R.I.P.: What We Can Learn from Rachel Held Evans

Steve Podcast 2 Comments

On May 3, 2019, Rachel Held Evans, the 37-year-old popular progressive Christian author, tragically passed away, leaving behind two young children and a husband. Known for questioning and challenging the Evangelical establishment, her authenticity won the admiration of many conservative Christian leaders despite their sharp differences. Andy, Terry, and Steve come together in today’s edition of the AC Podcast for a moment to reflect.

Links & Articles

The Radically Inclusive Christianity of Rachel Held Evans from The New Yorker

How progressive Christian blogger Rachel Held Evans changed everything from Vox

Intro Music
Amped Adapter
by Marc Robillard

Outro Music
Another Time

Comments 2

  1. Dear Andy, Terry and Steve,

    Thankyou for producing another engaging and thoughtful episode.

    Towards the end of this episode about Ra hel Held Evans (I hadn’t previously heard of her) you were critical of so-called “crusading” Christians as opposed to those on a “journey”. What exactly is a ‘crusading’ Christian is your estimation? How does it differ for one on a ‘journey’?

    Peter Marendy
    Brisbane, Australia
    Greek Orthodx Christian

    1. Post

      Hi Peter,

      Thank you for tuning in to the show and asking a thoughtful question. I think I know Andy’s position well enough to answer for him.

      By a ‘crusading’ Christian (or anyone, for that matter), Andy means someone who already has his mind made up. In other words, you begin with an answer and go on to prove it regardless of what you discover along the way. Someone who is on a journey is open to landing on a conclusion different than what he began with; not so with someone who is on a crusade. (That’s why Andy was saying that being on a journey is actually quite difficult.) So, you may remember from the episode, Andy mentions a friend who Andy thinks just won’t be convinced, and those who begin with an agenda on certain highly sensitive and politicized issues.

      Over the years, I (as well as others) have noticed certain patterns that suggest this person might be on a crusade. One is the lack of willingness to concede even a minor point. If I’m talking with someone and my interlocutor doesn’t acknowledge anything that I say, I begin to suspect that this person’s mind is made up. Secondly – and related to the first point – if my interlocutor has a “shotgun approach,” where I will answer an objection but this person will just move on to the next objection – often without acknowledging my answer at all – by saying “Yeah, but what about this or that?”, then I start suspecting that this interlocutor is maybe more of a ‘crusader.’

      Of course, these are not air-tight categories. It might be that my interlocutor has been wounded deeply and these need to be worked through first before addressing intellectual problems. (Or while we are addressing intellectual problems.) That’s why discernment, I think, is critical.

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