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This book is 200 pages of Let s all read what Rachel Held Evans feels about things For a self proclaimed critical thinker she displayed little of it here Yes, her words sound pretty, but as soon as you stop and think fluff.It s pretty obvious from reading this book that Rachel Held Evans values feelings and experience above Scriptural authority There are so many examples that I will not list them all, but at one point she says, Thecommitted we are to certain theological absolutes, This book is 200 pages of Let s all read what Rachel Held Evans feels about things For a self proclaimed critical thinker she displayed little of it here Yes, her words sound pretty, but as soon as you stop and think fluff.It s pretty obvious from reading this book that Rachel Held Evans values feelings and experience above Scriptural authority There are so many examples that I will not list them all, but at one point she says, Thecommitted we are to certain theological absolutes, thelikely we are to discount the work of the Spirit when it doesn t conform to our presuppositions 155 On the surface this seems true wise, even but only if she said incorrect theological absolutes As it is, she has it flipped around I should hope that if nothing else, we cling to true theological absolutes as tight as we can I should hope that our theology as based on the Bible interprets, validates, or invalidates spiritual experience, not the other way around After all, not every spiritual experience is Godly experience 1 John 4 If theology and what appears to be the work of the Spirit contradict, then we should follow Scripture.For a person rightly frustrated by Christians picking and choosing verses to support their causes, Rachel Held Evans sure did a lot of picking and choosing Onthan one occasion she cited passages from the Bible to prove her point, while at the same time completely ignoring verses from the same passage that would ve challenged or even proven her wrong e.g when she quotes Isaiah 55 This is related to my next point Rachel Held Evans loves the straw man fallacy It was extremely frustrating reading her dismiss conservative interpretations of the Bible by attacking either ultra conservative beliefs that the majority of people don t hold at least in my generation , or by tearing apart sunday school answers that no one above the age of 5 believes Not once did she tackle what I consider to be valid conservative arguments.Sometimes I found her arguments just plain odd On multiple occasions she said things like, I m an evolutionist because I believe that the best way to reclaim the gospel in times of change is not to clingtightly to our convictions but to hold them with an open hand I m an evolutionist because I believe that sometimes God uses changes in the environment to pry idols from our grip and teach us something new But most of all, I m an evolutionist because my own story is one of unlikely survival If it hadn t been for evolution, I must have lost my faith, 22, again on 212 Wait She s an evolutionist because of metaphors Not because of science This, I think, is the prime flaw of Monkeytown Her arguments hinge on stories and metaphors, on analogies and fluff I read this book because I love Rachel Held Evans blog I think she might be one of my kindred spirits, theologically speaking She was raised in a family and church steeped in conservative fundamentalist evangelical American thought She was a good student She knew all the rules of who was saved and who was damned and how she was going to convert everyone to Christianity She could win sword drills remember those finding a passage in the Bible faster than any other kid in the Sunday schoo I read this book because I love Rachel Held Evans blog I think she might be one of my kindred spirits, theologically speaking She was raised in a family and church steeped in conservative fundamentalist evangelical American thought She was a good student She knew all the rules of who was saved and who was damned and how she was going to convert everyone to Christianity She could win sword drills remember those finding a passage in the Bible faster than any other kid in the Sunday school class She held onto her beliefs with a death grip But slowly she started to lose that grip She grew tired of easy answers and started to ask the really hard questions And the really hard questions rocked her world view This book documents her journey from certainty through doubt to faithbut a different faith A faith that isn t about being right, or settling down, or refusing to change Faith is a journey, and every generation contributes its own sketches to the map This journey feels familiar to me as a good Christian girl who repeatedly has had to re examine what I believe and make room for growth and evolution Over the Rhine, my favorite band, said it best, I m not letting go of God, I m just loosening my grip As a memoir that Evans wrote at the tender age of 27, it s a bit choppy in places and underdeveloped But there are moments of brilliance expressed with compassion, pop culture references and self deprecating humor that catch my attention, that leave me underlining and starring passages in the margins As I ve seen her thought process and writing style develop on her blog, I have hopes she might be in the same lineage as Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Madeleine L Engle, Anne LamottWomen writers who inspire me to think harder, love bigger, question fearlessly Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language Do not now look for the answers They cannot now be given you because you could not live them It is a question of experiencing everything At present you need to live the question Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day Rainer Rilke Bullet Review I am really glad the name changed from Evolving in Monkey Town to Faith Unraveled because the correlation between the actual subject matter of the book and the Scopes Trial is tenuous, at best Reading the various attempts to intertwine the two were kinda painful, such as the mostly frivolous Chapter 3 on the history of Dayton, as really the only relation is that Evans became less fundamental or as she calls, evolved her Christianity in the town where teaching evolution in Bullet Review I am really glad the name changed from Evolving in Monkey Town to Faith Unraveled because the correlation between the actual subject matter of the book and the Scopes Trial is tenuous, at best Reading the various attempts to intertwine the two were kinda painful, such as the mostly frivolous Chapter 3 on the history of Dayton, as really the only relation is that Evans became less fundamental or as she calls, evolved her Christianity in the town where teaching evolution in science class was challenged.I ve read Evans A Year of Biblical Womanhood, and I really enjoyed that I thought it really challenged many Christians perception of biblical womanhood that there was ONE and ONLY ONE way to be a woman and the Bible spoke very clearly on that matter The quick and dirty answers are No and nope And don t bother commenting on this review how I m wrong, because this is NOT the place for a debate You wanna debate, write your own review Thank you, Goodbye This Not so much Not only because of the aforementioned desperate attempt to tie in living in Dayton with her evolution of faith It s a memoir, not a really in depth look into Christians accepting scientific principles which the old title, Evolving in Monkey Town , somewhat hints at This is just one woman having a crisis of faith a very thoughtful topic, to be sure, but completely different from the one expected.Also, I find it strange how the author has this crisis of faith but never chose to look outside the Christian box for answers or if she did research outside Christian circles, she never mentioned it Did she investigate the historicity of Jesus by reading Bart Ehrman or Richard Carrier Did she pick up The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins or God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens What about other non theistic religions Did she research Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, and many other tribal religions as well and how they answered her myriad of questions about heaven and hell and if homosexuality was a sin I do completely understand her journey because many Christians can be very resistant to the hard questions Evil, heaven and hell, abortion, being gay, etc And I think her book could be the path to move away from hardcore fundamentalism, which seeks to conquer and destroy and aencompassing form of Christianity I just wish that I had seen if it happened some form of Evans reaching to non Christian sources for answers to her question.Also, I found the writing pretty choppy it was odd how every other chapter after the first section focused on a different person and Evans interpretation of that person and some facet she could morph into talking about her evolution.My personal opinion is this If you want high academic, this is not your book If you are looking for some insight into Christians adopting scientific principles, this is also not your book If you are a Christian asking questions or seeking comfort, you may enjoy this book And if you are the type of person that loves the smooshy reads like Sarah Bessey s Jesus Feminist An Invitation to Revisit the Bible s View of Women or Chicken Soup for the Fill in the Blank soul, this is pretty much up your alley I went into this book with an open mind How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions might stand in as the tag line for my own faith journey I too attended Bryan College, drank coffee at Harmony House, and had a minor crisis of faith in college I even took the Christian Worldview class under Professor Held, Rachel Held Evans Dad I too grew up in a Christian home, won the awards, and knew all the answers Then I moved 12 hours away to attend a private, Christian college I went into this book with an open mind How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions might stand in as the tag line for my own faith journey I too attended Bryan College, drank coffee at Harmony House, and had a minor crisis of faith in college I even took the Christian Worldview class under Professor Held, Rachel Held Evans Dad I too grew up in a Christian home, won the awards, and knew all the answers Then I moved 12 hours away to attend a private, Christian college and found myself personally confronted with the problem of pain and the hypocrisy within the Bible Belt My freshman year I struggled in the face of personal tragedy to believe that the God I loved could be good if He allowed evil in the world All my academic answers fled and my emotions wreaked havoc Yet the Millennial Christians around me used words like community and doing life together and emphasized that we were a chosen, unique generation They dismissed my confusion So yes, I get the crisis of faith And I get coming back to the answers you originally dismissed and holding them lightly Yet Evans stops there She praises evolution of faith and tells us how she left fundamentalism to find her own fundamentals But what fundamentals Apparently some hidden truths discovered through community Presumably because we advance in our knowledge or goodness as time passes After all, Christians no longer believe in a geocentric universe She dismisses the reason and arguments of fundamentalist by ignoring many of the real arguments and focusing on the fringe groups And yes, I agree Dayton, Tennessee may have an inordinate number of fringe Christians, but that does not mean the articulated beliefs and hopes of countless Christians can be so easily dismissed My greatest problem with this book is that Evans dismisses fundamentalism and replaces withnothing She pushes her emotions and personal stories and then hides behind them This book offers mockery but not reason And because she focuseson how she feels about things, I finished this book and realized I felt less annoyed anddisappointed I went in hoping to reason and talk together I walked away told to respect her feelings and hold my beliefs loosely because after allthe Bible endorses multiple wives Or something Also, this review is excellent I recommend it I read this book because of a post on Amanda Lawrence s Facebook page I am so glad that I did I highly recommend it for anyone who grew up in the ultra Baptist world and has found themselves progressive, intellectual, critical thinking, or any synonym of these I grew up in Independent Fundamental Bible Believing Baptist Churches just the kind Ms Evans describes in this book We were never taught to question or criticize anything and just told that the Bible is the inherent Word of G I read this book because of a post on Amanda Lawrence s Facebook page I am so glad that I did I highly recommend it for anyone who grew up in the ultra Baptist world and has found themselves progressive, intellectual, critical thinking, or any synonym of these I grew up in Independent Fundamental Bible Believing Baptist Churches just the kind Ms Evans describes in this book We were never taught to question or criticize anything and just told that the Bible is the inherent Word of God and we should take it at face value However unhappy I am with the squashing of all things smart and female, I did take one amazing thing from that experience which is my Faith and belief in God and Jesus When I became a mom, I started struggling with how to reconcile my Faith which I strongly feel has allowed me the grace to survive many things and has provided me with a sense of optimism with my desire to raise a critically thinking strong progressive young woman For many years I was unable to connect the two After slowly edging my way back into church, I was finding a peace and happiness in that fellowship but still struggling with the childhood experiences I had This book allowed me the freedom to connect my faith with the negative experiences of the churches I grew up in and find a way to talk to my daughter about faith and feminism in one breath I m not sure where to start with this Bimbo She has no foundation for any of her liberal Christianity so she spends the whole book attacking and mocking and criticizing everything she failed to understand in her lame attempt at apologetics And being a Saint in community Mostly so she can justify her applauding of GLBTQ values and Democratic political views There s just gotta be a cherry picking way to make the god she hatesprogressive on her pet social issues even if she has to ignore I m not sure where to start with this Bimbo She has no foundation for any of her liberal Christianity so she spends the whole book attacking and mocking and criticizing everything she failed to understand in her lame attempt at apologetics And being a Saint in community Mostly so she can justify her applauding of GLBTQ values and Democratic political views There s just gotta be a cherry picking way to make the god she hatesprogressive on her pet social issues even if she has to ignore 98% of the Bible to do it Her god didn t mean most of that stuff anyway I m pretty used to dealing with folks who attempt to bludgeon us with their 2% of Biblical references From charismatics to Mormons to militant fundies to socialist tree huggers And Atheists Seriously, if you want to scholarly test your point run it through 100% of the Bible first Then go to mass media and start bashing She argues like a teen atheist while in the comfort of her religious Mommy s basement She has a huge crisis of faith when she learns that Muslim s are murdering muslims and her social deity isn t doing what she thinks should be done for these poor innocent faith searchers Why doesn t Jesus love people who hate everything He stands for What kind of ALL INCLUSIVE King is this If Rachel has a feeling then god had better damn well agree with every SINGLE one of them And that is why she writes blogs Yawnnn For some reason she assumes that God has failed to reach out to non Christians Those poor people born into foreign faiths have no idea or even choice about this Trinitarian Jesus or their geographically insisted Worldview Even though the Islamic Quran is all about the Abrahamic promise and is made up of snippets of warped Bible accounts and denying the Atoning death of the Jesus there in how could they possibly know She assumes the Holy Spirit and 2000 years of missionaries can t possibly get through foreign Christian hating governments He s only a god after all A person can t be blamed for being a Buddhist or Hindu or Muslim or Democrat or its God s fault He needs better PR.She gets one star for asking great questions But then she has no interest in God s answers When I read this book for the first time in 2012, I was still fairly early in my own deconstruction process So Rachel s book challenged me and encouraged me in so many ways I identified with so much of her own background I ve read it threetimes since then The most recent time I listened to Rachel read the audio book version as I drove to her funeral This was both devastating and comforting at the same time.The bottom line is, I would recommend this book to anyone who was raised in a c When I read this book for the first time in 2012, I was still fairly early in my own deconstruction process So Rachel s book challenged me and encouraged me in so many ways I identified with so much of her own background I ve read it threetimes since then The most recent time I listened to Rachel read the audio book version as I drove to her funeral This was both devastating and comforting at the same time.The bottom line is, I would recommend this book to anyone who was raised in a conservative evangelical way, especially if they have ever had questions or doubts along the way We need to learn to ask questions and we need to know we are not alone in this.I am so thankful for this book and the rest of the writing Rachel shared with us &Read Ebook ⇬ Evolving in Monkey Town: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions ⇳ Eighty years after the Scopes Monkey Trial made a spectacle of Christian fundamentalism and brought national attention to her hometown, Rachel Held Evans faced a trial of her own when she began to have doubts about her faithIn Faith Unraveled, Rachel recounts growing up in a culture obsessed with apologetics, struggling as her own faith unraveled one unexpected question at a timeIn order for her faith to survive, Rachel realizes, it must adapt to change and evolve Using as an illustration her own spiritual journey from certainty to doubt to faith, Evans challenges you to disentangle your faith from false fundamentals and to trust in a God who is big enough to handle your tough questionsIn a changing cultural environment where new ideas seem to threaten the safety and security of the faith, Faith Unraveled is a fearlessly honest story of survivalThis book is also available, with this same ISBN entitled Faith Unraveled How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask Questions with a published date ofby Zondervanit has the reddish cover, not this cover I wish there was an option for half stars I liked this book muchthan three out of five stars would suggest While I m not convinced that I subscribe to everything Rachel her, not me believes or suggests in the book, I m coming away from it feeling like I really get her Or like she really gets me I m not sure which Maybe it s because I have a natural affinity for other strong willed women who love Jesus, love reading, and who have got wind of the idea that they can be or do anythi I wish there was an option for half stars I liked this book muchthan three out of five stars would suggest While I m not convinced that I subscribe to everything Rachel her, not me believes or suggests in the book, I m coming away from it feeling like I really get her Or like she really gets me I m not sure which Maybe it s because I have a natural affinity for other strong willed women who love Jesus, love reading, and who have got wind of the idea that they can be or do anything a man can be or do and bonus points if her name is also Rachel Anyway, the best way I could possibly put it is that it s like those people with the stickers on their Wranglers or Rubicons that say, It s a Jeep thing you wouldn t understand The best way I could synopsize my amen for this book would be It s a raised in church kid thing you wouldn t understand I too grew up with sword drills, apologetics classes, and scare the hell out of you literally alternatives to Halloween Not everyone who grows up in that kind of environment chooses to spend the rest of their life afterward following Jesus I have The adjustment to the adult, independent thinking version of this requires some self confrontation This book is a pretty brave confession of the good, the bad, and the ugly details of what that journey looked at for one girl it s different for all of us , and how different life and faith look when you ve come out on the other side It s comforting It s a great reminder that you can have a great testimony even if yours doesn t involve the big SDA you know sex, drugs, and alcohol It s a relief to say, yeah, me too that many times in less than 250 pages.I have a copy of Ken Wilson s book Jesus Brand Spirituality on my shelf One day in June of 2008 after hearing him speak, I had him sign it for me after a brief but impactful conversation on this very topic letting one s faith adjust and becomereal in spite of because of the idiosyncrasies of church culture On the inside, he wrote, Rachel, Without a church it s just words Thanks for your patience with her While at times patience has been required in working out the stuff of faith and life, I remember that God offers us His own character, which is never subject to change or adjustment, in response and in invitation He s waypatient with me than I deserve, and He just keeps holding His hand out and beckoning me in closer I m grateful for the reminder Thanks, Rach Rachel Held Evans and her two sisters grew up in a fundamentalist family in Dayton, Tennessee, a place best known for the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial that H.L Mencken so deliciously sent up Equal parts memoir, Christian philosophy, and explication of modern fundamentalism, Evolving in Monkey Town provides something for Christians and agnostics alike I found myself really invested in Evans spiritual evolution, if you ll pardon the pun Despite living in Kentucky, home of snake handling, the Chur Rachel Held Evans and her two sisters grew up in a fundamentalist family in Dayton, Tennessee, a place best known for the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial that H.L Mencken so deliciously sent up Equal parts memoir, Christian philosophy, and explication of modern fundamentalism, Evolving in Monkey Town provides something for Christians and agnostics alike I found myself really invested in Evans spiritual evolution, if you ll pardon the pun Despite living in Kentucky, home of snake handling, the Church of Christ non instrumental , and crackpots like Governor Matt Bevin and Senator Rand Paul an Aqua Buddhist , I learned quite a bit from this slim volume I was completely unfamiliar with both Bryan College located in Dayton and Christian worldview a sort of scientific fundamentalism and quite an oxymoron , and Evans explains both its origins and its finer points And I really appreciated Evans reminding me that an open mind, loving respect, and constant questioning is the best way to build a relationship with God and each other