Most who care about this news probably already know, but Rachel Held Evans passed away this morning at age 37, leaving her husband and two young children. She was perhaps better known for her controversial stances on other issues of our day but she was, among other things, a prominent voice in the Evangelical evolutionary creation movement, as she wrote about in her book Evolving in Monkey Town and elsewhere. I’m posting here just in case there are people who didn’t know yet. I’m sure her family can use our prayers.
I feel kind of like when I found out Rich Mullins died in a car accident. Like, this isn’t fair, because I wasn’t done listening yet. A pretty self-centered response, I know.
A tremendous loss, even for those who disagreed with some of her positions, as I did at times. Perhaps especially for those who disagreed, as we need that in our life to keep us on track.
I didn’t know. Thanks for sharing.
Very sad. I was following the health updates but it still felt like such a shock to see that she’d died. Reading the Twitter threads has provided a lot of insight on just how large of an impact she had.
It looks like the “Evolving” book was renamed to “Faith Unraveled” – I have it on my kindle but haven’t read it yet. I should. I don’t agree with all her positions either, but I still think “prophetic” is an apt term for her voice.
Good book, worth the read. Resonated with me quite a bit.
I had been following a little, but was surprised at her death, very unusual circumstance from what I can gather. Perhaps a viral encephalopathy, complicated by seizures from what is a commonly used and usually quite safe antibiotic from what I read.
Anybody here (who’s read her) want to put down something of a tribute for her here - what they liked of what she stands for and things they would challenge? I feel like I’ve missed out; I know I could google up and read, but it seems more personal to hear from those of you here who felt her influence. My wife remembers seeing her at a church conference in Orlando years ago but doesn’t remember much from that specific event beyond just being favorably impressed. She was saddened to hear of her passing.
This. I confess to being totally shocked. Last thing she posted on Twitter was “ If you’re the praying type - I’m in the hospital with a flu + UTI combo and a severe allergic reaction to the antibiotics they gave me. (I’m totally going to miss GOT!) … and now this.
I have a 37 year old daughter named a Rachel with 2 kids, this not how life is supposed to unfold.
@AMWolfe, thank you for letting me know. I am sincerely shocked and saddened by this. Just today, I was thinking of lending a copy of her book, “Faith Unraveled,” to a dear family member as a sympathetic description of how seeking for God’s face in Jesus brought her to rethink and re-find God. It’s compassionate, questioning and faithful people like her who will help us all listen to God the better. I agree, @Christy–it does feel like when I heard of Rich Mullins’ passing, too.
I am not sure how you can say this. Life is filled with spiritual learning opportunities. With many chances like this to find reason in God’s Will. So many struggle with the story of Job, but this is what we must ponder on. I have posted the story of my daughter and I often speak of the death of Princess Diana as inspirational learning moment for society. I suggest meditating on Rachael’s life and death to find God’s meaning in them. Death is the greatest spiritual learning experience God gives us. Have a read of On Death and Dying if you have not already.
So very sad. I met Rachel once many years ago, and shortly after reviewed her (then new) book for BioLogos. I read it on the plane on the flight home from the conference I met her at, and loved it.
I also participated in an “ask an Evolutionary Creationist” Q&A on her blog back then. She was a great person to work with. As others have said, I too did not agree with everything she thought but she was a brave and needed voice.
I’ll be praying for Dan and their children. So very sad.
I don’t know @Peter_Wolfe, but I know exactly how someone like him or me would say this. It’s called lamentation, and it’s both normal and good. I have experienced the death of a child, personally, and been part of the healing process for others who have been through the same. A common, and decent, and healthy response, often spoken aloud to grieving parents, is: “This just isn’t supposed to happen.” A common sentiment in our culture (or at least in my culture) is that a parent should never have to bury a child. When we say these things, we are lamenting.
Rachel left a grieving partner, two young children, and a void where her courageous voice had been. She was 37 years old. Let us lament her passing.
Am hearing a tribute to her on NPR even now as I write this on Sunday morning. Maybe that can be linked here soon… [indeed here it is.]
I am just surprised to read these types of comments on Christian forum. I relate “lament” with non-spiritual people, not true Christians who should know:
And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. Mark 14:36.
As Christians we should rejoice in the life Rachel led, ask God to welcome her into His Kingdom, and ask Him to bless her family, not question His Will. Lamenting to me is saying to God that you do not even want to try to understand His Will. Jesus gave us physical death for spiritual life. As I said earlier, death is a great teaching moment, don’t waste it.
Lament fills the Bible. And honestly, this thread is for expressing respects at someone’s untimely death. Please don’t turn it into an opportunity to preach at people. That’s uncalled for.
A post was split to a new topic: Is lament appropriate for Christians today?
It is, for me, a significant credit to Rachel that she is mourned among unbelievers like me and like Hemant Mehta, a humanist who runs the Friendly Atheist blog. Look at his subtitle: “We’ve lost a wonderful voice.” We. Not them.
I always enjoyed the blog dialogue between Rachel and Libby Anne at Love, Joy, Feminism on the one side and Michael Bird at Euangelion on the other. Thinking people appreciate those who give voice to their questions, even if the answers they eventually come down on are different.
Very sad news hard to digest. Grateful for her impact on the world though.
With a nod to your thread on this …
… Becky Castle Miller has posted a moving tribute to RHE on Jesus Creed today.