Rachel Held Evans on the Today Show

I think the telling part is at the end where she says that she uses the teaching of Jesus as a guide to which parts of the Bible she will obey.

50 Responses to Rachel Held Evans on the Today Show

  1. Joe Carter October 22, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    Good grief, what an embarrassment. How does anyone take her seriously?

    • Scott Schuyler October 22, 2012 at 11:35 am #

      Ditto!

  2. Scott Terrell October 22, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    Get over it Denny! We know you don’t like her.

  3. Joseph Torres October 22, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    She does it with a smile, but this may be a new low in the debate between complimentarians and egalitarians. Sad. RHC has earned her Ph.D in the art of burning strawmen.

  4. Jacob Hall October 22, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    What a mockery of the text. The addition of “faith” by George Michael at the end of the montage is incredibly appropriate. RHE has allowed the culture to influence how she views matters of faith than the Scriptures.

  5. Sarah Flashing October 22, 2012 at 10:40 am #

    Are you kidding? she’s taken very seriously by a lot of people. Unforunate but true.

    • Kamilla Ludwig October 23, 2012 at 3:29 am #

      Begging the question, Sarah 🙂

      I’m with Joe Carter – we all know people do take her seriously. The question is “how”?!?!

      • Scott Terrell October 23, 2012 at 10:56 am #

        She’s intelligent, a talented writer, and humble. She also points out the absurd silliness of complementarianism (or patriarchy, whatever you call it). I’ll gladly stomach some of the hyperbole if she effectively diminishes the validity of that position.

        • Darius T October 23, 2012 at 11:03 am #

          Ah yes, the humility behind her mocking rhetoric. SO humble. Added to the humility it takes to tell God he’s wrong about homosexuality and the roles of men and women in marriage.

          She points out the absurd silliness of some straw man idea of complementarianism… yay for her, so well done. Tilting at windmills never looked so cool.

  6. Brent Walker October 22, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    Talk about a red-letter approach to the Bible. I’m sure this publicity will send many to the stores to buy her book. Praying that they won’t be deceived by her arguments based on such a low view of scripture.

  7. Joseph Torres October 22, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    Sarah, I found her response to the last question telling. When she was informed that one reviewer (a non-Christian reviewer, if I recall correctly) said her approach made a mockery of the Bible her reply was used to promote one of her talking points (not making the term ‘biblical’ an adjective). Again, it’s witty but not substantial. I hope she responds to the serious challenges over the next few weeks and doesn’t simply call attention to the crazies.

    The “I love the Bible” bit is a non-response. Marcion would have said that he did what he did to the Bible “because he loved it.” And just about every classic liberal protestant would have said they “loved the Bible.” We need to define how our love for the Bible is different from, say, our love of the Harry Potter books.

    • Chuck October 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

      You may also want to define how your love of the Bible is different from say, your love of God. Conservative Evangelicalism has gone in an unfortunately calculated “bible worship” direction over the last few decades. Scripture is not a member of the trinity. Please stop equating it as such.

    • Scott October 22, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

      Joseph –

      RHE’s ploys are not always wise, but remember she had 7 seconds to answer that last question. I’m sure she would have appreciated 7 minutes.

  8. Kent October 22, 2012 at 11:24 am #

    The “As a person of faith . . .” response is a telling sign of RHE’s belief all religions are equal to Christianity. For someone who includes the line how much she loves Jesus early in the interview and then pull the “person of faith” line, she rushes at the chance of denying Christ at the end of the interview. Hopefully, she will repent like Peter one of these days.

    • Chuck October 22, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

      Another bible-worshipper? She denied your view of scripture. She didn’t deny Christ. Stop equating those things please. Scripture is not our god.

      • Darius T October 22, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

        Chuck, Christ affirmed ALL of Scripture as God’s own words. To deny Scripture IS to deny Christ.

        • Chuck October 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

          Of course he was only talking about what we call the Old Testament, as the rest wasn’t written yet….hmmm

          She wasn’t denying scripture anyway. She was denying your particular fundamentalist interpretation of scripture.

          • Darius T October 22, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

            Yes, and the rest he affirmed as coming from him (John 14:26).

            RHE denied that the WHOLE Word is good and trustworthy. In so doing, she denied Christ.

            • Darius T October 22, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

              In case you forgot, Christ is the Word. You can’t separate the two.

              • Chuck October 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

                Christ is the Word, yes…Christ is not the Bible. I will separate Christ/The Word and the Bible, because they’re different things….the Bible is the record of the Word (Jesus) of God. To elevate scripture to the level of Christ is nothing short of idolatry.

                • Darius T October 22, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

                  Such a ridiculous argument… “Give Christ honor but don’t honor what He said.” Please tell me you see the nonsense involved.

                  • Chuck October 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

                    Who said I (or RHE, since that’s what this thread is about) don’t honor what Christ said? You assume I don’t because I don’t affirm the same view of scripture as you do. I actually take the bible and Christ’s words pretty seriously. They’re my guide to life, as I’m sure they are yours…the difference is I don’t elevate scripture to godlike status and worship it. I worship the central character of scripture, not the words themselves.

                    • Darius T October 22, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

                      Who is worshiping Scripture? I have never met such a person.

                      You can’t take Christ’s words seriously if you deny the truth of the Word, because He affirmed it.

            • Scott October 22, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

              Darius –

              I appreciate your passion for Christ and Scripture. But John 14:26 does not speak of a 66-book canon. I love the canon we have, but we evangelicals have got to stop utilising passages to speak of Scripture that never had a 66-book canon in mind.

              It’s always interesting when we start studying the history of canonical development. I’m not negating Scripture. I’m just saying our 66-book list is not found anywhere in the Scripture that makes up our canon.

              Very few verses usually employed to ‘defend’ Scripture ever really speak of a canon of Scripture, a Bible. The terminology of ‘the word’, ‘word of God’, ‘word of the Lord’, etc, speak of something besides our canon most of the time.

              Blessings

              • Darius T October 22, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

                Fair enough, Scott. However, Christ affirmed the OT canon, so if a group of men could be led by God to properly choose the OT canon, could not a group of godly men also choose an NT canon? Our faith here is not in those men, but in a God who is able to work as He wants.

                Ultimately, what deniers of Scripture are really doing is denying that God has the ability and power to speak clearly through men. In their view, He’s verbally impotent.

                Blessings.

                • Scott October 23, 2012 at 4:50 am #

                  Darius –

                  Christ affirmed the OT canon (though you’d find plenty of arguments that the OT canon of the first century included what we identify as ‘the apocrypha’, which is interesting to consider). But then he went on to overturn a good deal of what it taught. Or maybe we would better say that he showed the true intent of God in those commands. But still, those commands in themselves, were not sufficient and needed ‘updating’ or ‘re-shaping’ to understand the intent of God.

                  Here is something that I think we evangelicals have yet to grapple with, and I suspect we would roll their eyes at such a suggestion. Again, when someone begins to study just a bit of the history of the development of the canon, you see very quickly that it wasn’t an easy development (though plenty of texts and systematic books would make you think otherwise). It took somewhere in the vicinity of 300 or more years to come to any ‘final’ conclusion (still noting that 4 different branches of the church have 4 different canons of Scripture). And, while I am fine to acknowledge the providential hand of God in developing a canon that included both the Hebrew and NT Scriptures, it is interesting to note Scripture itself (in the canon we actually have) never suggests a list of what should be included. That’s easy to note, but let’s think this through some more. Knowing this, I think that if we are going to be faithful to our normative concepts of inerrancy, then we have to also say that the varying church fathers that helped decide on a canon of Scripture had to also be inerrant in their choice. The ‘inerrant’ Scripture doesn’t provide a list and nowhere is their a confirmed list by God ever. So to invest the idea of inerrancy into Scripture, to be fully faithful to this concept, I believe we also have to invest the idea in those who chose what should and should not be in the canon. Otherwise we are not sure we have an inerrant Bible. This, I believe, is what should follow from the normal evangelical arguments for inerrancy.

                  I’m not so bothered on technically attributing inerrancy to Scripture or dotting all our i’s and crossing all our t’s to prove that the canon we have is the exact canon God approves. I believe the providence and divine work of God, by His Spirit, is much more fatherly and shepherding than we evangelicals like to acknowledge at times. I think we make God out to be a control freak in most of what he has done. But his fathering and shepherding always comes through in a team project with his work amongst humans. He could have chosen to write Scripture himself, but he had this amazing, mind-blowing idea to use finite (and fallen) human beings to make his revelation known. Fantastic!

                  Many have an insatiable appetite for absolute, objective and empirically verifiable data when it comes to truth. Whereas some 500 years ago there was a challenge to investing such in one man (mainly the Pope), the Protestant church had to invest it somewhere. We need some empirical source. So we invested such an infallible and inerrant concept in the text of Scripture. But God has not given us any list of what should have been in the canon, though I think we can still reasonably and practically receive the canon as God-breathed and authoritative. This works itself out not in empirical data to prove which books are the right selection, but rather in actually being connected to the historic church, the church today, and having the body listening to the Spirit of God himself. I just think we are seeing and are going to see more of a swing away from a modernist epistemology that says truth can ONLY be absolute and empirically verifiable, to a more practical and reasonable approach that allows for Scripture to be what Scripture says it is of ITSELF while we continue to walk out this journey of faith.

              • Darius T October 22, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

                Since Christ spoke the Scriptures, you can’t separate the two… similar to how I can’t separate you from your own words. All the more true for the Creator of everything, the one who holds it all together even now. He stops singing His tune, it all ceases to exist. The primary way God chose to speak to humans on the macro level is through the Bible. It is the one standard we are to use to test everything against. If someone thinks they hear something from God, they are to test it against Scripture.

                There is definitely middle ground on Scriptural interpretation… but RHE doesn’t hold that middle ground (at least, not on much). There is NO middle ground on whether homosexual actions are sin or not (though there COULD be middle ground on how to apply God’s Word to voting on gay marriage). There is NO middle ground on which portions of the Bible are trustworthy. Either it ALL is or, by definition, none of it is. It is inherently illogical to pick and choose which parts to believe… what is particularly silly is using Scripture to defend this view. “I don’t believe the whole Bible is true. After all, Jesus said… [insert quote FROM THE BIBLE here]”.

                • Darius T October 22, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

                  That last comment was for Chuck.

                • Chuck POWELL October 22, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

                  You’re right that RHE doesn’t hold the middle ground…neither do I…neither do you. You’re wrong that there’s no middle ground on homosexuality. You’re also wrong about the old fundamentalist argument that scripture is all or nothing. That’s not how or why it was written, and to remove the humanity from it’s writing is to do it a much greater disservice than anything I could ever say against the conservative interpretation of what the authority of scripture means. There are parts of scripture that hold less weight than others…and you can say all day long you don’t believe that, but you do. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US weights some scripture as more significant than other parts. Every single one of us without fail. The bible may have been written for us,but it was not written to us…meaning, when you remove the original cultural context of a given scripture, you have done more disservice to the word of God than anything a liberal like me or Rachel Held Evans could ever dream of doing.

            • Kristen Rosser October 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

              How do you get that reading of John 14:26? It just doesn’t appear to say what you’re claiming it says.

      • Aaron Kahler October 22, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

        To worship God’s word is to worship God. We don’t worship the ink, the paper, the leather binding, but as we worship God’s word we worship Him. And we’re in good company.

        Three times David praises God’s word in Psalm 56 (In God, whose word I praise)

        In Psalm 119 we see the psalmists hands raised in worship of God’s word, “I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love.” Psalm 119:48.

        • Chuck POWELL October 22, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

          I see a difference in praising the word (scripture) as something good, pure, valuable, holy, and worshiping the word as a member of the Godhead. The former is noble and edifying, I agree. The latter is idolatry.

  9. ndefalco October 22, 2012 at 11:32 am #

    “The stuff I wanted to keep after the year…” Nothing to see here guys. Just the birth of another heretic.

    She ignores the context of the covenant in the Old Testament and rips certain scripture right out of context- something she claims we’re doing. I mean, who seriously thinks that proverbs is to be interpreted that way??

    Maybe as a follow-up book, she should get together with this guy:

    http://www.inquisitr.com/360736/a-homeschooled-christian-spent-a-year-living-as-a-gay-man-and-wrote-a-book-about-the-experience/

  10. tana schott October 22, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    Thanks for providing a link to the interview, I missed it this morning and really wanted to see it. Thank God for those who challenge what has been deemed normative in this tiny moment in time. Thank God for people who open up conversation about all types of issues and thank God for those who are willing to lovingly, open-heartedly engage in the conversation and not resort to simple mindedness where others are torn down for having a different experience of faith or opinion.

  11. Michael Pahl October 22, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    I’m curious, Denny: What do you use as a guide to which parts of the Bible you will obey? I’m not trying to be flippant, it’s a serious question.

  12. Keith Plummer (@XianMind) October 22, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    Evans hates to see the Bible reduced to an adjective because she loves it. Does that mean that if we love Christ we should shy away from describing anything as “Christian”?

    • Kristen Rosser October 24, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

      It means that we should shy away from using the word “Christian” to identify anything and everything we want to use it to qualify, whether appropriate/accurate or not.

  13. Chuck October 22, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    I’m equating your (and many, many other similar peoples) statement that you can’t separate Christ and the Word to mean that you are elevating scripture to something like the 4th person of the trinity…the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message does this as well…

    Also, who’s denying the truth of scripture here? I would certainly never do that. What I’m saying is that you’re missing the point…it’s not, believe what Rachel Held Evans believes about scripture or what Darius T believes about scripture because one of them is right and one is wrong…I believe we live in a slightly greyer world than that…there’s some middle ground on scripture interpretation…just because RHE and I happen to interpret some of it differently, doesn’t mean we don’t affirm the truth of scripture. The truth of Scripture is a lot bigger than either yours or my interpretation of it.

    • Adam Cavalier October 22, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

      Chuck,

      I’m not the police here, but Denny wants ALL commenters to use their FIRST and LAST name. That appears every time you comment. Maybe there was a reason you did or did not use it, but you had to have seen it.The reason I say this is not because you are giving positive, atta-boy’s to everyone. You seem to be annoyed at people who are talking more black and white (to continue your thought) and don’t hold your unwarranted relativistic and pluralistic approach to the authority and innerancy of Scripture. I hope your neglect was not an attempt to hide behind a pseudonym in your mom’s basement.

      You can look at the link here : http://www.dennyburk.com/comments-policy/

      • Chuck POWELL October 22, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

        I didn’t see it…this is the only page on Denny Burke’s site I’ve ever seen…I’ve never even heard of the man until today. Is he famous or something? I just came here from a link on facebook. The guy that wants to keep arguing with me, Darius, only uses a T for his last name…so go pick on him.

        • Adam Cavalier October 23, 2012 at 12:56 am #

          Again, whenever you comment – it says directly above the box you type in – first and last name (both words are in caps). I sympathize with you that it might be easy to gloss over because most other sites allow people to hide.

          Denny’s “About Me” section might be helpful in wanting to know more. Maybe looking over a site more than 5 seconds before commenting numerous times might be a wise idea.

          If you want to inform the other commenter, feel free. I wasn’t talking about him, I was talking about you (he does seem to have a picture of himself and family – thus somewhat identifying himself which is kind of the point). You don’t need to divert attention (a bit childish).

          • scottie t October 23, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

            Adam…… (sigh) good grief.

            You remind me of the men wearing fluorescent vests in front of airport arrivals terminals who enjoy bossing all the drivers who are in grave, terrible error for stopping their vehicals long enough so they can actually pick up their loved ones.

            • Adam Cavalier October 23, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

              Scottie T (coincidence you didn’t use your full name either? maybe you too are in the basement with him popping zits and watching Star Trek!)

              Yeah, I probably am that guy… What you failed to mention in your analogy is that the person picking up their loved ones blocked 4 lanes of traffic, has been there for 30+ minutes, and
              is disturbing everyone by playing obnoxious loud music.

  14. Walter Price October 22, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    Denny, don’t get over it!

    • Denny Burk October 22, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

      Thanks, Walter! I’m not!

      • Scott Terrell October 22, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

        Sorry Walter. This will be Denny’s project until the election results – quite possibly even longer should the POTUS prevail. It gets blog hits and the crazed TGC crowd loves it.

  15. Glenn Carrin October 22, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

    When the world happily puts you on the air because you further their agenda, woe to you.

  16. Chuck POWELL October 22, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    Maybe I should apologize to the readers here. I’m clearly not a conservative Christian and clearly disagree with most everyone here, including the host of the site. None of us will change each other’s minds in a comment thread on a website, so, I will gladly apologize and bow out of this conversation. I like to argue, but that causes further division, and one thing American Christianity doesn’t need right now is more division. Sorry. Thank you. Blessings to all.

  17. Dustin Brown October 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    The forceful negativity here is very telling. I’m sure many here went into this viewing already being told what to think. For anyone that has read RHE, books or blog, knows she has a deep love for Scripture and Evangelicalism in general. Read (the Bible and her book) for yourself. Listen. Pray.

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