This week we’re coming in strong in our For the Love of Exploring our Faith series with New York Times bestselling author, speaker and self-proclaimed “Bible Nerd,” Rachel Held Evans. Rachel’s writings have resonated with many of us who have walked through doubts, questions and concerns about faith and religion. Rachel shows how the Bible can hold up to our fiercest questions, our strongest doubts and the most significant of disagreements. She encourages us that “God is not a God of self-improvement plans and 10 steps. Ours is a God of death and resurrection—and that God can take anything and bring it to life.” NOTE: This interview was conducted while Rachel, 9 months pregnant, was having contractions at a minute a part—and although we were hoping for an on-air podcast baby arrival, we still claim our part in the process (and Jen lobbied hard for namesake rights). Congratulations, Rachel, from all of us at the For the Love Podcast on the arrival of your baby girl!
We lost a beloved friend, teacher, and true faith groundbreaker this week. Her teachings, writings, and insight into the Christian faith have quietly revolutionized the lives for many whose religious upbringing imposed limits and yielded scars. Because of Rachel, more women than ever have begun pursuing their place in the pulpit. Because of Rachel, the way has been paved for all of us who struggle with questions, doubts and failings in the faith to speak openly about it. Her passing seems sudden, and too soon. But right now, we are clinging to her warmth and wisdom in hopes we can continue to be the light she always was for us. In that spirit, we’re re-airing her conversation from last year about her fierce love of the church, even in the midst of her doubt. In Rachel’s own words from that interview, “Ours is a God of death and resurrection—and that God can take anything and bring it to life.” In moments like this, we realize Rachel’s work planted seeds of hope that will bloom across generations.