Rachel Held Evans is divisive. She’s a blogger and writer. And she’s made a career out of doubting her faith, asking tough questions, and writing about them. It’s a nice gig, if you can get it.
To date, I’ve read two of her books. This doesn’t mean I’m a fan of hers or that I agree with her positions. I do agree that she’s bold enough to speak her mind and not shy away from admitting that she doubts and has questions. Just like the rest of us.
In Searching for Sunday, Evans uses a beautiful literary device transposing the traditional sacraments of the Church with her own struggles and journey of faith. While discussing Baptism, Confession, Holy Orders, Communion, Confirmation, Anointing the Sick, and Marriage, she navigates the journey she’s been on for the past several years.
Her story isn’t new and it isn’t revelatory, but it is necessary. I don’t always agree with her conclusions and I rarely agree with her theology, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy this book. Like with most of her writing, you don’t have to agree with where she ends up, you just have to understand the journey.
And I do.
I often struggle with doubt. Mine may not be in the same ways or on the same scale as Evans, but that doesn’t mean I can’t relate. In addition to the beauty of her writing, Evans is a master of bringing forth conversations that need to be had, sometimes unapologetic and sometimes overly apologetic.
Evans writes what she knows and this book is no different. It is largely personal and covers what she’s gone through over the past several years struggling with Evangelicalism, a foray into the Emergent, and landing in a small Episcopalian church. It deals largely with her hurts and her pains and how God has healed and helped her, as well as the areas where she’s still hurting.
In the end, even though I enjoyed this book, I don’t know that I would recommend this book to just the average reader or faith doubter. You have to be on a certain foundation, I think, to get the most out of Ms. Evans’ writing. However, for those who have the basics down, but still question would be as enamored with this book as I was.