Monday, August 27, 2018

I Read It Twice Already: Inspired by Rachel Held Evans

Blogger was drunk in my previous draft. Let's try this again.

I sat with this book--Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans--for almost a month. I'd listen on audio for a while, rewind, start over, listen some more. After a while I became so desperate to annotate that I ordered a physical copy. After I'd finish a chunk of the audio, I'd re-read the physical text and write notes, observations, and underline...a lot. 

"Drawing on the best in recent scholarship and using her well-honed literary expertise, Evans examines some of our favorite Bible stories and possible interpretations, retelling them through memoir, original poetry, short stories, soliloquies, and even a short screenplay. Undaunted by the Bible's most difficult passages, Evans wrestles through the process of doubting, imagining, and debating Scripture's mysteries. The Bible, she discovers, is not a static work but is a living, breathing, captivating, and confounding book that is able to equip us to join God's loving and redemptive work in the world."

In short, this book should probably be titled "Reading the Bible Like a Reader" but that's not nearly as catchy. Not convinced that Jonah was really swallowed by a whale? Unsure about miracles? Many-headed beasts with 10 crowns? 

RHE (my pet name for her) jumps into interpretations that integrate culture, history, and the instances when whether or not the stories within the Bible really happened just don't matter. This book looks the Bible's most confusing bits straight in the face and insists we can uphold a Christianity about inviting people to the table rather than asking them to leave. 

I admit, I'm already reading it again (on audio and in print). 


  1. I am so with you on this one! I had an e-arc as part of the launch team, but I purchased a paper copy recently so I could lend it to just about everyone.I can definitely see reading it again in between lending it out!

    1. Lucky ducky with the e-ARC! It is one of few books I've ever encountered that's worth having multiple copies. I really do need to grab one for lending.

  2. Aw, this sounds wonderful! I'll keep an eye out for it -- I always love reading books that put the Bible in interesting perspectives.

    1. Soooo so so so good. RHE is wonderful.

  3. I love books that are so intriguing you can start reading the minute you've finished. That's only happened to me about five times in my life.

    1. This might be the first time it's ever happened to me. I've had a few that tempted me to re-read them immediately, but I don't think I've ever done it!

  4. I love the ‘work’ I see you doing in connecting with the Bible, from the pictures of your journaling on Instagram to this blog post, it all looks marvelous. I, myself, am finally able to attend a BSF (Bible Study Fellowship International) study now that I’m retired. We are studying the Minor Prophets (all of them!) from now until May. At first, I thought, “Joshua. Again?” But after yesterday’s class, I realize that the more I think I know, the less I do. Or, to put it another way, the Bible is new every morning. There’s always something in there which falls afresh. Xo


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