I received news of Rachel Held Evans’ death on Saturday morning. Ironically, I was sitting in a session of our CBMW west coast conference when the text came from my wife. We had been praying for Rachel and her family for the last couple weeks. Nevertheless, I was stunned. Immediately after receiving the news and before the next session was to begin, we led the entire CBMW conference in prayer for Rachel’s husband and children.
The news really was a punch in the gut for me. Rachel and I never met each other in person, but we were not strangers. The New York Times obituary includes these lines:
Ms. Evans fearlessly challenged traditional authority structures, which were often conservative and male. She would spar with evangelical men on Twitter, brazenly and publicly challenging their views of everything from human sexuality to politics to Biblical inerrancy.
That was us. We had countless online interactions and debates over the years. I did a search Saturday night on my twitter feed and read through some of the old threads. I had forgotten about so many of them. They were direct and concerned fundamental issues of the faith. We were often at loggerheads. Continue Reading →