Rachel Held Evans, New York Times Best Selling author, speaker, popular blogger was recently named “the most polarizing woman in evangelicalism.” She has also been widely (albeit unofficially) recognized as ‘that wonderful blogger who taught us it was ok to ask questions about our faith.’
I’ve been a reader of Rachel’s blog and books for years and recently had the privilege of being on her launch team for her latest book Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving and Finding the Church. I was given a free copy in exchange for an honest review and the opportunity to share about it in my circles. The first thing I thought of when I joined her team was “I have to interview her!” I was so thankful she obliged. Here it is:
As you made the switch from Evangelical to Episcopal what is one thing you wish you could bring with you from your evangelical church days and what is one thing you are glad to leave behind?
Oh that’s a great question. Honestly, I’m not sure it’s possible, or desirable, to completely slough off the faith tradition in which one was raised in favour of a new one. We get so caught up in categories and labels we forget most people don’t fit quite so neatly into them but are rather unique amalgams of many religious experiences, both past and present, good and bad. I grew up evangelical and am deeply appreciative of those evangelical roots, but lately I’ve been drawn to the more liturgical and inclusive tradition of the Episcopal Church. This doesn’t mean I have rejected evangelicalism; it just means I carry elements of both traditions with me. I hope I continue to hold on to evangelicalism’s emphasis on the value and authority of Scripture, for example, and its celebration of personal testimony, while letting go of those expressions of evangelicalism that are perhaps too closely tied to party politics, that exclude women from leadership, and that treat LGBT Christians as problems to be solved rather than fellow citizens of the Kingdom.
How do you feel about people ‘staying to be the change’ in a church they don’t necessarily feel that comfortable in anymore vs. moving to one that fits them better?
You can find the rest of the interview here and leave a comment to enter to win a free copy of her book!