Gatekeepers

Underneath the Tunic or, What Do Rachel Held Evans and Rob Bell Have In Common?

Equal treatment. Rachel Held Evans and Rob Bell suffered the same hammer when facing the prospects of offering a different vision for how we talk about others in relationship to our pronouncements as final. For many the hammer is the only tool in the box and everyone who disagrees, or poses a different possibility, becomes the nail. Criticism is egalitarian.

Piper bid farewell to Rob Bell over Love Wins and Rachel Held Evans faced the prospect Christian booksellers would not carry her book, allegedly over her reference to female parts according to medical parlance. The result? Rob Bell owes Piper for the negative publicity that resulted in huge sales for Love Wins. And, Rachel Held Evans owes Lifeway for the negative publicity generating interest and sales for her new book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood.

The kerfuffle created by the report that Lifeway will not stock Evans’ book, either a result of the poor sales of her first book or another unmentioned reason, continues to spur points and counter-points. This amounts to reader titillation. Baptists, and many Evangelicals, really do not care to be told what to read, or what not to read. Read More