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Echoes Blog

Around the Blogosphere: Rachel Held Evans and More

If you don’t yet know about Rachel Held Evans, here’s your chance.

In her late 20s, Rachel is an award-winning author, speaker, blogger whose reflections on faith and life have been featured in interviews everywhere from the NPR to the London Times to Oprah. Her first book, Evolving in Monkey Town (Zondervan, 2010), explores the relationship between faith and doubt and recounts the challenges of asking tough questions about Christianity in the context of the Bible Belt. This past October, Rachel finished a yearlong experiment in “biblical womanhood” in which she attempted to follow all of the Bible’s instructions for women as literally as possible. That experiment will be documented in a book published in 2012.


Recommended by a friend, she has recently become one of my favorite daily blog check-ins and I want you to know about her.

What I love about Rachel’s writing is that while smart and thoughtful, she also engages difficult issues in a way that is accessible. One of my favorite sections on Rachel’s blog is her “Ask a…” series in which she invites her readers to ask questions of a guest and then she posts seven or eight of the most “liked” questions with the guest’s responses. So far her series includes an atheist, a Mormon, a humanitarian, an evolutionary creationist, a Catholic, an Orthodox Jew, a gay Christian, a Quaker and, this week, a Muslim. The point of her interview series is not to debate or challenge, but to ask the sort of questions that will help us understand one another better. Something that we can never do to much of!

Rachel also has a great Sunday post called “The Sunday Superlatives” where she identifies what she thinks are some of the most engaging, enriching, funny, beautiful, thought provoking discussions happening in the blogosphere. It’s a great way to find out about the latest conversation topics to take up with family in friends.

In honor of her Sunday Superlatives, here are a few of mine from this week. Happy Reading!

1. Best Conversation on the PCUSA: “Embracing the Pathos of Our Situation,” Fourth Church Youth Pastor John Vest

2. Funniest: Conan on Tim Tebow

3. Most Challenging: Pulitzer Prize Photos 2011

4. Best List: CNN Religion Blog with “15 Faith-Based Predictions for 2012

5. Most Likely to Generate Good Conversation: Rachel Held Evans “Ask a Muslim"

6. Most Informative: Juan Cole with “Top Ten Myths About the Arab Spring of 2011

7. Best Image: Men Managing the Cross by David Hayword

8. Most Thought Provoking: Jane Brody, Finishing with No Regrets

9. Best Series: Krista Tippet on “Being”

10. Most Controversial: Tony Jones, “I Don’t Mourn When a Private School Closes”

11. Most Fun: Monsters We Love, TV’s pop culture theology

Want to hear Rachel in person?

She will be speaking here in Arizona through the Center for Contemporary Theology at Via de Cristo United Methodist Church on Jan. 21. Click here for more information.