The Last words of Rachel Held Evans

The Last Words of Rachel Held Evans

She gave voice to a generation of wandering evangelicals wrestling with their faith. Two years after her sudden death at age 37, Rachel Held Evans has one more message.

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Rachel does indeed articulate the state of uncertainty that so many thinking believers live with these days. It’s always good to know you’re not alone in your struggles, and that hanging onto faith in spite of big questions doesn’t make you inauthentic, but rather a struggler and a searcher for truth with the God-given (I believe) courage to live with uncertainty.

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Our last rector once pointed out that doubt is a part of faith.

Hmmm…

Didn’t know anything about her.

Found books of hers in the library and ordered a couple.

Make that 3. I am usually only interested in books but the title “Wholehearted Faith” interested me and there was a CD with that title. Not sure what that means.

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I’m not sure what that means. Is that doubting God’s existence, his love, his ability, his help, or…?

I think what a lot of people call ‘doubt’ you and I might call ‘to question’ or ‘to be unsure’ about something. I don’t mean that in a denigrating way, but to try and separate it from doubt as unbelief, which, is often the form of doubt that is talked about most often in our circles.

To be unsure is normal and to question is healthy. And although both can be part of, or produce, hard and painful times in our walk with God, they are a normal and natural part of endeavouring to walk by faith.

@beaglelady please correct me if I have gotten the wrong end of the stick here.

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There is also the matter of trust. The opposite of trust may not be doubt, but fear.

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Everyone has the occasional doubt, even heroes of the faith like John the Baptist and Saint Thomas the apostle. Our rector used to say “Doubt is a part of faith” on Easter morning, during his welcome, when there were visitors who might be unsteady in their faith. Only a fundamentalist has to be 100% right all the time.

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My question still stands – what kind of doubt are we talking about?
 

…God’s trustworthiness, interpretation(s) of the Bible?

Any doubts people might have about their faith. That’s pretty much what he meant I’m sure.

What kind of doubts are those?

?  

You have no idea?

I never read Evens, but I guess all the age-old theological questions? Who was Jesus? Should I believe this stuff? […, especially after a crank sermon that mortified you in its inanity and you wish you could find some way to crawl under a rock.] Is the God thing true? Etc.

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(smile!) That’s a good description of some feelings we can have. Though I’ve been more foolish in my own faith, often, than many pastors I heard.

Evans is really very empathetic. She was a terrific evangelist in her school, high school and college. If you read her book, “Faith Unraveled,” it was partly out of empathy that she began to question her faith. She wondered what really happened to those who have never heard–for example, the young Afghan woman who was executed by the Taliban for defending herself against an abusive husband. She kept trying to live the same as before, but the questions, as she wrote, kept nagging her, “like a pebble in my shoe.” Her training was also in journalism, so she is a great communicator.

Austin Fischer wrote that it is not doubts, but the feeling we are not allowed to doubt, that cause us to lose faith. She kept trying, like Enns, to not only keep the faith, but even to apply it so she could teach it well to her son. I would highly recommend “Faith Unraveled” as an easy reading book to find what respectful questions can be. She writes more later on some answers.

Thanks.

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And you have no idea?

Some examples:

  • Are you really there God?

  • Do you really care about us?

  • Is this sermon ever going to be over?

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At least the other two have a definitive answer :joy:

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How we first learn about eternity

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My 13 year old loves these last 3 posts…

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My grandfather in Texas used to say that a good preacher stood up, spoke up, and shut up!

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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