How Should Christians Respond to the Death of Rachel Held Evans?


Rachel Held Evans

by John Ellis

How should Christians respond when wolves in sheep’s clothing tragically die? That’s the question, I think, driving the many text messages I’ve received today after the news of Rachel Held Evans’ death was made public. Curious as to my response, I fielded the question, “Did you hear that Rachel Held Evans died?” multiple times. For starters, my response is one of immense sadness. The news deserves mourning. Yet, it also deserves truthful responses that point people to the saving grace found in repentance of sins and faith in Jesus Christ – a message that was tragically rejected by Rachel Held Evans.

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The Continued Self-destruction of Liberal Theology

jesus-crossby John Ellis

A little over a year ago, in an op-ed for the Washington Post, Rachel Held Evans continued her naïve drumbeat about how to fix churches. Like her book, the op-ed blamed diminishing church attendance on things like “cooler bands, hipper worship, edgier programming, [and] impressive technology.” Further down the article, she drags out her favorite hobby horse – the treatment/rejection of the lgbt community and her desire to open the Lord’s Table to any and all, regardless of whether or not they are repenting of their sins and placing their faith in Jesus. Of course, as I stated in my review of her last book, Rachel Held Evans either ignores or is simply unaware of the vast amounts of data that scream that liberal theology (you know, embracing aberrant sexuality and embracing an inclusive soteriology devoid of a drastic re-shifting of a person’s identity) is the culprit for declining church attendance.

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Progressive Christians, Planned Parenthood, and the Murder of Babies

Of course it's a baby' because IT'S A BABY!
Of course it’s a baby, because IT’S A BABY!

by John Ellis

I find no humor in the murder of babies. I mean, when it comes to things like gay marriage or identity politics, I find value and a small amount of personal pleasure in steering into the comedic skid – á la Elijah mocking the prophets of Baal by co-opting their rhetoric. Baby murdering, on the other hand, inhabits a level of abhorrency that makes it baffling and overwhelmingly unfunny as to why anyone who claims to be a Christian supports it, even if only wishy-washily. This is why I rarely comment online about baby murdering , either on this blog or on my social media accounts; I’m not sure if my “writer’s voice” is a good match for my feelings of utter revulsion when I hear or read the code word for baby murder – abortion.

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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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