In Which I Am A Big Chicken
Rachel Held Evans makes me nervous.
There, I said it. I’ve admitted it.
It’s not that I don’t think she’s a remarkable writer, blogger, and speaker. Her accomplishments are stupendous. Her insight and willingness to go deeper, push further, and not accept evangelical doctrine as fact without study, prayer and discussion is commendable.
But yet, she makes me nervous. I’m not a boat-rocker. I like the status quo. I’ve never been one for the squeaky wheel. I am not confrontational or ground-breaking, or even brave. Quite honestly, I’m afraid if I get too on board with Evans, or read her newest book A Year of Biblical Womanhood, that it’ll sow seeds of discontent in me that I really don’t wish to have. Or worse, what if I disagree with her conclusions? Does that make me a coward, anti-feminist, or ignorant?
I love my church. I have rarely, if ever, felt subjugated in this church as a woman, and I know that Evans is fighting for what is right in today’s church. I’ve heard her book to be funny, brave, gutsy and insightful. But, still, I’ve avoided it, big chicken that I am.
Until it showed up on my desk over Christmas with a bright green ribbon and a note from my dear friend, Bethany.
I have great respect for Bethany, you see. We come from the same stock, she and I. The same roots. We grew up in similar circles only a few years apart. She gets me. She also is funny, brave, gutsy and insightful and she’s not afraid to challenge doctrine, or challenge me.
What else was there to do but read it? And so I am.
Three chapters in so far, and I’m finding it to be funny, brave, gutsy and insightful. A wealth of food for thought. I disagree with her about some things (I have always loved Proverbs 31 and later this week I’ll explain why) and whole-heartedly agree with her on others (“a gentle and quiet spirit” is not an ambition only of women, but of all Christians, men and women alike). As such, I’ll be writing about the book for the next few days, and over the next few weeks. Feel free to comment, argue, rage, whatever. Consider reading for yourself about the book, and why it’s so remarkable, on her website.
Have you already read it? What did YOU think?
On Wednesday I’ll tell you why Proverbs 31 has never made me feel guilty. Actually, quite the opposite! In many ways, it set me free.