Rachel Held Evans has died. It would be a serious misrepresentation to say I knew her because I did not. I once ate lunch with her along with 8 other seminary professors during a Ministry in Contemporary Context Symposium in Portland. She was a very pleasant person. She was also “on edge.” This was during the time she was thinking about exiting the Evangelical fold and turning her attention to other concerns.
She had written A Year of Biblical Womanhood. She characterized that year as an experiment, to see if it could be done. She was quite skeptical about the outcome. I think she considered it unsustainable in this day-and-age. She was on the verge of taking the lives and ministries of the LGBTQ persons in community more seriously in a positive way.
I have Evolving in Monkey Town on my private bookshelf at home. (She later released this title with the title Faith Unraveled.) Rachel Held Evans was an unusual soul unafraid to ask serious, serious, questions about faith and The Faith and then, with extraordinary courage, and before the public eye, allowed herself the grace to realign her loyalties in this world as she experienced her primary loyalty to God. Rest in Peace, Rachel. May your husband and children find their way through this dark time with the compassion of God and God’s children ministering to their every need.