Viewing Reviews of Rachel Held Evans’

Whoopi and Rachel may get into the sister act on The View tomorrow. I think that would be fun to watch. Alas I will not be near a television and so will depend on YouTube or another source for the clip.

Today on the Out of Ur blog Matt Mikalatos offered keen insight into reviewing books. I found his illustrations both telling and important. It is not uncommon to be taken out of context. But, when one is scolded for a lack of context by herself being taken out of context it seems to render the verdict unjustifiable, even if the psychology of disagreement is in tact.

I read a few of the early reviews. I noted posts by Christian Piatt and Jerry Faught. I read Kathy Keller’s piece as well as those by Pete Enns, Ben Witherington 3, and Roger Olsen. Before I comment which way I might go with the book, I find it telling that the reviews seem to track a priori commitments to one’s position on gender roles.


About the Author
Husband to Patty. Daddy to Kimberly and Tommie. Grandpa Doc to Cohen, Max, Fox, and Marlee. Pastor to Snow Hill Baptist Church. Graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Reading. Photography. Golf. Colorado. Jeeping. Friend. The views and opinions expressed here are my own and should not be construed as representing the corporate views of the church I pastor.

3 comments on “Viewing Reviews of Rachel Held Evans’

  1. Tom Parker says:


    It seems to me that some are being overly critical of Rachel and IMO only because she is a woman. They can not deal with a woman that is not “submissive”. Seems like Denny Burke has something criticalto say about her every day.

    My question to all is can’t we just read the book ourselves and make up our own “unbiased” minds.

    1. Tom,

      We do seem to be selective about what women are accepted, or to whom we listen. I do not ready Denny Burk every day. That is not an attempt to demean Denny. Instead, I just don’t get to read everyone’s stuff every day. I will note that what Denny writes concerning the issues surrounding RHE should not surprise readers.

      I don’t know if you had a chance to read Matt Mikalatos’ piece on reviewing books. It suggests an answer in line with your question. Let’s read and learn, even if we disagree. I began RHE’s book last night. The first thing I note is there is for many who grew up in fundamentalism a cathartic need to unpack what has been given in order to embrace what will become our own. Robert Webber makes this argument in a little book, On the Canterbury Trail. He contended that we experience a developing faith, those of us who grow up in a Christian context. We are given an expression of faith, we experience a crisis/challenge to that faith, we embrace a faith that is our own. Critics will consider that relative. Rather than make this comment longer, I would simply say that is not what Webber argues and it best to read the little book.

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