The Clash of the Straw Men: An Unorthodox Review of Rachel Held Evans’ Searching for Sunday

rachel held evans

by John Ellis

“But if the world is watching, we might as well tell the truth. And the truth is, the church doesn’t offer a cure. It doesn’t offer a quick fix. The church offers death and resurrection. The church offers the messy, inconvenient, gut-wrenching, never-ending work of healing and reconciliation. The church offers grace” – Rachel Held Evans[1].

Whoa. For those of us who grew up in the stifling cage of American Evangelicalism, and especially fundamentalism, that statement from Rachel Held Evans has the bracing freshness of the waters cascading over Bridalveil Fall in Yosemite. Washing away our shame and guilt, our disgust at ourselves and, hence, others, and the need we confused evangelicals feel to conform to what our parents, our pastors, and our Third Day loving friends expect, Evans holds out the refreshing cup of communion and says, speaking for God, “I’m throwing a banquet, and all these mismatched, messed-up people are invited. Here, have some wine”[2]. I do love wine.

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