Friday, April 10, 2015
Are we Searching for Sunday?
Rachel Held Evans is an evangelical author who seems to be in constant trouble because she is honest, expansive in her understanding of God's grace, and witty to boot. Doesn't she sound dangerous to you? I follow her on Twitter and the doctrine-police trolls are relentless in their criticism.
She wrote a book called Evolving in Monkey Town which was later renamed with the far less interesting title of Faith Unravelled. The book is about her journey out of fundamentalism into a healthier evangelical faith which is open to questions, doubt, and a different perspective on the grace of Christ. Sadly, in some circles naming all this becomes a magnet for anger and recrimination. It gets downright ugly if the person with these dangerous ideas is an uppity woman. I do know one evangelical man who found the book to be a breath of fresh air when he read it back in 2010 but he talked with others who were scandalized.
Rachel Held Evans new book, Searching for Sunday, intrigues me, in part because I am aware that she has become an Episcopalian. In Canada we call 'em Anglicans. One of my myriads sisters-in-law also transitioned from an evangelical congregation to an Anglican church. She appreciates the richness of the liturgical year, a regular eucharist, and a grounding in the traditions of the church.
I have seen a screen-shot of a page from the new book where Held Evans offers: "church is a moment of time when the kingdom of God draws near when a meal, a story, a song an apology and even a failure is made holy by the presence of Jesus among us and within us."
This works for me. In a time of transition in our denomination I do hope we get back to "a meal, a story, a song" as the core of our life together. It is when we are at our best as Christians.