired, Rachel (if you will grant me the privilege of calling her by her given name here) tells marvelous stories. She is one of the best storytellers I have ever read. Her portrayal of the gospel as story is accurate and illuminating. Even when I didn't agree with Rachel's point, I was captivated by her stories. But her main arguments for her doubts were close to tantrums that God did things and others believed things of which she didn't approve. I have to admit that I also hold some of her criticisms. And I recognize that she tried to balance criticism with love. But she presents things like authorship of Leviticus or Colossians as well as statements about the dates of certain books of the Bible as unquestioned facts. She admirably makes fun of her doubts, but I would have been happier had she pointed out that some of the arguments for those things don't make sense. But I come from a different perspective. And I recognize that there are people who have been taught those things and believe them to whom she speaks more clearly than I ever could.

C.S. Lewis often dabbled with things in fiction that he would never have said in nonfiction. He was surrounded by people who were not believers. To them he was pointing out that even if things you believe are true, God is still God.

While Rachel undoubtedly adopted theological, moral and social notions that I believe are wrong and harmful, I believe she was also aware that she addressed a culture that has embraced them.

While I admit that I may be wrong in my convictions, I wish she had more doubts about her doubts.

If Rachel were still with us and writing, she might think my convictions are as gullible as I think her doubts are. From an earthly point of view it is a tragedy that she died so young. But she is in the presence of our Lord. I will be there before long. From the perspective of history and eternity we will all stand before God in the blink of an eye. At that point I doubt if we will care about the answers to these issues. Until then, I will seek to broaden my perspective while writing what I am convinced is true. I do wish I could tell stories as thrilling as she did. I pray that God will improve my ability with everything I write.



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